Rakim y Ken Y
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Jose Nieves (Rakim) and Kenny Vázquez (Ken-Y), both from Gurabo, Puerto Rico,adding back to what were talking about ,with only 2 years of experience, have turned into one of the most important duos in Reggaeton, far surpassing their competetition. By the time they debuted in the compilation album "Warriors 4" most of the established duos in Puerto Rico were starting to break up (such as Héctor y Tito, Baby Rasta y Gringo and Karel y Voltio for example).Read More...
Their debut song was not a big hit but they were quickly compared to the more famous Zion y Lennox, refering to the way that one of them has a nice singing voice (Ken-y, Zion) and the other one raps (Rakim, Lennox).
Their first label was The Money Machine which was owned by veteran Notty Play. That year they also appeared on Ban2 Korrupto which was released by their label. They kept making more appearances like on "The Noise Live" but were still practically unknown.
They decided to release a mixtape to the streets and Internet called "Los Reyes del Mambo". This mixtape, produced completely by Ken-Y (who not only sings but also DJ's), caught the eye of Nicky Jam, who showed it to Raphy Pina, the owner of the infamous Pina Records label, which was up until now known as the War label, since most of their artists (such as Lito y Polaco and Nicky Jam himself) were famous for their beefs with artists from other labels.
Raphy liked the mixtape so much that he wanted the rookie duo in his label, so, after their contract with Money Machine was over, he convinced them to sign with Pina.
Their first appearance with the label was in the compilation album "Pina All - Stars 2", which was a compilation of many hit songs released by Pina Records. Raphy used this cd to release some new songs by Rakim y Ken-Y to the public.
Around this time, the awaited Nicky Jam album "Vida Escante" came out. On it they had a song in which Nicky Jam introduced them as the new members of Pina Records. This song of course, was "Me Estoy Muriendo". While not common on other labels, it is not uncommon in Pina Records for an artist to "present" the rookies. They also had a song with Nicky Jam called "Pasado", which originally came out in their mixtape but Nicky liked it so much he wanted a version with him for his cd.
Both this songs had videos which gave them great exposure to people who had not seen what they looked like before.
Fans realized that they were unlike most other duos in Reggaeton, being that they did not use curse words in their songs and they composed romantic music compared to the dancing music the others make.
Don Omar, a former member of Pina Records who was now arguably one of the most famous people in the genre, was about to release a cd called "Los Bandoleros", which was a cd executive produced by him (NOT MUSICALLY PRODUCED) to help his friends gain more exposure. He invited all his former label mates from Pina Records to the cd: Lito, Nicky Jam, Polaco and Rakim y Ken-Y, among others.
He was impressed by Ken-Y's singing voice and wanted to have a song with them. The song, called "Si la Vez", was what definitely turned Rakim y Ken-Y into a mainstream duo. This was the biggest hit from the cd although it was not released as a single. It is considered one of the reggaeton genre greatests songs.
This gave them the most exposure they had never received and were soon becoming more and more popular while Zion y Lennox were starting to crumble.
Boy Wonder, producer of the cd/dvd Chosen Few El Documental and Chencho, of the popular but controversial duo Plan B, were producing a cd called "El Draft" del reggaeton which was made to give rookies a chance to shine. Fans were given the chance to vote for their favorite rookie and Rakim y Ken-Y won by a landslide beating many others reggaeton singers, even some that had released albums and very well known stars like John Eric, Jomar, Kartier, among others.
Their song "Tu No Estás" from El Draft was chosen as the single and the video for it shows Rakim y Ken-Y arriving to New York for El Draft with Raphy Pina.
Rakim, who is 27 years old and Ken-Y, who is 21, were now one of, if not the most, famous duo in Puerto Rico and fans were delighted when Raphy Pina announced that Masterpiece, their upcoming album, would soon be released. However, things took a bad turn though when someone broke in the Pina Records studio and destroyed everything.
All the work they had put on the cd was lost. Instead of moping around however, they quickly resumed work right away at a rented studio but the release date had to be pushed back, which conveniently ended up being Valentine's Day.
Finally, after much anticipation and hard work, Masterpiece was released. Masterpiece is debuted #3 in the Latin Billboards, behind only Marc Anthony's "Sigo siendo yo."
The song "Down" however, debuted at #1. The album sold extremely well, much better than anyone could have imagined and featured Nicky Jam, Polaco, La India, and Cruzito and Carlito's Way, two newcomers to Pina.
On August 18, they had their first concert in Puerto Rico, at the Choliseo. It was practically sold out, and although being deemed too short, receiwed great reviews.
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