We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Standout Track: No. 2, “Neva Go Back,” which portrays hip-hop and go-go as two well-acquainted ladies who aren’t afraid to get their freak on together. “They’ve been pullin’ this move since Sugar Hill and Chuck Brown,” raps Dre the Gypc (pronounced “gypsy”) over a groove built on Teddy Pendergrass’ 1979 quiet-storm classic, “Come Go With Me.”
Musical Motivation: Dre puts himself at the heart of a love triangle, telling hip-hop that “once you go D.C. you neva go back,” while at the same time, introducing her to his other love, go-go. He puts the metaphor aside near the end, rapping, “So one blows up/And one is held back/Shit, they still a team, but one takes credit for that.” (The song’s video plays up the sexiness, not the history.) The 30-year-old Petworth rapper says he was in go-go bands when he was younger, “always on the mic.” Hip-hop pulled him in, though; under the name Dre Strong, he was part of the D.C. group Likeblood, which toured with Raekwon.
He Gets Around: Dre says his decision to use an R&B-based beat with a West Coast vibe— rather than a more obviously East Coast sound—was pretty natural. Being a hip-hop fan in D.C. broadened his tastes. “I was always going out, trying to listen to so many other brands of music, because in D.C . we didn’t have nobody in our hometown to look up to, as an artist, like Atlanta had Outkast and New York had Nas, Jay-Z, Biggie, and L.A. had Pac,” he says. “So we had to venture out and listen to all types of music.”
Listen to the track after the jump.
[audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/files/2013/03/02-DRE-THE-GYPC-02-NEVA-GO-BACK-PROD-BY-BEATGAME.mp3|titles=Dre the Gypc “Neva Go Back”]