Understanding the D.C. Vernacular

Go-Go Fans and 'Straight Crankin''

“Straight crankin'” is an endeared term used to describe what a fan of go-go music expresses while experiencing the music live or through an audio recording. The documentary “Straight Crankin'” is also the brainchild of Eugene Thorpe who is the writer, director and producer of the new film which is part of the new programming of 202 Creates, an initiative launched by Mayor Muriel Bowser in September 2016 to amplify and celebrate D.C.’s creative culture.

The initiative is spearheaded by The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment and headed by Executive Producer Angie Gates.

The documentary assumes the point of view of various musicians and other significant figures instrumental in creating and crafting the District’s own indigenous music and culture called go-go. The documentary establishes the history and origins of five seminal go-go bands formed in D.C.: Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, Trouble Funk, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited and the Junk Yard Band, from the early years, 1977 to the present.

Addressing the efforts needed to complete the documentary, Thorpe said: “The first hurdle was establishing the trust and gaining acceptance between the bands and my team. This is an insulated community.”

The premiere on Monday, Sept. 10 at the Historic Lincoln Theater was a veritable who’s who from within the go-go community.

Artist Tasha “Mz Laydee” Kelly said about the documentary: “It was very informative. I learned a lot but I felt like they left out a lot too. I’m looking forward to part two.”

Thorpe and the documentary’s other executive producer, Bruce Walker, say “Straight Crankin'” will air on DC cable TV channel 16 in October.

“Look forward to a series possibly coming as well,” Thorpe added.

Nico “the GoGo-Ologist” Hobson is the owner of GoWin Media and co-host of the GoWin Radio Show, which airs Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on

Click here for the full interview with Eugene Thorpe.

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