Legendary Go-Go band Rare Essence performs during the 60th anniversary celebration of Ben's Chili Bowl on U St. in Northwest on August 22. (Photo by Mark Mahoney)

In a year when D.C. officially adopted go-go music and the city has dealt with racial and political tension, TV One will premiere “The Beat Don’t Stop,” an euphonious documentary about the homegrown musical genre’s impact on the sound and culture of the nation’s capital.

The highly anticipated documentary, which debuts Sunday, June 21 at 8 p.m. EDT, features a collage of interviews, video footage and dialogue from D.C. legends.

“Music is like everything for the Black experience,” said music historian Natalie Hopkinson. “Go-go is connected to Africa as all music is connected to Africa.”

The documentary showcases go-go luminaries who have led the way for the genre’s development, including Backyard Band, E.U., Trouble Funk, the Beat Ya Feet Finest dance crew, Don’t Mute DC organizer Ron Moten and music historians Hopkinson and Kato Hammond. 

“One of the problems that I have tried to address is to get African Americans to understand that to say something is African is probably the greatest compliment you can pay to anyone,” said Radio One Inc. founder Cathy Hughes, who also appears in “The Beat Don’t Stop.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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