Musica Del Corazón: Los Rakas on NPR, MTV & Tour News
01/28/2011, 4:26 pm
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Shout out to NPR Alt.Latino‘s Jasmine Garsd for admitting she didn’t really dig Los Rakas at first, haha!  That honesty’s refreshing, and it also displays the unique gift of the group:  their music falls across so many genres (rendering it genreless in my opinion) and therefore its appeal is really broad.  Which makes it even more GLOBALLY accessible (obvio).  I can’t wait till the rest of the world figures it out…but in the meantime, we’ll take the 20 million+ weekly listeners who tune into NPR…

…Get a FREE download of Raka Rich’s mixtape track, ‘Hip Hop’ set to Drake/Alicia Key’s Unthinkable beat HERE.

“It’s a sweetly earnest song, and in a sea of rappers reciting endless lists of brand names, sexual positions and expensive traveling destinations, it’s beautiful to remember what true love for music feels like.” NPR Alt.Latino

The guys also just did an interview w/ MTV Iggy where they announced the name of their upcoming EP, ‘Chancletas y Camiseta Bordada EP’ – set for release in the spring.

Finally, the guys will be on tour w/ Collie Buddz from March 16 (their official showcase at SXSW 2011 will be the kickoff) – April 22 across the USA – dates announced next week.   Stay up to date with the guys on Twitter and their official newsletter.


Airways: “Zuzuka Poderosa and ‘baile funk’” in PRI’s The World
01/19/2011, 8:29 pm
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Last you heard me talk about Zuzuka Poderosa, we were Craigslist ridesharing it all over California this past November.  Thanks to patience and hard work, today PRI’s The World finally aired the interview Zuzuka did after her show w/ Spoek Mathambo at Hollywood’s ‘it’s a school night.’ Good times.  Big thanks to Corey Takahashi for hanging out with Zuzu and I for the night rolling deep in our ZIP car – check out this video he did after Zuzu’s show and hear what she has to say about her ‘interracial musical babies‘!  As Marco Werman states,” Zuzuka is a wild child.”

Click on the foto for the full scoop!

Caption:  Police & Helicopter (new track coming soon!) in the middle of Hollywood, CA

eat your art out: vagina plates & the dinner party
01/15/2011, 10:08 pm
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Now showing at Brooklyn Museum – Judy Chicago’s ‘The Dinner Party (1974 – 1979).
Read curatorial overview here.  #GenerationCopyPaste with highlights below.

…my women, my women!

‘It is a multi-media work that consists of ceramics, china painting, sewing, needlework, embroidery, and other mediums traditionally associated with “women’s work,” and, as such, not generally considered “high art” by the art world. In an effort to celebrate undervalued female creative production, Chicago consciously sought to reclaim and commemorate those mediums traditionally considered “craft,” as fine art ones equivalent to painting and sculpture. By creating a monumental work of art dedicated to anonymous art by women historically, Chicago thumbed her nose at those who dared to question its artistic value—or the labor involved in its production.’

‘Chicago, too, insists that her vaginal imagery be read not literally, but metaphorically, as an active and powerful symbol of female identity.’

‘Wing One of the table begins in prehistory with the Primordial Goddess and continues chronologically with the development of Judaism; it then moves to early Greek societies to the Roman Empire, marking the decline in women’s power, signified by Hypatia’s place setting. Wing Two represents early Christianity through the Reformation, depicting women who signify early expressions of the fight for equal rights, from Marcella to Anna van Schurman. Wing Three begins with Anne Hutchinson and addresses the American Revolution, Suffragism, and the movement toward women’s increased individual creative expression, symbolized at last by Georgia O’Keeffe.’

(images from

Puro Teatro: A Movement Unto Herself, La Lupe
01/13/2011, 10:16 am
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Ladies night at Teatro La Tea tonight for Lauren Velez {my favorite from NY Undercover!} one-woman show, ‘They Call Me La Lupe.’  Velez says to Latina Magazine:

Why do you think it’s important to tell La Lupe’s story?
It’s important because for so many people she was forgotten, and this woman broke through incredible barriers. She was part of this movement in this country, an incredibly exciting time when we had the Beatles, and revolutions and she was a revolution unto herself. And the fact that this revolution was Afro-Carribean, it should never be forgotten. It’s very inspiring. Also, while people say Lupe was forgotten, at the end of the day, what she found was herself and her own self-worth. Ultimately, fame goes away and what you’re left with is yourself. That’s what Lupe found in the end. She found peace. She found God. She walked away with something that most people don’t get to experience. People said she was crazy. They asked, ‘Who is she that she gets to live so freely?’ ¡Mentira! Everybody gets to do it. It’s just that not everybody has the balls to do it!

