Karlie Redd (left) and Shorty Corleone (Courtesy photo)
Karlie Redd (left) and Shorty Corleone (Courtesy photo)

Since go-go’s inception, artists and producers in the hip-hop and R&B genres have often infused the sound in what music lovers today recognize as classic songs including LL Cool J’s “Rock the Bells,” Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love,” Missy Elliott’s “Get Your Freak On” and Amerie’s “One Thing.”

In keeping with the tradition, D.C.- based singer-rapper-producer Shorty Corleone has joined forces with rapper-singer-model-actress Karlie Redd to create “Heartbreaker” – a song that walks listeners through the stages of a breakup.

With a smooth go-go/hip-hop groove in the background, Shorty Corleone spits a few bars about the ups and downs of relationships. Karlie Redd then follows up with a few heartfelt lyrics of her own.

In speaking about the song, Shorty Corleone said that its development into a go-go track came naturally.

“When Karlie Redd agreed to do the record, it was originally a hip-hop record. She was with the idea of putting a go-go spin on it,” said Shorty Corleone, a member of the go-go band Rare Essence.

“I collaborated with [producer] Phil Derihl on the remix and we added the go-go influence to the track. Karlie Redd is definitely familiar with the go-go sound. She knows the history and major acts,” he said.

“Heartbreaker” originally appeared on the soundtrack for the 2019 film “Angrily Ever After” alongside three other go-go-inspired tracks. It also appeared on Shorty Corleone’s 2021 album “Culinary Crank.” Shorty Cor-leone and Karlie Redd wrote “Heartbreaker” while Shorty Corleone, along with R&B singer Brooklyn Love, provided background vocals.

Other contributors to the track include recording engineer/producer ROB F and producer Kevin “Silk” Brewer, who conceptualized the Shorty Corleone/Karlie Redd collaboration. Platinum producer Mark Henry provided additional recording and mixing that took less than a couple of weeks.

Since its release, “Heartbreaker” has amassed several spins on radio stations

in Georgia, on the west coast and on SiriusXM HUR VOICES Crank Radio. It also counted among several contenders for a Grammy this year in the regional roots category. As an accompanying “Heartbreaker” video amasses hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, Shorty Corleone and Karlie Redd continue to work on a deal with MTV for video spins.

This comes at a time when go-go fans, activists and elected officials continue to commemorate the third anniversary of the “Don’t Mute DC” movement.

In 2019, when residents in a Shaw condominium attempted to shut down the go-go music blaring from speakers on the corner of the 7th Street and Florida Avenue in Northwest, hundreds of people converged on Donald Campbell’s Central Communications/MetroPCS store in support of what many would later recognize as an ongoing effort to institutionalize D.C.’s indigenous sound.

The “Don’t Mute DC” movement has not only inspired legislation to make go-go the official music genre of D.C. but the development of a go-go museum and other efforts to preserve elements of the culture.

As the summer season gets underway, go-go bands old and new will play sets and keep crowds moving in the streets and at local venues in the District, in addition to cities in North Carolina, Los Angeles and other parts of the country where migrants from the District have formed communities.

Shorty Corleone said the outpou ing of mainstream acceptance over the last few years has been long overdue for a musical genre that has found its way in numerous hip-hop and R&B tracks.

Karlie Redd, an Atlanta-based entertainer who currently has a role on the soap opera Saints & Sinners, expressed similar views as she sang Shorty Corleone’s praises.

“The ‘Heartbreaker’ record represents hip-hop and go-go at its best,” Karlie Redd said. “It’s good to be working with Shorty Corleone. He is the greatest of all time for go-go music.”

Sam P.K. Collins

Sam P.K. Collins has more than a decade of experience as a journalist, columnist and organizer. Sam, a millennial and former editor of WI Bridge, covers education, police brutality, politics, and other...

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