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Who Mash Up Reggae? An Overview, May 5, 2010, Brooklyn

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Wednesday, May 5th is fast approaching and at 6:30pm at the historic Boys and Girls High School, 1700 Fulton Street, near Utica Avenue in Brooklyn the next installment of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music’s Community Conversation series will take place. The next series of forums will ask the question, “Who Mash Up Reggae?” and before any of you become unhinged, as some others have, please understand that we are not suggesting by any stretch of the imagination that Reggae Music is dead. Many of you know how in Jamaica, when we have a motor vehicle accident, we say the car mash-up even though it might be a fender bender and the engine is just fine, and then we go out and get the body work done and the car is “kriss” again. It seems that reggae music has been in a series of fender benders over the years and each time, the repair was not done and now, it mash-up but the engine still good and will always be good as long as we have talented and dedicated artists and musicians around.

However, we cannot repair the damage if we are in denial about the state of the music. This denial is perhaps the reason the fender benders of the past were not addressed and now the vehicle of our expression looks like a wreck. Our question is, “Who Mash Up Reggae?” and what must we do to repair the damage. We know there are many stakeholders and on May 5th, we begin with one that is the main link and in many instances, the filter that the music passes through to get to the consumer.

We are speaking about radio and like the music, the radio landscape has become very diverse over the past two decades ranging from the corporate media networks to low powered community radio, internet radio and underground stations, each with their own standards and rules.

One of our objectives at CPR, (Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music), is to raise the bar in the presentation of the music and radio is a big part of that. If our community is dissatisfied with the way in which the music is being presented on radio, then we must reach out to the decision makers and let them know how we feel.

On Wednesday, May 5th, we will hear from some of these decision makers and have an opportunity to let them know how we feel. We will also take this opportunity to get your input so we can develop a comprehensive community position, one that you can support when we approach these stations about the state of the music and repairing the damage. We ask that folks come out early and be attentive. We encourage you to have your pen and paper handy to write down your concerns. During the “Speak Out” segment of the forum, members of the community have one minute to say their piece. It is our intention to collect these concerns so they can be reflected in the white paper that will be produced. As a reminder, the CPR forum is a conversation in E major. E is for everybody but we must be civil in order to have a productive evening. That is why CPR conducts our conversation in 3 part harmony.

— Panel Discussion

— Commentators

— Speak Out – your questions for the panelists and commentators

We anticipate an exciting evening full of lively discussions with hopes of remedying this cancer which is poised to MASH UP and destroy reggae.

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Written by Staff Writer