Go-Go Is Now The Official Music Of The City After Failed Attempts To Silence The Culture
The volume knobs are "busting loose" from gentrifiers.
February 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Mayor Muriel Bowser publicly signed legislation on Wednesday at the Culture House DC declaring go-go as the official music of the District of Columbia.
"When I say 'go-go', you say 'Is D.C.,'" Bowser said as she led celebratory chants with the crowd.
Go-Go is DC and DC is Go-Go! Yesterday, Washingtonians from across the District joined me as we made Go-Go music the official sound of DC. I'm #DCproud to celebrate the tremendous impact Go-Go has had in our community. #DCvalues pic.twitter.com/5RPHTglUNF— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 20, 2020
The bill, named Go-Go Official Music of the District of Columbia Designation Act of 2019, highlights the glowing history of go-go and the value of its preservation and describes the sounds as "a fusion of musical forms, drawing inspiration from funk, blues, soul, and salsa, blending them seamlessly with its syncopated polyrhythms and multiple percussion instruments."
The newly signed bill also requires the mayor to "design and implement a program to support and preserve, including through marketing, and archive Go-Go music and documents relating to Go-Go music and it's history."
The pre-scheduled signing brought out hundreds of attendees and included a concert with DJ Supa Dan and the Backyard Band.
Twitter users were beyond thrilled by the historic day.
Still in disbelief that I met Sugar Bear today, I love my job. Monumental day for everyone who loves Go-Go, especially during Black History Month. For folks born & raised in DC—I’m talking Chocolate City; this is a huge reminder that you can’t mute Black culture in DC #dontmuteDC pic.twitter.com/z6veiWG1jt— Landon Laven Jones (@Landon2814) February 19, 2020
I thought they were dancing to the gospel😂😂but its go-go music pic.twitter.com/oIAwnvx1Dl— Anameu Cantpronounce🏳️🌈 (@Myenjoyment2012) February 20, 2020
#DCproud to officially have signed into law Go-Go as the OFFICIAL music of the District of Columbia. 🖊— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 20, 2020
Go-Go is the heartbeat of the District. Its rhythm gives life to our cultural soul.#DontMuteDC pic.twitter.com/QPVeUMRcqq
The bill was originally introduced by Washington, D.C. council member Kenyan McDuffie in June. It was announced amidst pressures from anti-gentrification activists when a popular store, known for playing go-go music, was silenced after public complaints.
MetroPCS franchise owner Donald Campbell, who has played go-go music from his Shaw store for over 24 years, was contacted by parent company T-Mobile about noise complaints, as Blavity previously reported.
“They said, ‘get rid of the music.’ It came from up top that we had to get rid of it,” Campbell told DCist.
Although the store on Chuck Brown Way had been serenading the block named after the “Godfather of Go-Go” since 1995, a tenant of a new luxury condo said he would sue if the music wasn't stopped, DCist reported.
In June, while hosting the BET Awards, Regina Hall highlighted the #DontMuteDC campaign with a tribute to go-go music during the opening act.
NOW: Dispute between Ron Moten, who started petition, and resident who says he wants business to turn down the go-go music on 7th St. NW. pic.twitter.com/MU6c2luCCO— Anna-Lysa Gayle (@AnnaLysaGayle) April 8, 2019
The petition called for residents to "Tell T-Mobile, the city, and residents who don't understand the cultural significance and history of go-go music in Washington, D.C. that this is unacceptable. Bring back the music!"
Demonstrators filled the historic corner on Chuck Brown Way while Shaw neighborhood representative and councilmember Brianna Nadeau spoke at the event.
Nadeau also wrote a letter to T-Mobile's CEO John Legere urging him to reconsider.
Shortly after, Legere had a change of heart and agreed to allow the music to go on.
“I’ve looked into this issue myself and the music should NOT stop in D.C.!” Legere said in a tweet.
“@TMobile and @MetroByTMobile are proud to be part of the Shaw community – the music will go on and our dealer will work with the neighbors to compromise volume,” Legere said.
With all of the culture that D.C. has given us (including the Mambo Sauce), we are all proud of their official recognition.