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With regard to Ta-

Nehisi Coates’ musical review of the Smokin’ Grooves Tour ’96 (Music, 8/9), I have but one question: Did you actually go to the show or did you come up with this review by projecting what you thought would happen?

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I went to Nissan Pavilion for the show and, judging from the review in Washington City Paper, I saw a completely different concert. While the review was on the mark for Busta Rhymes and Cypress Hill, both of whom put on very exciting and explosive sets, Coates fell quite short in his review of the Fugees and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. The Fugees’ set showed that some acts should best remain in the studio, as they were flat and rarely in the groove. On the other hand, Ziggy Marley put forth an admirable effort in the face of a crowd that clearly did not come to see him. The Melody Makers provided us with some great classic covers of their father, while thrilling and motivating the crowd with an array of tunes from their four latest albums.

Despite the fact that the whole evening endured through a poor sound system, I thought it was great that hiphop was allowed an avenue in which to showcase its talents. Coming from a self-avowed rap-hater, this should be proof that the Smokin’ Grooves Tour is a musical success and we should see more of the same in the summers ahead.

Hyattsville, Md.

via the Internet