Apr 25, 2014
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Posts tagged: Panama

Wild Caribbean: The Caribbean’s Most Unusual Animals

Words by and Marcha M. Johnson, Jesse Serwer and Natalie Weiner—


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Top Honors: Mariano Rivera Does Panama Proud

Words by Jesse Serwer—


With the regular season of Major League Baseball coming to an end, we just had to LargeUp the greatest closer in baseball history, Mariano Rivera, as he heads into retirement following 18 impeccable, history-making seasons with the New York Yankees.

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CONTEST: Walshy Fire Wants Your Senegalese Dancehall Rhythms

Words by Jesse Serwer—


You might take our friend Walshy Fire for a party-all-the-time kinda guy but the Major Lazer frontman, sound killer and occasional LargeUp contributor likes nothing more than to unwind and challenge his mind with some PBS. We know FOR A FACT his favorite TV show is Que Pasa, USA. (Hola, Miami.) So we know he was gassed when PBS’ online series Beat Making Lab tapped him to play judge and jury for its latest contest, encouraging folks to make a dancehall riddim from a sample of a kora, a traditional, 21-string harp from West Africa commonly used in Senegalese music.

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Ground Provisions: Jamaican and Panamanian Food Meet in Vermont?

Words by Jesse Serwer, Photo by Matthew Thorsen—

Cool Runnings Vermont

If you’re going to open a Jamaican spot in an area best known for winter sports and ski slopes, you’ve got to call it Cool Runnings, right? That’s just obvious. But what’s not typical or obvious is what’s happened at Negril native Leroy Headley’s Burlington, Vermont shop and restaurant since opening. Cool Runnings is the site of a rather unlikely— but practical— fusion now that Panamanian Mayllet Paz has joined Headley in the kitchen, adding dishes like Plátano en tentación to the menu.

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LargeUp Premiere: Los Rakas Rep JA + Oscar Grant with “Hablemos Del Amor”

Words by Jesse Serwer—


You might be asking yourself right now: Los Rakas rep JA? Ain’t they those Panamanian dudes from the Bay? Yes, but they’ve just hopped on the brand-new riddim called Rep JA, from the streetwear label (and LargeUp family) of the same name. Gyptian, Laza Morgan, RDX, Kardinal Offishall, Dre’ and the Kid Daytona have all voiced the riddim but the inclusion of Los Rakas struck us particularly notable. Not only are we longtime supporters of Los Rakas and their efforts to bridge reggae, Panamanian plena and hip-hop but we knew they’d come with something extra strong.

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Throwback Thursdays: Jam & Suppose’s “Camion Lleno de Gun”

Words by Wayne Marshall—

When reggae en español first got going in Panama in the early 80s, it was all about making cassettes for local bus drivers to lure customers to their diablos rojos, and rocking outdoor parties with roving soundsystems known as discos moviles. With the beginnings of professional recording and vinyl pressing/distribution in the mid-80s— and the emergence of Spanish reggae pioneer Renato—reggae artists singing in Spanish began making inroads into national radio and, eventually, to music videos on local television. Initially, and still today, national reggae hits tended toward romantic themes (Renato’s late 80s smash, “La Chica de los Ojos Cafe,” was the breakthrough in this regard), but occasionally a more gangsta dancehall jam worked its way past censors and other gatekeepers.


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