Photo by Johnny Johnson for Canary Acre Visuals
Guess Who’s Bizzack!! Still in the club with news giving go-go updates and reviews. What’s Good Moe?
I’m back with another review and this time it’s with the “Bad Boyz of Go-Go” The Backyard Band. Before we start I wanna send heartfelt and healing condolences to Anwan “Big G” Glover who recently and tragically lost his son Kavon Glover. For those who don’t know, Big G is to the DMV what Scarface is to Houston, What Nipsey Hussle was to LA and what Jay-Z is to Brooklyn. He is a musician, an activist, actor, performer, advocate and father. He is the Ghetto Prince and we love him. Blessings to you and your family big man. Back to the show. So I pulled up around 11:15 to City Winery which is one of my favorite spots in the city. It’s not your average go-go spot, this is a real music venue. My first experience here was in 2019 when Malachai Johns of this same website that you’re reading this article on (shameless plug) used to have Go-Go Jam sessions with a crazy house band made up of legends of go-go like Scooby, Stomp Dogg, Bryan Mills, BJ and many more household names who just came through to jam. Yours truly would get on stage with these legends and jam with them. It was a super dope experience and because of it, I was already familiar with the venue. So as I’m entering the venue I see the Homie Cardel of the newest and hottest up and coming go-go bands in the city “The Men”. Shout out to them. As I’m walking up the stairs I hear music playing I’m like “ Oh shit they already started?” Like I said prior it’s 11:15pm and if you know like I know most go-go Bands don’t start on time. No shade, but if you know you know. As I’m walking I see BYB family member Chinaman cooling. I greet him and dap him up. Then like I always do I head to the sound booth to hollar at my real life friend in this Go-Go shit for over 20 years, the one and only Brant aka Deuce Nine. To see his rise in this industry from being a musician to arguably the top engineer in the game is inspiring. Shout out to my bro. Now mind you this is a “ throwback playlist” so they are playing a lot of grooves they haven’t hit in a while. The first thing I hear is is the “Remy and Ginger Ale” chant of “Brass Monkey”. Which is a fan favorite for the original BYB fans. The band is super cranking. Then they went into what I think is one of the most important and definitive grooves for BYB as whole. They started hitting Throw Yo Guns/Rice/All we got is us and Tupac Thug life which is essentially the same groove. The reason this groove is so important because this sound they sampled from and was inspired by the rap group Onyx really gave BYB their identity and sound. To me Rice/ Throw your guns started the whole “Bad Boys of Go-Go” Moniker it was grimy, raw and dark something different from what Go-Go was use to at the time. Go-Go was more party and fun oriented type vibes. When BYB got into this bag it was a paradigm shift in sound. Also the 93 Dope Jam with the “comin’ through, comin’ through” which was also inspired by Onyx. I’ll touch on that later. So the groove is moving the one thing I did notice is this version doesn’t sound like the 1995 BYB. This version sounds more polished and clean. I attribute that to a few things. BYB as whole are better musicians and the sound of go-go is digital and not analog so it’s not as grimy and muddy as it used to be. Despite that it still sounds sonically good, it’s just a different feeling and vibe. Up next they went into their rendition of Earth Wind and Fire classic “Can’t hide love” which is personally one of my favorites. If you go to BYB shows you know that this means they are about to go into halftime and take a break.
The first song after intermission is “ Backyard Zoo”. This song I feel is another important groove in BYB history because once again the grimy factor. This song with "I got Five on it" which they dropped in 1995 the same year they won band of the year was the pivotal point in the BYB timeline. A few other factors that helped them get popular was the Public access channel Metro World which was hosted by Salih “E” Williams from OP tribe and Hosea “Heartbeat” Williams. It was like our version of BET Rap City for go-go. The other factor was the college radio station Flava 1580 which played underground hip-hop and go-go. That really helped BYB become who they are today, in my opinion.
Their next song “The Dippa” was a classic but was also controversial. This groove took me back to 2001 instantly. I haven’t heard it in years. When they used to hit this in 2001 the guys around my way in Landover were definitely getting “wet” (A euphemism for pcp laced marijuana).
Next was the 93 dope jam which I touched on earlier. One of the grooves that helped them solidify that grimey sound. “ Coming through Coming through it’s the CTU invaaaasssiionnn!” it sounds frantic and urgent. Crank on 100 percent. Now I feel like they are hitting their sweet spot and the crowd is getting turnt up! They stay in this groove for a few minutes and then I hear Big G yell out
“AYE SAUCE SKILLET SKILLET SAUCE!!! AYE WHERE THEM HOT BOYS AT?!!”
When I tell you this is probably my favorite BYB groove of all time, I mean it. The energy was crazy and everyone started to party harder. Then G abruptly stops the band and says half time. I’m saying to myself dammit man it felt like when you’re having sex and about to climax and someone just bust into the room! Total buzzkill. Then All of a sudden G yells out “ AYE 91 WE IN THE MOTHERFUCKING DOPE JAM!” Which is my other favorite BYB grooves lmao again another teaser he shut it down to take another break. So after a brief intermission the band hits the stage and you hear singing from a beautiful voice” Nothing feels right when I'm not with you
Sick of this dress and these Jimmy Choos
Take 'em all off 'cause I feel a fool
Tryna to dress up when I'm missing you
I'mma step out of this lingerie
Curl up in a ball with something Hanes
In bed I lay with nothing but your t-shirt on (Oh)
With nothing but your t-shirt on” Ms Sis sings and the crowd of women sings along with her in unison most definitely a vibe and if the ladies like it you know I like it as well. As she singing I’m looking at the response from the women and I’m saying to myself as a artist or band catering to the ladies is very important. If the woman come the men will follow and that’s facts.
Then the next groove I hear is Weensy sing” I HEARD ITS THE BOMMBBB CAUSE YOU GOT IT GOING ON GIVE ME SOME OF THAT THUG PASSION BABY!” The “96 dope Jam” this is important groove because I felt in 1995 BYB planted the seed and 1996 dope jam was their repeat so to speak to let the game know that 1995 wasn’t a fluke and the dynasty was created. Also that to me started the break down beat era in gogo this was the precursor to the unibomber aka 97 Dope Jam. Also it revolutionize singers in gogo singing over timbales grooves which is pretty much the standard in go-go today. So to wrap things up it was a great evening very cool, chill and fun. No incidents or anything just great vibes. Also it was good to see Big G back on stage with the band and cranking again. I loved to see it. I know he felt the vibes and love for sure. Until next time my go-go friends keep cranking in the free world and doot doodle doot doot.. nah nevermind that’s already taken! Peace!
Written by Darius Olfus @DVRIUSTHEGREAT ON IG