01/08/2015, 3:41 pm
Filed under: conrazón

Visit for my brand new website!

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Local is Global: ISLA on Staten Island THIS FRIDAY!
02/24/2014, 3:38 pm
Filed under: conrazón, ferry life | Tags: ,

ISLA (translation: island) is a new monthly global club night on NYC’s 5th borough of Staten Island every final Friday at The Full Cup in Stapleton starting February 28th. The party is FREE and starts at 10 PM!  Facebook RSVP:

This Pan-American & Pan-African diasporadically fly new pari (translation: party!) is brought to you by islanders DJ Reaganomics (Bembe/Eso!!), GLNJR (The Rising Sun All Stars) and DJ Nipslip (conrazón) selectin’ the vibes!

ISLA celebrates the idea that “local is global” and connects the dots between Staten’s rich immigrant population and native Islanders or those newly arrived looking to celebrate global sounds and open perspectives!

Special guests from all over NYC’s vibrant underground global bass scene as well as local talent will be invited throughout the year. Get down to the sounds of the #worldwild right here on the ISLA every last Friday of the month!

DJ Reaganomics: | @DJReaganomics
GLNJR (Rising Sun Allstars: | @GaryNievesJr
DJ Nipslip (Conrazon: SELECTING! | @Conrazon
Full Cup:


Sounds like:

Los Rakas New Playlist On VEVO For Converse Cons
02/24/2014, 2:19 pm
Filed under: artist news, los rakas | Tags:
Converse ambassadors Los Rakas put together a tight CONS playlist w/ ASAP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, deadprez, E-40 and more. Check it: #RakaConverse #SoyRaka
Cons2014VEVO RakaConverse

Where is the love? #RakaConverse, Faces & Connecting Los Dots

Where is the love?

I really dig Aura Bogado – who writes about race and politics for The Nation and Colorlines, among others.  Her poignant yet simple expression on Facebook this weekend regarding the absurdity of the George Zimmerman interview on Univision and our peoples’ deep issues with their African history/roots hits so close.

Those of us raised by Latin parents in the USA know what it is.  The topic manifests its way into our daily lives in various, micro-aggressively yet seriously engrained ways which in my opinion, detract us from looking at how oppressed people could unite powerfully against the much bigger culprit$ beyond ourselves.

First, I commented on her post with my reasons for doing conrazón in the first place and supporting groups like Oakland-via-Panama’s Los Rakas:

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Then, I took a selfie with a purple lips lollipop I purchased for Valentine’s Day.  It reminded me of a story – which I mean in no way to disrespect my fallen abuela – but which has always made an impression on me.

As a young woman in her very early 20s, I was dating a man from the Dominican Republic who I cared about very much.  My abuela, who was meeting him for the first time, recommended to me I look for purple in his lips or in his mouth to tell if he was “Africano” – in a light, but negative way.  I, emotional and loud as always (nor graceful), brought up the issue at dinner, I was so upset. It embarrassed my abuela that I brought up the topic publicly, but ultimately, I do not regret what I did and I would do it again. Bless her blindness and guts in the face of it all.

A lot of this self-imposed hate, I understand as a mechanism for survival in a new land for people like my abuela and family.  Get in where you fit in – and especially* if you can pass as non-black.  It matters little that my father’s father – who she was with and loved – had African raices – Caribbean coast of Colombia, anyone? Seen my lips lately?

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When will we celebrate ourselves and these bridges? These connections. This richness.  I feel blessed to have found the clarity, but it’s much deeper across the board.  We’re watching manifestations of this hate now here in America in the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. On Univision, Telemundo, Mainstream Latin networks, also – I have many stories to tell.  As the writer Ed Morales says, “Univision’s interview of George Zimmerman: A travesty of journalism.”

This week, Los Rakas becomes a face of the Converse Cons 2014 campaign.  Their black, Latin and proud Raka faces will be up all over the United States.  One small example of seeing ourselves!

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Stay Raka: A Raka is a rebel who loves themselves.  Love yourself.  Latin America, love your violent and real context.  We are the remedy to breaking the Black & White binary (seen this cover of Vanity Fare, yet?) WE ARE THE KEY, BUT WE HAVE TO UNLOCK IT. THE PROOF IS IN OUR VERY FACES. ALL THE PLACES WE COME FROM.

Music and culture is not a bad place to start. How is this connected to the criminalization (some will say extermination) of blacks & Latinos, the immigration detention epidemic, cultural deficiency and declining education in this country?  That’s a big answer. There are artists, writers, social media mavens, educators and entrepreneurs doing the hard work, but they must be supported and we must feel the responsibility of supporting each other and looking at ourselves closely! Can we break the cycle?


