Orishas (Cuba)

Orishas (Cuba)

Orishas is a Cuban hip hop group from Havana, Cuba, founded in 1999 and split in 2010. The group was first called "Amenaza",[1] "threat" or "menace" in Spanish, and appealed to the Cuban youth who were hungry for African-American culture consisting of hip hop and rap. Orishas delved into a realm of music that created a black identity to which some among the younger generations could relate. The group is based in France where they made a deal with a record company, although they visit Cuba frequently. In 1999 Fidel Castro threw a party for them and had a meeting with all the musicians.[2] It was the first time the Cuban government showed support for hip hop music. The group was and still is popular in Europe (especially France, Spain and Portugal) and Latin America. Yotuel Romero and Ruzzo Medina, who moved from Havana to Paris as part of an international studies program, joined Roldán González and Flaco-Pro to form the band in 1999. Their work is influenced by the hip hop movement as well as Cuban and other Latin rhythms. As of October 2009, they have produced a total of four studio albums and a greatest hits album; their latest album is Cosita Buena (released June 17, 2008). In 2009 they participated in the concert Paz Sin Fronteras II in Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba

The name "Orishas" refers to the set of deities worshipped in African-based religions in the Americas, like Santería in Cuba and Candomblé in Brazil, resulting from the relocation of Yoruba slaves. These orishas each represent a natural element (such as the ocean or leaves) and exhibit a human characteristic (such as motherhood or love).[3] The choice of this name for the hip hop group is a way of creating a direct link between this band and the African diaspora. This link is evident in the group's lyrics, for example those of "Nací Orichas" and "Canto Para Elewa Y Changó". The group's success is a testament to both the international appeal of the group itself as well as the global popularity of Cuban culture.[4] As of October 2009, the band consists of three members: Yotuel, Ruzzo and Roldán. Flaco-Pro left the group in 2002 before the release of its second studio album, Emigrante.[5] The band members live in distributed locations in Europe (Roldán in Paris, Ruzzo in Milan, and Yotuel in Madrid). In total, after producing three albums, Orishas has sold more than 750,000 copies of its albums in Europe and has received two Grammys[citation needed]. In 2007, they collaborated with Puerto Rican group Calle 13 on the song "Pa'l Norte" (from the album Residente o Visitante). The song won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Song. In August of 2016, The Orishas reunite at Festival Cubano in Chicago for the First Time in 7 years.

Los Rakas (Panama / Oakland)

Los Rakas is comprised of cousins Raka Rich & Raka Dun, pioneering Panamanians by way of the Bay Area on the frontier of a new Latin urban sound. Known for their fresh mix of hip-hop, plena, reggae and dancehall music with both Spanish and English lyricism, Los Rakas represent the cutting edge of Pan-American flows. Taking their name from the Panamanian word "Rakataka" – a negative slur used to describe someone from the ghetto – Los Rakas have set out to both inspire fellow "Rakas" by empowering them to become successful despite their circumstances, turning the current Latin hip-hop world on its head. They are part of a growing movement of DIY artists opening new spaces for true urban music to flourish worldwide in the Internet Era.

Los Rakas had a busy year, having appeared on "Sway In The Morning," as well as performing in huge festivals like "Rock The Bells" and "Central Park SummerStage," have their song "Hot" placed in the biggest video game in the world - FIFA 14 (via Latinol), and collaborated with Major Lazer (Desorden) & Scoop Deville (Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg). The group were the first independent band to have their logo on a major brand sneaker - the Raka Puma - as part of Modelo Especial and Complex Magazine's "Blank Canvas Project" released last year in stores. Currently 2014 Converse Cons ambassadors, Raka Rich & Raka Dun are featured prominently as part of the brands' national ad campaign shot by famed photographer Ari Marcopoulos.

Los Rakas have been covered widely in the press across their 7 year career, with mentions in the NY Times, NPR's All Things Considered, Complex Magazine, The FADER, Washington Post, AOL & much more. They've shared the stage with Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Manu Chao and have toured nationally with SOJA, Collie Buddz, and The Grouch as well as internationally at festivals like Mexico City's "Festival Corona Capital," Colombia and Chile.

Their debut album "El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo" - released on Universal Musica after building independently and internationally - is out now!

"As their music switched among hip-hop, reggaetón and dancehall beats, their fast rhymes proclaimed solidarity across the hemisphere." - NYTimes

"This Oakland, Calif., duo — rapping cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun — prove that some of the most exciting dance music on the planet is still coursing through the Afro-Latin diaspora." - Washington Post

"The bilingual hip-hop crew has caught the eye of Snoop Dogg and Major Lazer. Their CONS list has videos that caught THEIR eyes, like Murs, ASAP Rocky, and Schoolboy Q." - Vevo

"The Panamanian cousins, Raka Rich and Raka Dun, are the embodiment of the new millennial Latino MC—bilingual, genre-bending and, of course, lyrics for days." - Latina Magazine

"Los Rakas is one of the most talented & multi-faceted globalized voices in hip hop & R&B." - Austinist

"Truth is, there's only Los Rakas really doing this. The bilingual rap and reggae duo out of Oakland (via Panama) are putting all the pieces together: rapping in both Spanish and English over rhythms (and riddims) from a faraway isthmus and from around the block. They draw lines between the immigrant experience and the urban experience; between the black and the brown experience. They rhyme about partying and looking fresh and smoking fine Cali weed, but also about what's really going on, about struggle, about identity." - MTV Iggy

Canyon Cody (Subsuelo, Calentura, Fania)

Canyon Cody is a global music DJ, hip-hop producer, Fulbright scholar and founder of Gnawledge Records.

DJ Julicio (Chile)

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