Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop

Los Rakas

When: Fri., Nov. 25, 9 p.m. 2011

That suggestive bilingual remix of GoapeleÕs ÒPlayÓ is only a small hint at what Panamanian hip-hop duo Los Rakas can do. Emcees Rico and Dun Dun hail from Veranillo and Panama Viejo, respectively Ñ cities that they compare to North Richmond and East Oakland (where they eventually wound up after immigrating to the US). In other words, they both came up in the barrio, listened to a ton of Caribbean dancehall, studied folkloric music at the behest of their aunties, and ultimately kept it gully. Their group, which also includes Cuban DJ Leydis, is one of several vibrant, polyglot hip-hop acts to emerge in the Bay Area. They incorporate dancehall tracks and son clave rhythms with lyrics that veer from Spanish to English. Even if you arenÕt bilingual, the libretti usually arenÕt hard to understand. Eres como mi droga: Cocaina! Rico chants in the song ÒAbrazame,Ó which filches its beat from reggae-pop artist Gyptian. English speakers, take note: ThatÕs a great pickup line. Los Rakas perform at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Friday, Nov. 25. 9 p.m., $10-$15.

Rachel Swan

Price: $10, $15

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