Los Rakas--from 38th Notes.com
38th Notes is Oakland's music and culture hub--here' some of what we are watching and listening to this week.
California is a place where ingenuity has always thrived; where a rebellious frontier culture has never quite left; where we make dollars out of cents and bikes out of snack food packaging. Okay, so not everyone in California uses Oreo wrappers and Coke cans to customize their tricycles, but in Oakland, that's common practice for Baybe Champ and the Scraper Bike Team.
The pedaling squad of youth snaking down the avenues may seem random or even "gang"-like to the uninititated, but it's actually part of a positive and comprehensive lifestyle. In Scrapertown, one of several beautifully shot short documentaries in their California Is A Place series, film makers Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari examine the ins and outs of the scraper bike movement.
My love for Los Rakas is a strange one. I can't understand what the PanaBaynian duo saying in damn near any song, and yet I can't deny their talent. "Tu Gial Esta Ready" is the latest Spanglish slap from Dun Dun and Rich, and actually features more English than anything I've heard from them in a long time. Spit over the knockin beat of "Beamer, Benz or Bentley," they go in about girls and automobiles, or at least that's my gringo hypothesis.
They also just released a video for "Soy Raka," which could just as easily be called "Turfin." The Turf Fiendz show up to gig, tut and flex as Rich and Dun Dun cruise Oakland from the 70s to the 30s. It's shot by Yak Films as a day-in-the-life migration through The Town, although they may have arranged for a few extra dancers to hold down some street corners.
Don't forget to check the video to Nova Boy's latest single "Regular" featuring Jo'son Johnson.
Our local blogger compatriots over at Warriors World have graced us with another great interview, this time with R&Bay sensation R.O.D. 38thNotes hosted an exclusive interview with him awhile back, but this interview, with the always beautiful Lucena Herrera, is of better quality.
R.O.D. has been on the grind for 10+ years, dating back to his rapping days, and has finally achievedlocal "success." 38thNotes respects that grind and gives big props for the hustle and love that R.O.D. puts into his music. Stay tuned for his album The Many Contradictions of Love Vol.1 coming in late July.
The Free Downloads
Check how Los Rakas flipped the popular Beamer, Benz, or Bentley beat for "Tu Gial Esta Ready," and Ms. Netta Brielle's R&B Mix of The Jacka and Andre Nickatina's "Glamorous Lifestyle." We also have thespian and dope lyricist Daveed Diggs' newest track "Hear Me Coming," and the latest from 38thNotes regular Erk Tha Jerk, "Can't Stop Now." And the you can smooth things out with Jo'son Johnson's "Striptease" and Oakland rapper Cal Ripken's "Spose 2 B."