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RAP OPPONENTS SLAP SPRINGSTEEN

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"The Boss," Bruce Springsteen, is getting reflected heat from 2 Live Crew's obscenity troubles.

Springsteen is reaping criticism for giving the rap group's leader permission to use the melody of his "Born in the U.S.A." for a number called "Banned in the U.S.A."Said one letter from Coral Gables, Fla., lawyer John Thompson, a leader in the fight against 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" album, "I would suggest `Raped in the U.S.A.' as your next album. Mr. Springsteen. You're now harmful to the women and children who have bought your albums."

The criticism doesn't faze Springsteen, says his agent, Jon Landau. "Bruce is completely aware of the fact that (2 Live Crew) has been the victim of selective prosecution," Landau told one reporter. "If the consequence of his granting permission proves to be helpful in supporting the right of free expression, Bruce is very happy to have played a part."