By Una Yarsky

Go-go officially becomes synonymous with the District; Courtesy of Una Yarsky

Ask any D.C. native and they’ll agree: Go-go is an essential part of D.C.’s identity. The music genre has had a long history in this city, first originating in the early 1970’s. Go-go is a type of funk music known for its percussion and blend of various music genres. Chuck Brown, known as the “Godfather of Go-go,” revolutionized the music with his band, The Soul Searchers, through the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s. His hits included songs such as, We Need Some Money and Hot in Here. Brown died on May 12, 2012, but his legend and the impact he had on Go-go lives on in the streets of D.C.

On Feb. 19, Mayor Muriel Bowser made history by making Go-go the official music of D.C. At the culture center here in Southwest, Bowser signed the legislation, paying tribute to Chuck Brown’s legacy and declaring, “Go-go is D.C.” The bill was written by Council Member Kenyan R. McDuffie and received unanimous support from the D.C. Council. 

In a way, Go-go has become an anthem for the gentrification conflict in D.C. While some newer residents may not appreciate Go-go, District natives have continued to celebrate this vital part of Washington’s culture. 

Hundreds of Washingtonians witnessed the historic moment and cheered as the long struggle for recognition came to a close. The free event included performances from DJ Supa Dan and The Backyard Band. 

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