Family of late New Mexico rapper Wake Self keeps his legacy alive

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A music video of the late New Mexico rapper Andrew Martinez, better known as Wake Self, was released in November, a year after his death. The hip-hop artist and community activist was killed by a drunk driver on Nov. 5, 2019. He never got the opportunity to release his newest album and instead, his family released the project to honor the continuation of his message.

The song, named Holy Water, is from Wake Self’s posthumous album, “Ready To Live.” Eric Martinez, Andrew’s brother, said the rapper made it a priority to support the community in his home state, by giving back to those less fortunate and helping educate students on the processes of recording music. “His impact on the community was really felt, and it was nice to see all those people come out to support the family after he passed,” Eric said.

The family was inspired to keep Andrew’s legacy alive in ways the artist was passionate about, and are currently working on the Wake Self Foundation, which will provide funds for projects like providing hygiene and food packs to those in need, in addition to scholarships for Native American women. The family hopes to establish the foundation and eventually use it to help other local hip-hop artists in the community.

Eric said Andrew was also a supporter of women’s rights and women’s equality. His music, and especially Ready to Live, carried those and other positive themes. “He preached a message of sobriety, positivity, self-love and self-worth. He wasn’t a typical hip-hop artist, he spoke out about a lot of things that are prevalent in the genre today like materialism and misogyny,” Eric said.


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Produced in collaboration with the Institute of American Indian Arts, Holy Water was one of the last videos that Martinez shot before his passing. The film was conceptualized, directed and produced by his partner and collaborator, Noor-un-nisa Touchon.

Touchon was the one who prompted turning the song into a music video, as Martinez hadn’t expressed interest in doing so but agreed to it because she had such a clear vision of what it would look like. “He let me use this project to explore my creativity, and have freedom to do what I wanted,” Touchon said.

Touchon finished working on the music video in May. It was also shown in film festivals like the American Indian Film Festival, the Independent Shorts Awards, and the London Music Video Festival. “I wanted to do everything I could to keep his legacy alive, and submitting Holy Water into these festivals and getting his work out there seemed like another thing I could do,” Touchon said.

Touchon has one more music video that she directed and is working on, for Love Myself, which will be released next year. “I think one of the reasons he was so important in his community is because he really wanted to spread the message that it’s okay to be loving even if it makes you vulnerable, it’s okay to be honest about how you’re doing,” Touchon said. “I think we could all learn from that and keep that sentiment with us.”

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