Let pop culture tell it, and J Balvin, a white Colombian superstar, is a reggaeton king.
In an era bent on flipping the original narrative of the Spanish-language genre — traced back to Panamanian reggae and, even further, to Jamaican dancehall — Dominican singer-songwriter Amara La Negra joins Panamanian duo Los Rakas in “Devorame,” a newly released audiovisual that, for once, centers an all-Black cadre of recording artists.
“Working with Los Rakas was a great experience. I really wanted to do it because I admire them,” La Negra tells BET over the phone. “I wanted to also collaborate with them specifically because they represent the Afro-Latino community coming from Panama.”
A product of Oakland’s youth centers, Los Rakas are a Grammy-nominated pair having performed their seamless Spanish and English spoken rhymes on stages around the world. For Amara, the collaboration seemed like the perfect opportunity to show and prove.
“I don’t want to just preach and not do,” she says. “I am doing by making sure I collaborate with other Black Latinos as well. I love [Los Rakas’] music, I love what they stand for, I love their vibes — they are doing a great job.
"Making reggaeton with my community, I feel that we made what reggaeton is. The versatility of culture in the Latino community has influenced all the different sounds and flavors that make reggaeton what it is.”
The video component of the trio’s newest single is set in Miami and finds each wielding red-hot sweet nothings to attract the attention of a certain lover. Watch it today:
(Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)