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AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS #78: Los Rakas

Los Rakas are the selectors behind our latest Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape full of reggaeton, afrobeats, dancehall and more.

“Rakataka" is a Panamanian derogatory term for someone from the ghetto.


It's from that Central American country that cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun, better known together as Los Rakas, hail from.

Growing up in Panama, the two eventually reconnected in Oakland, California where they formed their musical project in the mid-2000s, taking the Los Rakas moniker as a way to uplift the overlooked communities back home.

Los Rakas look to represent the voice of el pueblo, as well as their Afro-Latino and Californian heritage, rapping in both Spanish and English over a sonic bed that fuses hip-hop with reggaeton, bachata, dancehall and several other styles.

They're black, proud and Panamanian & holding down the Afro-Latino sound.

Within the duo's goals is also a desire to educate people about black Latino culture and promote solidarity across the continent.

“We get treated the same as if we were African-American," the group told Okayafrica in an interview. “We're the same thing here. But we feel the same, the only difference is that we are educating people and letting them know that there are black people who speak Spanish and come from different places."

“I remember when we started not a lot of people knew that we spoke Spanish, just because of our color. Many people don't know about the existence of Afro-Latinos."

Los Rakas take the wheel in this latest installment of Africa In Your Earbuds. Their selections “were inspired by the music we listen to everyday that has deep roots from African culture," the duo tells us.

Stream AIYE #78: Los Rakas, mixed by Young Fiyah, above and check out the track list below.

Track List

wizkid ft drake & skepta - ojuelegba - nigeria

korede bello - do like that - Nigeria

tekno ft flavour & phyno Nigeria

timaya ft Machel Montano - Shake Your bum bum - Trinidad

yemi alade - johnny- Nigeria

teddyson john - allez- St. Lucia

olatunji - oh yay Trinidad

don omar ft lucenzo - danza kuduro puerto rico

aldo ranks - latino - panama

2 face idibia - African queen - Nigeria

kafu banton ft almirando - morena - panama

el kid - ciencia cierta - panama

ismael rivera - las caras linda - puerto rico

grupo niche - gotas de lluvia - colombia

joe arroyo - rebelión - colombia

el general - muevelo - panama

tego calderon - loiza - puerto rico

ayo jay - your number - nigeria

los rakas - africana - panama

los rakas - me enamor - panama

masterkraft ft flavor & sarkodie - finally - ghana

celia cruz - la negra tiene tumbal - cuba

davido - aye - Nigeria

kiss daniel ft davido & tiwa savage Nigeria

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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