1. But there’s a competing narrative surrounding go-go, one that’s espoused by local law enforcement, some gentrifiers, and developers looking to convert D.C. into a mini Manhattan. They see the music as a problem; publicly, the talk is about crime surrounding go-go gatherings. “It’s this go-go,” one Metropolitan Police Department officer said during a 2005 hearing over nightclub violence. “If you have a black-tie event, you don’t have any problem. But if you bring go-go in, you’re going to have problems.” In 2010, the Washington City Paper reported that D.C. cops had taken to circulating a secret “go-go report” to keep tabs on the scene. And as DCentric.com’s Elahe Izadi wrote last year, “For many years now, go-go venues have been shut down inside D.C. due to club violence and liability issues, pushing the music further out into the Maryland suburbs like Prince George’s and Charles counties. Meanwhile punk rock, another D.C. musical mainstay, is not experiencing the same bad luck.”

    Assaults like these from the establishment are all the more potent given go-go’s insularity. Hip-hop, jazz, and blues were all at one point associated solely with violence and working-class black culture as well. Unlike those genres, though, go-go never went global other than when, in 1988, Spike Lee featured EU’s song “Da Butt" in School Daze. Go-go’s only ever been big business for the local black entrepreneurs in D.C. who kept it among themselves and guarded it fiercely.

    — "How Washington, D.C. Turned Its Back on Go-Go, the Music It Invented," Abdul Ali, The Atlantic.

  2. Posted by: mthompsnpr
  3. music