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Real Reggae

May 11, 1997

Much of what Don Snowden considers "revitalized" reggae is nothing of the kind ("The New Toasts of Reggae," April 27).

While such artists as Luciano stay essentially true to the music's roots, Bounty Killer and those like him have about as much to do with reggae as Pat Boone does with heavy metal!

Whereas original Jamaican toasters like U Roy focused on such themes as repatriation and cultural identity, the look, sound and lyrical content of Bounty Killer et al clearly indicate the category to which they truly belong: rap.

Want to hear some vital reggae? Listen to Burning Spear, Israel Vibration, Culture, etc. You can call the current crop of Jamaican slackness-pushers anything you like, but to call them reggae is to call them something they're not.

TOM ORR

Santa Ana

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