The owner of a Washington Metro PCS store has finally been able to blast go-go music two weeks after the threat of a lawsuit forced him to cut it off.
Don Campbell runs the T-Mobile-owned cellphone carrier in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood, and he’s blasted go-go music from the storefront since it opened in 1995. However, Campbell says T-Mobile told him a resident of one of a nearby luxury mixed-use development complained about the noise and even threatened a lawsuit. Campbell told DCist April 8 that T-Mobile got in touch with him and said he had to cut the go-go music, which is a subgenre of funk that emerged in the nation’s capital in the mid-1960s through the early 1970s.
As a result of the issue, protests and town halls erupted on the streets and online via the hashtag #DontMuteDC, thanks to Howard University student Julien Broomfield, The Washington Post reported.
The concern? D.C. is a continued victim of gentrification and there are increasing worries that the local culture is being erased.
“Stop moving to the city then complaining about the culture. Ruining a tradition of over two decades because of some rich hurt feelings. #DontMuteDC,” one tweet said Monday.
“You can take the block but you can’t take the culture. The culture is ours and it’s here to stay #DontMuteDC,” a person tweeted Tuesday.
“How on earth do you move into a community and then try to diminish the community’s culture? To the colonizers : AHT AHT #DontMuteDC,” someone else tweeted.
Scores of people came out into the streets in droves over the last several days. They chanted and played go-go tunes, firmly replacing the banned music that blared from of the local Metro PCS for 24 years.
A Change.org petition continues to gain traction and has racked up more than 69,000 signatures so far.
By Wednesday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted that the music must continue to play outside the store.
“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.
Reacting to being able to go back to his tradition of playing the music, Campbell said at a press conference Wednesday, “I’m feeling good.”
“It’s Chuck Brown Way, so we definitely gotta play that,” he told the DCist of being most excited to play “The Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown. “We’re trying to keep the music alive — that’s the mission. I’m real proud the community came together. It’s real big.”
Brown’s hit song “Bustin’ Loose” was rang out from the speakers by noon Wednesday.