Critics and Reggae

After reading in several articles and on numerous blogs the issue of race and identity are being highly debated. At the center of the controversy is Matisyahu, the Jewish reggae anomaly. Because both himself and his band members are all white, his critics are questioning his right as a Reggae artiste and his authenticity. However, criticism from the reggae community regarding his race or culture his yet to be seen. Most of the critics are either Black Americans or people from his community/fellow Jews, most of whom has nothing to do with reggae. In an article in the New York Times written by music critic Kelefa Sanneh, Matisyahu is a "cheap substitute for the real deal."
Another phenomenon which I have noticed is the use of the title Reggae. Whenever there is a successful artist or album the term is avoided, instead rapper, rock, hip-hop or another foreign term is used. Currently, Reggae music is one of the must distictive musical form. Wherever it is played the difference is quite noticeable. It is full time reggae and Jamaicans get credit for our talent and our creation, for too long we have been denied the right.


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