By Nyame-kye Kondo, Special to the AFRO
The live performance review and GoGo honorarium, “The First Ladies of GoGo,” took place Sept. 19 on the rooftop of Eaton Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. Featuring female pioneers in the GoGo music genre, the event was one of many GoGo themed events put up this year by music activist group “DontMuteDC.”
Backed by the GoGo band Sirius and Company for the entirety of the night, “The First Ladies of GoGo” featured live performances by a handful of important female singers within the genre, including a rousing performance by Chrystian B, of GoGo band TCB, who sang a medley of ballads by D.C. native Ari Lennox. GoGo pioneer, Maiesha Rashad, lead singer of 90’s GoGo band Maiesha and the Hip-huggers was honored for the role she played in carving out a space for women in a male-dominated genre, where there had been none. The Hip-huggers started out as an old school cover band comprised of the legendary Sugarbear, Ju Ju House, and Sweet Cherie Mitchell.
Providing middle aged GoGo lovers with an outlet, and women with a new voice, Rashad was affectionately titled, “First Lady of GoGo,” and the GoGo subgenre she and her band created was called “Grown and Sexy.”
Sitting at the front of the stage, Rashad jammed to the performances and humbly accepted her praise.
KK Baby, the daughter of Chuck Brown, and one of the current members of “The Chuck Brown Band’ performed her fathers 2006 hit, “Chuck Baby” all the while memorializing Lil Benny, of Little Benny and The Masters. Continuously uttering the refrain “We still cranking,” KK Baby, made it a point to talk about Rashad bringing her feminine energy to the often times misogynistic Go-Go scene. “I appreciate your courage, your example, your feminine energy you brought to Go-Go culture,” KK Baby said.
Recently undergoing knee replacement surgery, and having limited mobility as a result, Rashad performed a brief but lively snippet of her band’s rendition of The Jackson Five’s, “I want you back.”
Facing the audience, her bright, red hair shining vibrantly before the audience, Rashad’s voice resonated raspy and strong as she used call and response on the audience, “D.C, I want you back! Lil Benny, I want you back!, Chuck Brown, I want you back!”