Today I had a date with brand new music from LOS RAKAS who, always the perfectionists, turned in their brand new EP, the Valentine’s Day-themed or Love-themed – RAKA LOVE – in the very nick of time! In a haze of caffeine and a very long to-do list, I hit play and the reinforcement set in.
LOS RAKAS enchant my ears and constantly challenge my thoughts on the role of art and the artists. This morning they kept me warm with twinkle and live harp all within the first 20 seconds of hitting play.
‘Tis a love affair: the surreal yet real range of influences (there’s a Cyndi Lauper sample, ya’ll), the roots, or in this case, drawing deep from their corazon to craft beautiful songs about their layered loves; from a stranger, to an obsession, to a real Rakataka, to their mother, to the music, to shit, even Selena!
They continue to challenge the big wall of ignorance of those gatekeepers who insist good, experimental and challenging music with Spanish lyrics is not worth even a listen (…unle$$…) and those, there’s heavy overlap, who continue to intentionally portray women as sexual trophies who lack complexity or deserve respect at mass permeation levels; anyone see the Grammy‘s this weekend?
But today is a celebration of a Raka Love. “Raka comes from the word Rakataka. They used that word to refer to people from the hood in Panama, but in a negative way. We took the word and decided to make it positive. But a Raka can go to college, and be a business man, you know,” Raka Dun once said. Raka Love is a way of life; love all out regardless of what they say.
The 9-song EP features original songs like the harpalicious lead track and my personal favorite, ‘Magia‘ (Translation: Magic) and past favorites including their collaboration with Goapele ‘Play (Los Rakas Remix)‘. The video for first single, ‘Copita De Champaña‘ premiered on MTV Tr3s this morning (on TV + Web) – so look out for it on-air!
From Los Rakas’ interview with MTV Tr3s about the video:
“Everybody nowadays is very materialistic. We wanted to show the humble side of things, and how it’s the thought that counts… You see people giving expensive things they can’t afford…a Spongebob watch only costs $2.99 and it looks fly.”
#RakaLove is tonight in San Francisco LIVE with a full band at 330 Ritch. Can’t wait to see the footage of what is sure to be a magical night.