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Go-go is in peril. Once the city’s dominant genre, it’s being pushed out to venues in Prince George’s and Charles counties. Any go-go band could tell you that promoters are increasingly shying away from it, partly because of the genre’s reputation for attracting violence. And as gentrification continues to take hold, there’s an uncertainty facing the future of go-go which, until now, has largely been discussed in quiet.
But some of go-go’s problems could be internal, too. A biting new track from D.C.’s Mambo Sauce puts it all on the table. On “4G,” vocalist Black Boo unleashes a hail of criticism on the problems plaguing D.C.’s homegrown sound, from shady promoters and hood crews, to bands that regurgitate radio songs without much creativity: “A bad case of band rape ’cause nowadays, we don’t create songs, we play songs our fan base dictate. A live show is more like a mixtape.”
Elsewhere, Black laments his own disdain for go-go while admitting that the genre “lost its buzz like years ago.” He wonders why go-go hasn’t made waves outside D.C. and criticizes politicians who only acknowledge the genre when it’s time to get elected. Then there’s Black’s problem with local Top 40 FM radio stations: “Radio give us an hour on a Sunday/During the week, we’ll be lucky to get one play.”
Listen to the scathing track below.