Los Rakas

Los Rakas represent pan-American flows. Two cousins who grew up in Panama before spending their teens in Oakland, California, Raka Dun and Raka Rich put a distinctive "Panabay" twist on hip-hop and reggae, bridging the streetwise sounds of the places they've called home. Drawing on Panamanian plena's faithful approach to reggae classics and the Bay Area's independent and idiosyncratic hip-hop scene, Los Rakas merge familiar dancehall melodies with a lyricism all their own.

Critically acclaimed and blog favorites, Los Rakas keep on top of their game by releasing a steady stream of tracks, remixes, mixtapes (including 2006's Panabay Twist and 2009's Panabay Twist Vol 2.: La Tanda Del Bus), and videos (which have exceeded over 500,000+ views), and expanding their circle of collaborators to include the Austrian aggro-dancehall of Stereotyp, to the Bay Area mainstays like E-40 and Zion I & The Grouch, to the electro-tropidelica of New York City's Uproot Andy.

Last year was a flagship year for Los Rakas, winning the 2010 Latin Alternative Music Conference’s Jack Daniel’s ‘Discovery Artist’ prize in New York City (an award that goes to the most promising group at the conference and the first time awarded to an urban group), with endorsements from Gibson Guitar and SHURE; culminating a breakout performance at The Bowery Ballroom with a 6-piece band. They have also played alongside artists like Outkast, Nas & Damien Marley, Ice Cube, Ghostface Killah, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, E40, Pharaoh Monch, Fat Joe and others.

In 2011, the group toured with reggae sensation Collie Buddz on his month and a half-long Playback Tour, bringing their charismatic stage presence and dynamic show to audiences across the United States. High profile festival appearances include: Central Park Summerstage, Cypress Hill's Smokeout Fest, UCLA’s Reggae Jazz Festival and Snoop Dogg's Spring Gathering.

Tastemakers like the FADER, XLR8R, RCRDLBL to more traditional outlets like The New York Times, NPR & National Geographic have hailed the group. Their hit summer single, ‘Abrazame’ ft Favi (Uproot Andy Hold Yuh) {a Latin take on the Gyptian ‘Hold Yuh’ smash} received regular rotation at 106 KMEL (San Francisco), Latino 96.3 (Los Angeles) and La Mega 97.9 (New York) and continues to spread across the blogosphere along with cult favorites 'Soy Raka' (whose video was featured on ABC's DATELINE TV about Oakland's growing Turfin' dance movement) and 'Kalle' (whose video was shot in NYC and premiered with the FADER).

Los Rakas make music born of migration and tradition, critique and celebration, joy and pain. They make New World music. American music. Panamanian Jamaican Californian music. Music for b-boys and rude boys, dancers and romancers, mainlanders and islanders and isthmus folk alike.

August 23rd will see the release of the Los Rakas first official EP release, 'Chancletas Y Camisetas Bordada' (on Soy Raka LLC).

P-Lo (HBK Gang)



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