R.K.M & Ken-Y

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R.K.M & Ken-Y
Also known as El Duo Romantico, Rakim & Ken-Y, Los Magnificos, Los Reyes De Mambo
Origin Gurabo, Puerto Rico
Genres
Years active 2003–2013, 2017–present[1]
Labels
Members
  • José Nieves (R.K.M.)
  • Kenny Vázquez (Ken-Y)

RKM & Ken-Y, is a reggaeton duo formed in 2003 by José Nieves (RKM) and Kenny Vázquez (Ken-Y). The artists are renowned in the Latin music world for being the first to successfully fuse mainstream pop music with the reggaeton street rhythms of Puerto Rico and expose the style to a wide international audience. The sound introduced by RKM and Ken-Y would go on to inspire the pop reggaeton songs of successful acts such as CNCO, J Balvin and Maluma. The duo had a very successful career with the spanish speaking audience of Latin America, The United States and Spain until their separation in 2013. In June 2017, the duo announced their official return by Pina Records.

Early career[edit]

Rakim & Ken-Y hail both from Gurabo, Puerto Rico, Ken-Y was born on September 7, 1986 and have turned into one of the most recognized duos in Reggaeton. The duo started their music career in high school. R.K.M (formerly known as "Rakim" but changed to avoid confusion with the established hip-hop artist Rakim) was inspired by the explosion of reggaeton music in the 1990s. He encouraged Ken-Y to join him to form a duo; they performed at 15th birthday parties (quinceañeras) and public events.[2]

In 2002 both artists were discovered by veteran reggaeton producer and former artist Q Mack Daddy (whom also discovered Magnate y Valentino and worked for Hector El Father's Gold Star Music record label). Q Mac gave the duo their first big break in Puerto Rico on the fourth volume of his famous compilation series "The Warriors". After debuting with "Una Noche Mas" from Q Mac's album "The Warriors 4: Los 14 Guerreros",[3] the song was a local hit in Puerto Rican radio and caught the attention of many record producers as most people noticed the duo's similarity to popular reggaeton artists Zion y Lennox. After working with DJ Negro on The Noise Live: Asi Comienza El Ruido and Mr. Notty (Money Machine) for the compilation "Ban-2 Korrupto", the success of these songs drove a bidding war between Puerto Rican labels to sign them. Ultimately, the duo chose to sign with Pina Records in early 2004 making their first appearance in the greatest hits various artists album "Pina All-Stars 2" which included 3 new songs from RKM y Ken-Y to introduce the duo to a wider audience.[4]

After being featured on reggaeton records with veteran labelmate Polaco, the duo received their first big break on an international scale in 2005 by working with the renowned artists Don Omar and Nicky Jam. RKM y Ken-Y recorded the collaboration "Si La Vez" with Don Omar from his various artists album "Los Bandoleros" executively produced by Omar.Nicky Jam gave them a chance to make an appearance on his album, Vida Escante. They were featured on "Pasado" and "Me Estoy Muriendo". These songs were very popular within the reggaeton community. The duo's contribution to the Don Omar album, helped mold the group into a more mainstream attraction. Soon afterwards Chencho (from reggaeton duo Plan B) gave RKM y Ken-Y the opportunity to appear on his various artists album "El Draft" co-executively produced with Boy Wonder (Chosen Few Entertainment). 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 entitled "El Draft" del reggaeton which provided up and coming artists a shot at recognition. Fans were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists and Rakim y Ken-Y won the competition which made their song into the album's lead single. "Tu No Estas" from "El Draft Del Reggaeton" became RKM y Ken-Y's first song to chart in the United States.[5] This newfound exposure built up anticipation for their debut album, "Masterpiece: Nuestra Obra Maestra" distributed by Universal Latino in partnership with Pina Records.[6][7]

International success[edit]

In 2006, R.K.M & Ken-Y's debut album "Masterpiece: Nuestra Obra Maestra" was released, debuting at #2 in the Latin Billboards, behind only Marc Anthony's "Sigo siendo yo." Their single "Down" debuted at #1.. On August 18, the duo had their first concert in a sold-out Choliseo. Currently, they are working on a Pina Records compilation album titled "Los Magnificos." The album was nominated for Premio Lo Nuestro of 2007.[8] Their first hit single was "Down", reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 2006 and would win Best Reggaeton Song at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.[9] Four other singles were released from the album, as well as music videos. The album went double latin platinum in the United States and sold about 600,000 copies worldwide.[8][10] The duo had many successful tours across the world for various years after The Masterpiece including headlining the world renowned Viña Del Mar festival in Chile.[11][12] They have released the songs performed on tour on an album entitled Masterpiece: World Tour (Sold Out). They have also released a special edition version of the album entitled Masterpiece Commemorative Edition.

