First appeared on IGGY: July 09, 2011
Raised in California’s Bay Area, cousins Dun Dun and Rico (now with DJ Leydis behind them) rhyme in Spanish and English and pour a liberal amount of Latin flavor over their sound, but it’s a world away from some corny reggaeton. This is hip hop, albeit with a ’90s-ish accent. The duo has been killing it since 2006 when they released their Panabay Twist mixtape — a surprise hit in their home country. Since then, their career has been defined by a steady rain of forward-looking, cross-culturally inclined mixtapes, videos and singles. Their turn on Banana Clipz’s recent debut EP was one of that release’s highlights. Their passion for what they do is evident in the freshness of their music and in their interviews too. And in 2010 that passion was recognized with the Discovery award they received at the Latin Alternative Music Conference. They look pretty hyped in their award photos, but, as they say in their latest track “Hip Hop,” they don’t do it for the fame or even for the ladies. They do it for hip hop!
Panamanian hip hop duo Los Rakas are building a serious reputation for themselves by mixing the rhythms of reggae and Caribbean dancehall with ferocious, bilingual, emcee-devouring microphone skills. Through their prolific output, they have become widely recognized for their patented flow, which, English and Spanish-speakers agree, cracks the complex code of adapting rap to Español. Did we mention that they are barely into their twenties?
Photo by Oscar Urizar