American Made Playlists: The Beat

The Beat!: Go-Go Music from Washington, D.C. explores the musical, social, and cultural phenomenon of the distinctive musical sound that is indigenous to D.C. Authors Kip Lornell and Charles C. Stephenson, Jr., place go-go within the larger context of black popular music made since the middle 1970s.

To the initiated, go-go is easily recognizable by its super-charged drumming and vocal combinations of hip-hop, funk, and soul But, outside of D.C. and Prince George's County very few people know what go-go is or even what it sounds like.

The Beat playlist below should help alleviate some of this ignorance and serve as a primer to go-go acolytes.

This playlist was put together with the help of Nico, the  "go-go-ologist."  Lornell and Stephenson swear Nico knows more about go-go recordings than anyone on the planet. Nico has a part of the go-go scene for decades and his selections below represent recordings that had great influence on the culture and the significance of the go-go industry.