Cuban rap band Orishas's third album, El Kilo (The Dime), sounds way more refined than the reggaeton anthems being played on the East Coast, and it has the African soul that's missing from West Coast chicano rap. The trio's rather European phrasing -- they sound sooo French rapping in Spanish, maybe because of their seven-year residence in Paris -- and remarkable sound, thanks in part to French producer Niko Noki and Venezuelan alt-dance producer Andres Levin (Yerba Buena), give the album a consistently enjoyable feeling. Highlights include the single "Nací Orishas" ("I Was Born Orishas") and "Quien te Dijo?" ("Who Told You?") with Pitbull.

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Javier Andrade