From the "rakataka" slums of Panama to the biggest stages in the world, Los Rakas is back with another hit.
Take a bit of hip-hop, throw in some electronic dance music and blend it with pulsating Latin rhythms and you have the recipe for an addictive dance floor smash. Panama's native sons Los Rakas are back with a whole new kind of Latin sound that is sure to make listeners "Meneate" (or "wiggle," for the non-Spanish speakers.)
"Ella baile con sus amigas y lo mueve como Shakira..." ("She dances with her friends and moves it like Shakira...")
Los Rakas are different from many current club-friendly acts in that they catch listeners with dynamic lyricism in both Spanish and English. Two cousins originally from Panama, Raka Rich and Raka Dun are quickly making new fans everyday by boldly mixing hip-hop, plena, reggae and dancehall music to create a progressive and global sound. Whether you speak English or Spanish, are old or young, you will quickly be driven to dance to this energetic track.
Perhaps even more interesting than the great music coming from this duo is the way they are inspiring a new generation of Panamanians to rise above their circumstances. The "raka" in their name is derived from the Panamanian Spanish slang term "rakataka," which is used to negatively describe people from the slums.
"We took the word and decided to make it positive," says Raka Dun. "A 'Raka' can go to college and be a business man, you know?" Panama has a history of pushing the boundary in blending hip-hop with more tradtional Latin sounds going back to the 1980s, when artists like El General and Nando Boom dominated Latin American airwaves.
After a lively performance at this past weekend's storied Coachella Music Festival, Los Rakas are ready to make the world "meneate!"