Um Novo Movimento: Zuzuka’s Baile Crunkin’ in Brazil!
02/12/2014, 12:12 pm
Filed under: artist news, zuzuka poderosa

Zuzuka Poderosa has been in Brazil the last few weeks, hanging with family and performing amazing shows in Curitiba (see photos), Sao Paulo (thank you Avalanche Tropical & Dago Donato!) and in Rio with Rio Neurotic Bass. Follow her on Instagram for hilarious and beautiful transmissions from the Queen herself: @ZuzukaPoderosa

Earlier last month, Zu put out the banger “Baile Crunk” citing her inspiration in making it with Miami’s Burt Fox: “The idea of this track is about how South America meets the South of North America mixing the dirty south influence and the lyrics, traveling all the way to NY, making Baile Crunk. ” Rio the Janeiro, Atlanta, Miami, Rio De Janeiro , Tennessee & H- town!

Spin Magazine picked the song as a “Rap Song of the Week” in mid-January and the song’s been making the rounds while we wait for Zuzuka’s new music coming with Nego Mozambique and others.

ZuzukaBaileCrunkSpin2014Zuzuka will be playing Lido Pimienta’s Bridges Series in Toronto on February 20th, SXSW in Austin, TX and in Brooklyn in March for a big show, so keep an eye open on Twitter: @ZuzukaPoderosa and Facebook:


#RakaLove: Yo sí soy raka in Chicago!
02/12/2014, 9:58 am
Filed under: artist news, innerviews, los rakas

From Los Rakas: “Lee el artículo de Beat Latino escrito por Catalina Maria Johnson en nuestra gira llega a #Chicago este sábado 15 de febrero #rakanoticias #rakanews #soyraka | Beat Latino: Yo sí soy raka [READ IT]”

Los Rakas hit the midwest this week and finish up the #ColdestZoneTour with DJ Ethos, supporting Samoan/Californian reggae artist J. Boog on March 1st in San Francisco. Full dates:

In the interview, Raka Dun talks about Spring’s double disc album, El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo“: “Lo de él es como una película, lo mío es como un documental. Y cuando nos juntamos, es una cinematografía total” | Translation: “Raka Rich’s side is like a movie, and my side is like a documentary.”

Visit: for all the latest and click on the article below to read the full piece! #SoyRaka


[conrazón news] circles 2013 rappin UP!
01/08/2014, 5:11 pm
Filed under: nocategory

It’s been a minute since I’ve sent one of my email blast recaps. Can’t tell you how much it touches me when someone tells me they dig the voice in these letters. It’s all from the heart, all this work, which is evolving and I’m working to articulate. We are in transitional times with digital rebels [both behind the screen and AFK: away from keyboard] everywhere redefining the idea of “work” and asserting their voices to rebalance the whole shit. But I finally gave it a try to try to describe what I’m doing and the aim:

Creating Platforms, Bridges & Translations: Worldwild Digital Era Global Pop Culture & Arts.

So, then: What is this newsletter about & why is it so damn long?
It’s a remix. A recap of the work I’m doing on the artist development side but also – to borrow from Jason Hirschorn – I am DJing the internet but from my urban/mutant/transnational/digital/global/poderosa/kid-of-immigrant view as a Loca [with a capital L, feel me?] in the biz of culture. You can just peep my work, scroll thru casually or you can dig deeper into the links I provide and music I’m feeling – UP TO YOU!

Oh yeah, Remezcla asked some folks on the scene like Bodega Bamz and Bocafloja about their “Best of 2013” — peep my picks by clicking on my mouth!


[Los Rakas] | @LosRakas on Twitter
The guys celebrated their 7th Anniversary in November [fotos by Raka Pitufo]…I had a chance to witness the sold out show in Oakland with my own eyes. 65% women, diverse on all sides [generational, ethnic], and most important? The show was lit and the guys did an amazing job with 3 different DJs. A Raka is a rebel. December was major for Raka Rich & Raka Dun, returning home to Panama after 12 years to a warm welcome with great coverage in major nationwide papers like El Siglo and TV interviews like national Panamanian TV show, La Cascara. The guys also played the “I Love Hip Hop” festival in Mexico City [fotos by Raka Pitufo] and hosted a Meet & Greet in the city. Check out a playlist they made for Mexican indie music blog, After rocking with Mos Def this past weekend and preparing for a big New Year’s Eve show with reggae artist J Boog, the guys will unleash music in a major way this Spring and tour nationally as well [tour dates here].