Their 2nd studio album, The Royalty La Realeza, was released on September 9, 2008.

The first single released from the album was "Mis Días Sin Ti". Raphy Pina announced the return of R.K.M & Ken-Y February 15, 2008. The date was actually a concert they held in the Choliseo in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The concert's headline was "Romantic en el Choliseo". Reggaeton artists like Wisin & Yandel, Tito "El Bambino", Nicky Jam, Rene Moz and Arcangel were present. Other artists like N'Klabe and Karis were also present.

And three years later they released their final studio album "Forever" on February 14, 2011, Two singles were released from the album, And have features in this album Zion & Lennox, Alexis & Fido and Arthur Hanlon.

On 2012 released Cuando Te Enamores which became part of the most popular album of 2013 La Formula featuring Plan B, Zion & Lennox, Arcangel, Lobo and more. Which was the last work of R.K.M & Ken-Y before returning as a Duo on mid 2017.

Since their first album, R.K.M & Ken-Y have appeared and guest starred on many songs. They have worked with artists such as Cruzito, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, José Feliciano, Pitbull, Héctor "El Father", David Bisbal, Ivy Queen, Chino & Nacho, Hector Acosta "El Torito, Plan B, Tony Dize and Zion & Lennox.

Separation[edit]

On April 10, 2013, the producer Raphy Pina announced that the duo would separate but they continued with their scheduled performances and appearances. Both artists took this decision with each focusing on future solo projects.[13][14][15]

R.K.M's album will be called "Diferente" (which was supposed to be released in 2017 due to the Duo getting back), and Ken-Y's "The King of Romance" (which was released on January 22, 2016). R.K.M will continue with rapping although he begun singing to make things, as his album states, different. Ken-Y will continue with his romantic style of singing.

Both artists left their long time co workers from Pina Records after their contract expired, but returned to the company since it is where they are most familiar with.

2017-Present The Return of The Duo & Upcoming Album[edit]

On June 23, 2017 and after 4 years of separation R.K.M & Ken-Y return with the perfect formula to conquer their seat. Under the command of its creator Raphy Pina the duo announces their return ready to fall back on the world with their unique style. The duo starts their union with the remix of success played by Arcángel & De La Ghetto's songs Más Que Ayer.[16][1]

On February 9, 2018 Pina Records announced and released the new single Tonta Featuring Natti Natasha which got 1 Million views in one day, the song was been successful its the first time RKM & Ken-Y reached to 100 million views as a Duo.

On June 15, 2018 the Duo featured on the Hit Song Zum Zum along with Daddy Yankee & Arcangel which got Millions of Views on YouTube less than a week.

Style[edit]

R.K.M provides rapping verses for many songs while Ken-Y provides the vocal lyrics. R.K.M tends to have fast, upbeat verses while Ken-Y sings many hooks.[citation needed]

Ken-Y does most of the singing within their songs while R.K.M only gets a few seconds to rap.[citation needed]

Later on R.K.M started singing small parts or Soft Rapping, but Ken-Y still did most of the singing, and R.K.M most of the rapping, R.K.M started to have slower rapping verses in the album Forever. R.K.M will do some slow verses on their upcoming songs.

