Before getting into his music, we must clarify that Armond Wakeup is not a new trendy rap name to catch the eyes of “Woke Twitter.”
Born Armond Goss, he was given the moniker “wakeup” by his DJ, who said that his assignment was to “wake up the people.” Armond has been making music for over 10 years and is just now beginning to find his lane in the rap world, at least as an MC; he’s been co-hosting the “Clock Radio Speakers” podcast, a show dedicated to the hip-hop community, for just as long. In fact, that’s how I first learned of him.
It was a typical late college night and I had a paper due the next morning. Tired of listening to music, I decided to check out this hip-hop podcast that had been recommended to me. After listening to a few episodes of “Clock Radio Speakers” and scouring the internet for Armond’s music, I quickly became a fan.
Armond is one of the more relatable artists in Christian hip-hop, and he likes the simpler things in life—his church, fashion, and wrestling. As the Columbus, Ohio, native was getting ready to catch “Monday Night RAW” (a weekly WWE broadcast) at his pastor’s house, I was able to get a few moments with the rapper over the phone.
“I’m a disciple, father, creative, and trailblazer and I’m proud of all four of those titles. My music is affected by all four of those things, they 100 percent inform my worldview,” he said, presenting a more complex picture of the man seen by the world as a 20-something Christian rapper who loves sneakers and hip-hop.
Armond is not afraid to share his worldview and, in fact, believes there’s power in being transparent.
“Transparency is something you have to be careful with because for some people it can become an idol,” he said. And although transparency can be good, he makes sure to couple it with hope in his music.
“When you realize you need God, it allows you to not own your own life. The power of the Gospel is evident in our own sin. I’m human but God is still faithful in my humanity,” Armond added.
Being faithful through our humanity could have very well been the theme of Armond’s most recent project, 40 Days, released in December 2017.
The five-track EP is meant to set the stage for Even If I Lose, his debut first full-length album since signing with Illect.
With production done solely by CHH legend Wes Pendleton, 40 Days is Armond’s take on the emotional and mental states a person would have if one were to spend 40 days in the wilderness. With tracks like “The Hold” and “The Worth,” the rapper approached the album with the message of “God wants more and if that means we have to fast for 40 days then that’s we have to do.”
The themes on “40 Days” are a fitting transition into Even If I Lose, set to release Feb. 27, since its theme is “the growth and maturation of Armond Wakeup in Christ.”
Armond’s growth is not just seen through his music, as fans get another side of him on “Clock Radio Speakers.” He and his co-host, Doc, have been recording the podcast since 2010. “Clock Radio Speakers” in its inception was just a place for Armond and Doc to discuss topics relative to hip-hop culture, but over the years they’ve built up a fan base numbering in the thousands.
For Armond, his goal with “Clock Radio Speakers” is to help people listen to and critique hip-hop music and culture. Coming from the church, Armond wants to help listeners, who he says are “believers and non-believers,” find ways to digest hip-hop no matter their background.
That diversity among his audience has made him more thoughtful in how he navigates certain topics.
“I’ve learned over the years not to just say everything is trash. It’s more appropriate to just say ‘that’s not for me,'” he said.
After arguing about our favorite WWE stars (mine is Triple H, of course), Armond was sure to leave his listeners with a word of encouragement.
“You’re never too far away from God. Submitting to God is the best decision you can make. I’ve been a Christian since 2005, but this is my first full year of trying to fully submit to God. At the end of the day, just keep Him prioritized.”