Zuzuka Poderosa | @ZuzukaPoderosa on Twitter
This post – #Psicodelia Europe: The Party Catch A Fire in the Ghetto! – recaps Zuzuka & Nego Mozambique’s Scandinavian & Spain November tour. The duo has lots of music up their sleeve for 2014. Their past collabs resulted in some of my favorite songs from Zuzuka – ‘Psicodelia’ {Nego Mozambique Remix} and Celular– which was featured in the CBS show ‘Elementary’ earlier this month. Zuzuka was also featured on Brazilian national TV last month alongside huge Brazilian Popstar, Gaby Amarantos for the show Gaby Gringa’ and also spoke about being a Brazilian out in the diaspora for O Globo’s ‘Planeta Brasil. Check out Zuzuka’s Soundcloud for her 2013 singles [like another fav and global feminista anthem, “Goodah” featuring Gnucci Banana & Jasmine Solano] and her Carioca Bass EP with Kush

[La Mecanica Popular] | @LaMecanicaSalsa on Twitter
Connecting the roots, rhythms & future possibilities of tropical music, psychedelic salsa group La Mecanica Popular released their full length, self-titled debut last month on Brooklyn label, Names You Can Trust. Cop the GORGEOUS vinyl or get it on iTunes. The Washington Post called it “an enchanting album,” plus it’s made some great end-of-year lists (like Remezcla‘s) and the group performed on KEXP for a live session earlier this month [hear it here]. They have fans like Juanes, Bobbito Garcia, Gilles Peterson and Quantic.  If you’re in NYC, don’t miss the band live during APAP on January 11th at Drom for the Electric Cowbell & Barbes Showcase.



[How To Tackle The New Thing]
[35 & Single]
[Why 2013 Was A Terrible Year For Women In Hip-Hop]
[Don’t Forget Staten Island]
[Surviving Anxiety]
[Jerry Saltz on Kim, Kanye and “The New Uncanny”]
[Pussy Riot Freed From Russian Prison]
[Quesada, Sera]
[I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside The Justice System]
[In Queens to “clash,” Japanese dancehall kings Mighty Crown talk old-school Brooklyn and dub plates]
[Drone Art: Death on A Canvas]
[Yoga Poses Done By Starwars Characters]
[Can Feminist Hashtags Dismantle The State?]
[Sexual Energy & Creative Genius]
[Transgender Day of Remembrance]
[MIA & The Challenge of Marketable Diasporadic Trap Music]
[Esperanza Spaulding: Guantanamo Doesn’t Represent Our America]
[How Ayahuasca Can Revolutionize Psychotherapy]
[ Afro-Latin@ Perspectives]
[Michael Bloomberg Takes The Train To Nowhere]
[Defending The Partygirl Life]
[Beyonce Broke The Music Business]
[Bob Lefsetz on Beyonce’s Album]
[Loving Beyonce As a Black Woman]
[Toni Morrison & Junot Diaz Speak on Race & Writing for 2 Hours]
[Bell Hooks & Melissa Harris-Perry at The New School]
[Bell Hooks Digging Deeper on “Lean In”]


Especial de Wu-Tang [listen]
Oye Mi Canto – Sol Galeano [listen]
Still – Rocky Rivera [listen]
Songs In The Key of Chos – Norvis Jr [listen]
Se Que Me Olvidaste (Alt Version) – La Mecanica Popular [listen]
Thank You Very Much – Rapsody [listen] [whole mixtape is fire]
The Warm Up ft. Fashawn – Blitz the Ambassador [listen]
I Want You – The Rising Sun Allstars [listen]
South of Nowhere – Spanish Gold [listen]
Ritmo Uni – Eddie Palmieri & Cal Tjader [listen]
Givin’ Em What They Love ft Prince – Janelle Monae [listen]
Hot – Los Rakas [listen]
Lovely Day – Vic Mensa [listen]
Get On The Floor – Rebel Diaz [listen]
The World Is Softly Lulls – Hiatus Kayote [listen]
Beats & Thangs – Benamin [listen]
El Jugo – Maku Soundsystem [listen]
Somos Mujeres Somos Hip-Hop [listen]
Celia – iZem [listen]
Chico Sonido – Nalga Bass [listen]
Munchi & Isa GT – Isa Te Dijo [listen]
Mima y DJ Nature – La Vieja Voladora [listen]


Photo Credit: Wills