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25

FRIDAY

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The resemblance between the phrasing of South African singer Lucky Dube and that of the late Peter Tosh is uncanny. In a world apparently starved for the roots-rebel sound of the Wailers, Dube’s Marleyesque lyrics, loping rasta riddims, and well-intentioned but derivative use of his vocal cords have made the entertainer the biggest-selling living reggae artist. On his eighth album, Taxman, Dube continues to echo the past when he somberly chants, “Do you wanna be a well-fed slave or a hungry free man.” Backed, of course, by crooners like the I-Threes, his appropriated methods prove affecting enough, but when he tries to irie up Foreigner’s ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is,” it’s time to beg Jah for mercy. With Mahala at 10 p.m. at the Crossroads, 4103 Baltimore Ave., Bladensburg. $20. (301) 927-1056. (Steve Kiviat)