BEST LOCAL REGGAE BAND (1999)
In small Caribbean and Central American towns, any music with a hint of hip hop gets the tag "reggae." In the Twin Cities, most of what locals call reggae is a kind of pop-rock so soft it could put Sting to sleep. But Dred I Dread adeptly follows the south-of-Mexico aesthetic, mixing deep dub riddims with hip-hop and ragga vocals. Fronted by dreadlocked singer-emcee Pee Wee, the ensemble has become a staple of the Red Sea club on the West Bank, mixing a larger dose of originals into their set of classic dance-hall covers. In a reggae scene ruled by talented middle-agers, it's good to see a young band bring a new audience to Jah's jaws.