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Oakland’s LOS RAKAS Debut “Mini-Film” For ‘Cueria’!
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November 2nd, 2011: Shot in Oakland, California, directed by NASIR, with cinematography by Justin Potter, and Nick Crispen as Officer O’Leary, new LOS RAKAS clip ‘CUERIA’ stars Raka Rich & Raka Dun in the role of two cousins on a mission to avenge the killing of their teenage friend.
A news anchor reports on a recent murder: “14 year old Julio Alvarez, known by his friends and family as Lil Ray Ray, was shot dead, in cold blood, not resisting. Outrage. Officer O’Leary has been released on bail.”
The clip cuts to the confused, angry and intent-filled characters driving through the deserted streets of industrial Oakland, planning their next move as Panama’s most celebrated salsa singer, Ruben Blades, foreshadows what is to happen next: ‘Un carro pasa muy despacito por la avenida.’ A car passes by slowly through the avenue…
Blades celebrated salsa narrative, ‘Pedro Navaja’ about a knife-wielding crook (read more about the song here) who meets his match after attacking an armed prostitute, continues to sound in the background as Panamanian patron saint, Cristo Negro de Portobelo, plays witness to the discussion of what to do next with the kidnapped Officer O’Leary, ending in a dark demise and subsequent ‘CUERIA‘ (Translation: ‘Take out’).
‘CUERIA’ is completely fictional, but a cinematic reminder of the tensions felt between law enforcement and citizens across the world. ‘CUERIA‘ was written and conceived by director, NASIR, with LOS RAKAS making their acting debut. “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Life gives you surprises.” – Ruben Blades (Pedro Navaja)
About 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.
Their debut EP ‘Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada’ hit #1 on the iTunes Reggateon/Hip-Hop chart and was released August 23rd, 2011 on Soy Raka LLC.
The group continues to release a steady stream of tracks, remixes, mixtapes (including 2006’s Panabay Twist 2009’s Panabay Twist Vol 2.: La Tanda Del Bus,with 2012 seeing the release of Panabay Twist Vol. 3), solo projects (including 2011’s El Flow Californiano: Mixtape Vol. 1 from Raka Rich and coming in 2012: Afro Latino EP from Raka Dun, which was recently featured in NPR) and videos - growing their fan base from the ground-up, DIY-style and worldwide.
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