It's the soundtrack of "Chocolate City," the non-federal Washington that has traditionally been a tent pole of black America.
Go-go music, a distinctive DC-specific offshoot of funk, has endured for decades through cultural shifts, fluctuations in popularity and law enforcement purges.
Now go-go has taken on a new mantle: battle hymn for the fight against a gentrification wave that's reshaping the city.
Many longtime Washingtonians fear that culture is being steadily eroded as the city becomes whiter and richer.
A recent controversy over an innocuous noise complaint placed go-go at the center of a perfect storm of gentrification symbolism.
The owner of a popular mobile phone store in the historically black Shaw neighborhood was told to turn off the go-go that he had been playing through sidewalk speakers for more than 20 years. He claims the complaint came from a resident of the gleaming new mixed-used apartment building erected on the next block.
The reaction was fierce.
Seemingly overnight, a protest movement and petition drive sprung up and members of the D.C. Council started weighing in. Within days, the decision was reversed.
The mini-controversy was over almost before it started. But it obviously touched a nerve.
"I think that was messed up. Go-go IS DC. Go-Go is our history," said community activist Tiffany Richardson, one of the thousands of fans who turned out on a Tuesday night this month for an outdoor concert/protest featuring go-go mainstays Backyard Band. "They're not going to stop go-go."