For almost 25 years, the Metro PCS store at 7th Street and Florida Avenue NW in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood has played go-go music on outdoor speakers.
But corporate owner T-Mobile recently told the local shop owner to shut the tunes off, reportedly because someone who moved into a new luxury apartment building threatened to sue.
Now more than 50,000 people have signed a petition asking T-Mobile to bring back the music.
Supporters are spreading the word on social media using the hashtag #DontMuteDC.
#DontMuteDC – Curated tweets by WTOP
On Monday, D.C. councilwoman Brianne Nadeau, who represents Shaw and the U Street area, sent a letter to T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs, urging company leaders to change their decision.
“Go-go is a blend of funk, hip-hop, Latin, and other genres that emerged in the ’60s and ’70s. It is a unique product of D.C. and its black residents. To this day, it is the indisputable sound of D.C. and its suburbs,” she wrote. “This corner is often where many hear go-go for the first time. The music that has played there since at least 1995 – and the CDs sold next door – have kept this cultural spirit alive.”
Tuesday night, a musical protest was held outside the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW, a short distance from the store.
Go-go bands played, fans danced, and rapper and D.C. native Wale made an appearance.
Councilman Robert White was there, too.
“When you move to a neighborhood, you’ve got to appreciate the culture of that neighborhood, the sound of that neighborhood. It is not OK to jump into a neighborhood and then seek to change it,” said White, who is hoping for a compromise with T-Mobile.
“We can work together to address that, but what we can’t do is allow folks to try to take away the sound that makes D.C., D.C.,” he said.