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Los Rakas: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Apr 30 2014
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If you're going to listen to anyone about how broken the U.S. immigration system is, it may as well be Oakland duo Los Rakas. Cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun should know: They emigrated here from Panama, and, though they've risen quickly in the world of Spanish-language hip-hop and R&B, they haven't forgotten their roots. The first single off of El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo, their recent major-label debut album, is called "Sueño Americano," and it's a fierce meditation on the travails of leaving home for El Norte, and all the ways the journey can end in tears, or worse: "The rent is high, the law is bad — without papers, you're nothing," they sing. Not that Los Rakas are always so heavy: Their new album blends this smoldering indictment with romantic R&B and smooth, buoyant rap.

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Ian S. Port

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