Los Rakas Premiere New Video for 'Y.L.S.': Watch
Bilingual hip-hop group Los Rakas’ has a new video for their song “Y.L.S.,” and Billboard premieres the visual today (April 25).
The track follows the Grammy-nominated group’s latest offering Raka Love 2 from earlier this year and is available exclusively on Apple Music. The duo -- Raka Rich and Raka Dun -- talked to Billboard about the carefree meaning behind the song and share the story behind its wild video.
Your band name has a cool story behind it. Can you share why you chose it?
Raka Rich: We decided to call ourselves Los Rakas to inspire other people to be proud of who they are. A "raka" is a person who never quits. The word came from the barrios of Panama, where they called the poor people "raka." Our message is to never forget where you come from.
Raka Dun: To me a "raka" is a person that doesn't let their past dictate their future. Just because we come from nothing doesn't mean that we can't become something great in life.
What would you consider the biggest difference between the two of your musical tastes?
Raka Dun: I feel like our music taste is pretty much the same: reggae, salsa, R&B, rock, and dancehall. The only difference is, in my teens I grew up listening to East Coast rap.
What are some current artists who inspire you?
Raka Rich: E-40 because he creates original slang words and he's different. He's in his own lane. He's an independent mogul who I aspire to be like. He's been in the game for hella long and stays relevant.
You have worked with several notable artists, including Diplo and Blondie. If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Raka Rich: I would collab with Selena because her music was great. She was real and we come from the same background. I think we would make great music because we have so much in common. She was a versatile artist, just like me.
Raka Dun: I’d like to work with Buju Banton, Bob Marley, Sade, and Missy Elliott.
What’s the most exciting part of being bilingual musicians?
Raka Dun: It’s cool that our music can reach different cultures all over the world.
What is the inspiration behind the song “Y.L.S.”?
Raka Rich: The inspiration behind this song is our other home, Oakland. We want to bring light to our city -- show you where we from and how we get down. Y.L.S. -- which stands for “ya lo se” -- is a new Raka slang which means "I already know."
Raka Dun: This is an anthem to keep people motivated and believing in themselves. Especially in those moments when you might be doubting your talent or your art. Sometimes you have to step back and say, “I didn't make it this far to lose. I'm going to win.” So next time you start to feel the pressure, put on “Y.L.S."
Did anything crazy happen on the set of the music video?
Raka Dun: We filmed most of the video at Raka Party #9 in celebration of Raka Rich's birthday. Whenever we throw a party, the whole vibe is crazy. The crowd is normally about 70 percent women and they all come ready to dance and have a good time. My favorite scenes are always the one's that are not planned out. We had the bikers, the homies in front of the liquor store, and girls dancing on the cars. These are my favorite because they give you a taste of the culture in Oakland.
Watch the video for "Y.L.S." below: