Atak released the stylish video for his song, “Pump Fake”, featuring Hustle Man from Atak’s new album, This Is Me. The two carry over the energy they created on the collaborative album, Real Migo $Hit, to this new visual, and revive the energy of old Westside Denver in the Sun Valley projects.
Atak has shared the stage with big names such as Lil Skrappy, Chingo Bling, Young Buck, Baby Bash, Lil Rob, Gorilla Zoe, Slim of 112, and has an extensive catalogue of mixtapes available all over the internet.
“This Is Me was the name of my first release ever, back in 2003,” he said. The original This Is Me mixtape is not currently available to stream. “So this is basically version 2.0,” Atak revealed. “Full circle. I wanted every song to hit relatable points in my life from the street, to the party, to the females, and of course the bag. I always write with my emotions. Man, every experience to me in music is great. It’s all learning and growing. I love the creative part the most. I get this feelin’ in the studio and I can’t explain it, but I feel free and no pressure.”
Confident and focused, Atak is finally making music the way he wants it to sound. He’s one of the last OG rappers of 90s era West side Denver, a time when gang and drug violence ripped through local neighborhoods, inspiring countless newspaper headlines. “Too many OGs want these youngstas to be in the streets gang bangin and that ain’t the move,” he said. “I want to inspire greatness weather they like me or not…Life is an obstacle,” he continued. “But I think that’s where the inspiration comes from. The beauty in the struggle. This is my outlet, my shrink.”
By the early 2000s, much of the inner-city turbulence in Denver quieted. Though the city changed immensely over the decade, Atak lost his best friend Rich in 2006 to medical complications after being shot around Thanksgiving 2005, when Atak was also shot twice, once in the face. Denver Westword published a story about the incident in Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo) January of 2006. Only a week after being shot, Atak still got on stage of a battle-of-the-bands contest at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom and performed through clenched teeth, as his jaw was wired shut while he healed from facial reconstructive surgery and the metal rodule inserted into his leg. The rapper lost over 35 pounds in a little over the course of 30 days as a result, complicating his recovery even further.
At the time that the Westword story was published, Rich was alive, albeit that his injuries paralyzed him and doctors warned that he would never walk again. In May of 2006, however, Rich died of complications related to the bullet that was lodged his body. “I was with Rich the night everything happened,” Atak told Westword. “I carry so much weight with me because of it. I’m a rider and I did the best I could that night. I tried to save everybody.” He remembers his friend every day and focuses the pain he feels as a survivor of that fateful night into music.
He’s one of the last of his generation in the music game who represent Latinos of the West side of Denver. He’s owned multiple barbershops and other businesses in his communities and has wild stories of life in Denver before the gentrification of his old neighborhoods. Atak is a character that’s larger than life and now he’s back with possibly his best album yet.
Click above to watch the video for “Pump Fake” and click below to listen to the album, This Is Me, available to stream and download on all major platforms.
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