Personal Lives[edit]

On January 16, 2009, R.K.M married Lizbert Cruz in Caguas, Puerto Rico.[citation needed] R.K.M has two boys and Ken-Y remains unmarried but has two girls and one boy.[citation needed]They continue to reside in Puerto Rico.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation/live albums[edit]

Solo Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Down"
  • "Me Matas"
  • "Dame Lo Que Quiero"
  • "Igual Que Ayer"
  • "Down (Remix)" (featuring Hector "El Father")
  • "Oh Oh, ¿Porqué Te Están Velando?"
  • "Llorarás"
  • "Mis Días Sin Ti"
  • "Te Regalo Amores"
  • "Tuve Un Sueno" (featuring Plan B)
  • "Vicio Del Pecado"
  • "Quiero Un Pueblo Que Cante" (featuring Plan B, Cruzito & Tony Dize)
  • "Te Ame En Mis Suenos"
  • "Por Amor A Ti"
  • "Más"
  • "Mi Corazón Esta Muerto"
  • "Cuando Te Enamores"
  • "Princesa" (Ken-Y only)
  • "Donde Estas" (RKM Only)
  • "Navegar En Mis Recuerdos" (Ken-Y only)
  • "Quedate Junto A Mi"
  • "Regalo De Quinceanera" (Ken-Y only)
  • "Prefiero Morir" (Ken-Y only)
  • "A Ella Le Gusta El Dembow" (featuring Zion & Lennox)
  • "Tonta" (Featuring Natti Natasha)

Collaborations[edit]

Year Song Featured artist(s)
2004 "Pasado" Nicky Jam feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"Me Estoy Muriendo"
"Si La Ves" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Don Omar
2005 "Ando Solo" Polaco feat. Ken-Y
2006 "La Noche Más Triste" Lito & Polaco feat. Ken-Y
"Tengo Un Amor (Remix)" Toby Love feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
2007 "Quizás (Remix)" Tony Dize feat. Ken-Y
"En Que Fallamos (Remix)" Ivy Queen feat. Ken-Y
"Fans" Tito "El Bambino" feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"¿Quién Me Iba A Decir? (Remix)" David Bisbal feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"Si Ya No Estás" N'Klabe feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"La Amas Como Yo" Karis feat. Ken-Y
"Mar y Cielo" José Feliciano feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"Gas Pela" Nicky Jam feat. R.K.M
"Ton Ton Ton" Nicky Jam feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"Quédate Con Él" Nicky Jam feat. Ken-Y and Cruzito
2008 "Quién Dijo Amigos (Remix)" Ana Isabelle feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"Vicio del Pecado" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Héctor Acosta "El Torito"
"Te Regalo Amores (Remix)" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Ivy Queen
2009 "Te Amo (Remix)" Makano feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"El Perdedor (Remix)" Aventura feat. Ken-Y
"Tu Primera Vez" Héctor Acosta "El Torito" feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"No Hay Nadie Mas" Nicky Jam feat. R.K.M
"El Culpable Soy Yo (Remix)" Cristian Castro feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"One In A Million" Ken-Y feat. Cruzito
2009 "Se Apagó La Llama" Chino & Nacho feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"Mi Amor Es Pobre" Tony Dize feat. Arcángel and Ken-Y
2010 "Mi Delirio (Remix)" Anahí feat. Ken-Y
"El Doctorado (Remix)" Tony Dize feat. Ken-Y and Don Omar
"Lloras" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Plan B
"Déjame Entrar" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Marcos Yaroide
2011 "Bésame (Remix)" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. feat. Nova & Jory
"Tus Recuerdos Son Mi Dios" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Pipe Calderón
"No Vuelvas (Remix)" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Zion & Lennox
"Solo Pienso En Ti (Remix)" Jerry Rivera feat. Ken-Y
"Pienso en Ti (Remix)" Eloy feat. R.K.M & Ken-Y
"3 Pa' 3" R.K.M feat. Maldy and Lennox
2012 "Diosa de los Corazones" La Formula: R.K.M & Ken-Y, Zion & Lennox, Arcángel and Lobo
"More" Zion feat. Jory and Ken-Y
"La Fórmula Perfecta" Ken-Y feat. Arcángel & De La Ghetto
"Pasarla Bien" R.K.M feat. Lobo and Jalil
"La Fórmula Sigue" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. Arcángel, Plan B and Zion & Lennox
"Cuando Te Enamores" R.K.M & Ken-Y feat. J Álvarez
2013 "Llégale Ya" Erick J feat. Ken-Y
"Ella Me Pide Calor" R.K.M feat. Ñengo Flow
"Princesa (Remix)" Ken-Y feat.Jerry Rivera
"No Vuelvo" Victor Manuelle feat.Ken-Y

References[edit]