Welcome to Tings an’ Times. For my first post, I’d like to direct your attention to the band Los Rakas. Like the goal of this blog, the music of Los Rakas bridges the cultures and stories of the Caribbean and the US.
It’s made up of two Panamanian cousins who moved to Oakland, where they began learning musical production. Among other topics, they have rapped about the US Invasion of Panama, which they witnessed when they were young boys in Panama City. By the way, that was eighteen years ago last week. Manuel Noriega is serving time in Miami for drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. He’s now 71, but the governments of France and Panama still want to have their own day in court with the former military dictator to try him on trafficking and human rights abuse charges, respectively. To hear an account of the invasion from two boys who were there, check out my report for The World.