District of Columbia residents are continuing to turn up the funk but now with the support of a new bill that could potentially make Go-go music the official music of D.C.
Introduced by D.C. Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie, the bill demands respect for Go-go and is an effort to support the #DontMuteDC Movement.
Tuesday night musicians, activists and more came together to play the music with pride, Washington Post reported.
“To me, and so many other native Washingtonians, Go-go music has become so much more than just a musical genre. It is the very fabric of the city’s cultural and artistic expression,” said McDuffie in a statement. “Designating Go-go the official music of the city signals to those who have been here and to those who continue to move here.”
The cultural erasure, as some have called it, has sparked many rallies and protest that eventually gave way for the #DontMuteDC Movement, which has served as a concerted voice for the fight to keep D.C. culture and the Go-go beat alive.
“This idea to make it official, it’s a great thing,” activist Ron L. Moten told the Washington Post. “When people come here, they don’t know D.C., they don’t know our culture. It’s that ignorance that causes people to disrespect our culture. So if we make it law, if we protect it, they’ll start to understand.”
The cultural soundtrack of the district is a funk, soul subgenre that is deeply rooted in the Black people of the land and has been under attack for making white residents uncomfortable. Go-Go infused with sounds ranging from infectious drums to electric guitars or even cowbells.
In April, a Metro PCS vendor, known for bumping the funk daily, was asked to turn the music down after complaints from residents living nearby. The store was also told to tone it down by officials at the store’s parent company T-Mobile, according to The DCist.
The community flocked together to gather over 60,000 signatures in support of the music being played at the store. After silencing the Go-Go beat for days, the music was back on, the DCist reported.
“I’ve looked into this issue myself and the music should NOT stop in D.C.,” tweeted T-Mobile CEO John Legere in response to the situation.
The new bill is major step towards preserving Go-go music for the long run as D.C.s landscape continues to reshape and disrupt the robust culture that has molded the district’s identity.
“It’s important for people to not have to wonder or guess about how important go-go is to the District of Columbia,” McDuffie told the Washington Post.