The Beat! was the first book to explore the musical, social, and cultural phenomenon of go-go music. In this new edition, updated by a substantial chapter on the current scene, authors Kip Lornell and Charles C. Stephenson, Jr., place go-go within black popular music made since the middle 1970sa period during which hip-hop has predominated. This styling reflects the District's African American heritage. Its super-charged drumming and vocal combinations of hip-hop, funk, and soul evolved and still thrive on the streets of Washington, D.C., and in neighboring Prince George's County, making it the most geographically compact form of popular music.
Go-gothe only musical form indigenous to Washington, D.C.features a highly syncopated, nonstop beat and vocals that are spoken as well as sung. The book chronicles its development and ongoing popularity, focusing on many of its key figures and institutions, including established acts such as Chuck Brown (the Godfather of Go-Go), Experience Unlimited, Rare Essence, and Trouble Funk; well-known DJs, managers, and promoters; and filmmakers who have incorporated it into their work. Now updated and back in print, The Beat! provides longtime fans and those who study American musical forms a definitive look at the music and its makers.
About the Author
Kip Lornell teaches in the music department at George Washington University. He has published nearly one hundred articles and liner notes as well as ten books, including Introducing American Folk Music and The Life and Legend of Leadbelly (with Charles Wolfe).
Charles C. Stephenson, Jr., is a political and cultural activist, the original manager of Experience Unlimited, cofounder of the Malcolm X Day Celebration, former chair of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and a member of the Washington Area Music Association and NARAS.
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