By Micha Green
Go-Go, D.C.’s music that mixes heavy percussion, and influences of Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Rap, is set to become the official music of the nation’s capital. While the District is celebrating with exciting posts on social media, announcements on the radio and blasting the indigenous sound through speakers, the D.C. City Council clarified that the legislation will pass, but has not quite yet.
On Dec. 17, the entire 13-member District of Columbia Council voted, “to say the Go-Go bill had met all necessary qualifications and was eligible for a future vote,” according to the Council’s official Twitter account.
Per the further clarification posted on social media, the Council has to “vote twice on most legislation.” Tuesday’s unanimous vote was simply to schedule the first of the two necessary votes in order for legislation to pass. The first vote is schedule for Jan. 7.
“The second vote will possibly occur on January 21. Then the bill goes to the Mayor, then to Congress,” the Council’s Twitter stated.
For those championing the decision for Go-Go to become the official music of D.C., the good news is that the bill itself was co-introduced by all 13 Council members, and thus they are confident the legislation will pass- but it has not yet.
Go-Go will not become the official music of D.C. until it passes in the Council after both votes, goes to the Mayor and then Congress, the city is celebrating.
In excitement, Anwan “Big G” Glover, of Backyard Band, posted on his Instagram account that the final vote had passed, causing much of the non-factual information spreading through social media and the airwaves.
In fact, this reporter saw the post, which incited further research and investigation.
Despite the spread of the alternative facts throughout social media, the news that the legislation will indeed pass has the Go-Go community and city alike, super excited.
Andre “Whiteboy” Johnson, founding member of the band Rare Essence, which has been keeping the city cranking to the Go-Go beat for over four decades, told the AFRO in an email what the Council’s most recent vote means to him as someone who has been in the industry for so many years.
“We never imagined that this would happen but we are very grateful and excited that it will. This is a great acknowledgment to the Go-Go community and its families, friends and fans,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson was particularly moved by the entire Council’s co-introduction of the bill and unanimous vote.
“[It] is overwhelming to know that the entire City Council agreed to ‘hopefully’ pass this bill. It’s hard to any group of people to agree on just about anything, but to know that everyone is on the same page when it comes to [the Go-Go legislation bill] is great!”
The legendary Go-Go artist emphasized the importance of the hometown sound becoming the official music of the District of Columbia.
“This is important because it represents 40+ years of the ‘D.C. Experience.’ Go-Go music has been a way for people to celebrate, communicate and congregate with family and friends who have all grown up listening to the music,” Johnson wrote.
Perry Green, spokesperson for Critical Condition Band (CCB), shared why making Go-Go the official music of D.C. will make a huge difference for the business side of the genre, specifically considering the possibility that it will become a major tourist attraction.
“Now, when tourists visit the D.M.V., they’ll have more to entertain them than just museums and monuments. Now, tourists will be looking to experience, firsthand, the culture of Go-Go. They’re going to want to know for themselves why Go-Go is the official music genre of the District, and will be willing to spend their money to do so. I can only imagine how much of an economic boost it will be, not only for the musicians and bands involved, but also for the venue owners.”
The District of Columbia Council is adjourned for now and will resume legislative meetings on Jan. 7.