WATCH: Musical protest on U Street after Metro PCS store ordered to silence go-go music

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.

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.

Performers get ready before a concert on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, that is protesting the silencing of go-go music from a store in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Performers get ready before a concert on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, that is protesting the silencing of go-go music from a store in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. (WTOP/Michelle Basch) (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Performers get ready before a concert on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, that is protesting the silencing of go-go music from a store in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Performers get ready before a concert on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, that is protesting the silencing of go-go music from a store in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. (WTOP/Michelle Basch) (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
(WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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As a Washington DC native also born and raised in the Ledroit Park neighborhood, I’ve always heard Gogo music on the 7th and Florida Avenue corner. Growing up, my mother told me stories of how this corner has been a cultural hub for the city, playing GoGo music for 20+ years & being a historical center point for our DC Culture as well. Now in 2019, new DC residents are threatening to sue the owner “Don” for playing GoGo music outside of his store. As most of us know this relates to a bigger issue related to the rapid amount of GENTRIFICATION taking place in Washington DC. WE, THE NATIVE PEOPLE ARE OUTRAGED ABOUT THIS & WE WILL NOT LET THIS GO BY THAT EASY WITHOUT A FIGHT FOR OUR DC CULTURE. I’m doing what I do best which is using my drum to strike a message & get the rest of the community aware of this wrong doing to our good people so please share this or spread the word. Thank you ! #DONTMUTEDC #DCorNothing #DMV #stopgentrification #definitionofpercussionentertainment #DOP3WÆ #WEBÂND #DCGOGO 🎥: @kymonefreeman

A post shared by Malik DOPE Drummer (@malikdopedrummer) on

(WTOP/Michelle Basch)
(WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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Performers get ready before a concert on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, that is protesting the silencing of go-go music from a store in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Performers get ready before a concert on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, that is protesting the silencing of go-go music from a store in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

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