Excursions In Tropicalia with Rum & Coke: Vol. 4

A written companion to Radio Karibe Episode 24 by Kumi
Words by Jesús Rodríguez

Welcome back to our fourth excursion in tropicalia. If this is your first time traveling with us, welcome (check out the rest of the series here). If not, welcome back.

Rocking things for this new episode of Radio Karibe is Nicaragua’s champion, DJ Kumi. No special theme for this one, just a full hour of deep tropical goodness.

Let’s get to it…

Kumi’s Breakdown

I wanted to showcase a few of the songs I played for episode 24:

Salsa Suprema ‘Papa Upa’ (Venezuela)

‘Papa Upa’, a beautiful track by Salsa Suprema from the album En La Conquista Del Mundo Latino. Paying tribute to the great Larry Francia., this tune is a slow and groovy rabbit hole into Afro-Venezuelan popular music where the drums are king! My favorite joint on this amazing reissue on Musica Infinita / Olindo Records (INF003: Discomoda Salsa de Venezuela 1964-1977 | Various Artists | Olindo Records (bandcamp.com)). 

Itadi ‘Ibakubuele’ (Togo)

Afro-Soul to the absolute core! Recorded in 1977 by Itadi Bonney, this very dope rarity was formed by a four piece band led by Itadi. Recorded live in Ghana and remixed in Togo, this whole album is a very well done fused masterpiece of Funk, Jazz, and traditional Togolese rhythms. The message was political, calling for African unity against a dictatorship, which compelled Itadi to move to Washington DC. ‘Ibakubuele’ is one of my favorite tracks on the album because of its blend of Ghanaian High Life with hints of soul music, creating a fresh flowing and supremely danceable wave of melodies and rhythms, with funky keys layered with smooth vocals, sick drums, and harmonies to put a stamp on it. A pure gem released on Disques Aziza Records.

Los Yorks ‘Mi Mente En Ti’ (Peru)

Los York’s ‘Mi Mente en Ti’ is definitely my favorite song from this band. A melancholy, dreamy, Garage Rock banger out of Lima, Peru. I felt like this one just flowed perfectly with my mix in terms of music and placement. This joint is a bonus track from their final album ” Ritmo y Sentimiento” recorded on Virrey Records in 1969. Production wise for this album, the group would choose a dozen songs ranging from traditional to  the newer wave of music that was going on at the time, as well as politically charged music. Despite their relatively short career, the band was one of the most successful groups in Peru during the 60’s. Unfortunately in March 1971, just when the band was enjoying growing popularity, pressure from the military government of Juan Velasco Alvarado began to criticize the style of the band as ‘immoral,’ which led to their break up in 1974. 

Reality ‘Acapulco Gold’ (Curaçao, Surinam, & Aruba)

‘Acapulco Gold’ by Reality is an absolute scorcher of a joint and simply put, it’s on one of the sickest Soul/Funk/ Psych/ Latin fusion records ever made!! I’ll go that far!! This record screams Radio Karibe!!  With its searing organ, psych guitar soloing, congas, and timbales going off!! Just a huge tune from the beginning to the end. It is composed of eight musicians born in Surinam, Curaçao, and Aruba released in 1972 on Blue/Pink Elephant Records.”


  1. Salsa Suprema – Papa Upa  (Venezuela)
  2. Itadi – Ibakubuele  (Togo, West Africa)
  3. Los Yorks – Mi Mente en Ti  (Peru)
  4. Paulo Bagunça – Olhos Risonhos  (Brasil)
  5. Grupo Serenata – Sodade, Tem Pena D’Mim  (Cabo Verde)
  6. Poder Del Alma – Terciopelo  (Nicaragua)
  7. Reality – Acapulco Gold  (Curaçao, Surinam, & Aruba)
  8. Nelson y Sus Estrellas – Disparo Goajira  (Venezuela)
  9. Baron – Ruction in Town  (Trinidad & Tobago) 
  10. Tchico & Les Officiers of African Music – Au Revoir Adely  (Democratic Republic of The Congo)
  11. Axel Mouna – Kulutongo. (Cameroon)
  12. Piper Pimienta – Ataka. (Colombia)

About Kumi

A native son of Nicaragua, Kumi is one the most prolific and busiest DJ’s in the city of Miami. For the past two decades, he has earned the reputation of being a uniquely versatile DJ capable of curating euphoric musical journeys fusing genres such as soul, hip-hop, Afrobeat, funk, breaks, top 40 hits, Latin, house, dance classics, and more. 

Not only is he one of the original members of Rum & Coke, he is also co-founder of Brainville, considered by many to be the best jazz show in Southern Florida. 

Kumi’s encyclopedic knowledge of music has allowed him to set the stage for legends such as Anitta, Questlove, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Elijah Wood, DJ Yella (from NWA), Peanutbutter Wolf, Madlib, J-Rocc, Maseo (from De La Soul), Quantic, Ondatropica, and Kid Capri. You can find him moving crowds every week all over Miami.

About Radio Karibe

Radio Karibe is the deep listening side of the Rum & Coke spectrum. Whereas you’re used to listening to all this mesmerizing music to dance to in our parties, Radio Karibe is more about exploration (although you can be certain there will be some dance floor heat), something to really vibe to.

Each month, one of the members of the crew will captain an episode.

About Rum & Coke

To learn more about Rum & Coke, you can check out the interview we did for Tigre Sounds here.

Every fourth Sunday, Rum & Coke currently host their monthly residency at Dante’s HiFi, the world renowned listening bar in Wynwood, Miami. 

Catch the Rum & Coke crew opening up for Daymé Arocena this upcoming May 18th at the Citadel.