WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The speakers are back on and the go-go music many District residents associate with the MetroPCS corner store in Northwest Washington is playing once again.
For decades DC’s original go-go music poured out of the speakers until complaints to the mobile store’s parent company T-Mobile forced the owner to pull the plug. After rallies, a concert and online petition with more than 64,000 signatures, the cellular giant changed course.
“We can announce that this music will continue on 7th and Florida Avenue!” said community activist Ronald Moten as the crowd cheered.
The announcement turned a rally into an impromptu dance party Wednesday afternoon.
“Today we showed that we can make a difference and we are going to unmute DC,” said Councilmember Robert White.
“I hope every time I come by this block, this music will be going and I can dance to it,” said Marjorie Hoffman, board president of the Shaw Community Center.
ABC7 reporter Victoria Sanchez reached out to T-Mobile CEO John Legere for comment after emailed inquiries to customer service went unanswered. He responded within minutes.
“I’ve looked into this issue myself and the music should NOT stop in D.C.! @TMobile and @MetroByTMobile are proud to be part of the Shaw community - the music will go on and our dealer will work with the neighbors to compromise volume,” he said in a tweet.
“I’m happy to see a tweet directly from the CEO,” said Councilmember White.
People in the Shaw neighborhood said newcomers tried to push out the longstanding music culture.
“I’m happy, as a black man in Washington DC, to say that it wasn’t just black people that came together, it was everybody that came together to say we gotta do the right thing, for the right reasons, to get the right results,” said Moten.
Moten created the online petition and discussed music with one neighbor taking issue with the go-go music.
“He said that this music is disrespectful and that’s a problem. A lot of people come here with a sense of entitlement and privilege as if the people who came before them don’t matter,” he said.
White is proud of the community’s dedication to make change.
“I also represent the constituents who have a problem with the noise and there are two things, one if you move to a corner, probably the only corner in DC where you have go-go music playing, you have to expect go-go music to play,” said White.
The councilmember added, there is room for compromise.
“We have to understand how the music here impacts the neighbors.”
“Gogo music is rhythm and soul,” said Pastor Tony Herndon of Grace Nation
Ministry. “It is something you can’t see but something you can feel.”
Herndon said while it’s a victory for go-go music, gentrification in the District is causing problems.