I first heard of La Lupe consciously {I’ve probably heard my mom play her records as a little girl} on a trip to Puerto Rico.  She was the perfect road trip/empowerment soundtrack to drive through the island.  Then I learned a lot more about her story, started watching old videos of her, AMAZED how free she was in the early 70s for a black, Cubana in the United States {watch her performance on Late Night TV from 1973}!  I couldn’t believe more people, shit, more of my peers, didn’t know about her.  Then the ‘La Lupe: Queen of Latin Soul’ doc premiered at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.  No se…I’m just really proud to have someone like her to look up to, mistakes and all – she taught me that being bold {in love, life, song} and going for it is the only way.  I also appreciate how spiritual her music is, the Afro-Cuban/Santeria influences, chants, screams – PURO TEATRO!

Free Download – Collie Buddz FREE EP ‘Playback’ {Availbable 1/18}
01/09/2011, 9:36 am
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FINALLY DI HERB COME AROUND.  Wow, can’t believe that was the song from 2007.  I had just moved to Los Angeles and was hanging out with some reggae heads.  I remember this was the ultimate jam.  Collie Buddz has a way of crafting great songs while honoring a distinctly authentic Caribbean sound.  I catch myself constantly reciting his chorus’ – and it’s no different with his brand new EP, ‘Playback’ that he’s releasing for free on January 18th.

Collie could have probably continuously caked off that 2007 hit, which reached the top 100 on Billboard and constant MTV rotation, but instead, he returned to Bermuda, developed his own studio and radio station, did some key collaborations w/ Major Lazer and Kid Cudi, got a band together, and toured his ass off.  Sort of a mystery to me as far as how his show would be, I caught him live when Los Rakas played 2010’s Smoke Out Fest.  He had a full out amazingly tight band, backup singers, hype man – the show was damn entertaining and good.  You can’t say that with confidence about today’s pop stars.

Watch this wrap-up video from Collie’s 2010 tour which Okayplayer’s LargeUp exclusively previewed on Friday:

Live Show Alert: Baloji’s ‘Kinhasa Sucursale’
01/05/2011, 2:19 pm
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There’s a buzz about Baloji (Belgium/Congo).

Blitz the Ambassador went into the studio with him on his first trip to Europe and they instantly clicked, recording some songs and sharing music industry war stories.  Now, with the help of Belgium’s government and Blitz’s label, Embassy MVMT, Baloji plays NYC twice in the next week:

  • Tomorrow, 1/6 @ Joe’s Pub for Blitz Ambassador’s ‘The Embassy Ensemble presents…Baloji’
  • Wednesday, 1/12 @ SOB’s for the 2011 launch of Embassy MVMT w/ Blitz, Baloji and Les Nubians {CANCELED because of snow storm.  Baloji plays TONIGHT (1.11.11) & FOR FREE at Harlem’s The Shrine & Blitz the Ambassador, Les Nubians and Rich Medina rock on Sunday at SOB’s 11/16!

Listening to his album – ‘Kinhasa Sucursale‘ which reached 75,000+ listeners in Europe when it was released for free by the Belgium magazine, Focus {the album before, Hotel Impala, was released in Europe only as well} – I can hear the excitement.  There’s beat boxing, doowop, cinematic crescendo-ing harmonies, the funkiest of funk, amazing West African guitar work, vintage sound and thorough hip-hop flow set to a highly proficient band {playing live with world renowned guitarist Dizzy Mandjeku} – it’s all over without being out of focus. It’s an album that truly bridges.  Perhaps that’s just one reason why Baloji was named “Best World Music Artist of 2010” by Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 1).

Check out this post that went up about him on MTV Iggy.

“He sings and raps in French, but also Swahili and other African languages. (Baloji means “sorcerer” in Swahili and Chiluba.) So, don’t worry if you don’t speak French. It would take a pretty multi-lingual ear to follow every word on his second album Kinshasa Succursale. Just listen to the spark and locomotion that moves his lyrics. He’s not just spitting, his words seem to travel across continents themselves as he tells his story. A sorcerer, indeed.”

You should be hearing more from Baloji in 2011, but in the meantime, if you’re in NYC, don’t miss these shows!

Joe’s Pub tomorrow {click on flyer for info}. Get Tickets:


Watch Baloji live here:

Finally, this video interview {english subtitles} is super fresh from Baloji’s first album, Hotel Impala.  The imagery is beautiful, interview is informative and the intro music BUMPS: