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Go-Go star ready to say goodbye after 30+ years

DC-native and Go-Go star Donnell Floyd announced he's retiring from the genre.

TEMPLE HILLS, Md. — “See I gave my whole life. D.C., I love you,” Donnell Floyd Sr. sang on his Instagram post. It was his announcement to his fans, the Go-Go star is retiring in 2019.

The DC-native sat down with WUSA9 to talk about his 30-plus year love affair.

“A lot of people don’t know what ‘Lock it’ is. You ain’t gotta know, you just gotta feel it,” are the lyrics to one of his famous songs, “Lock It.”

“What does ‘Lock it’ mean,” WUSA9’s Stephanie Ramirez asked. Floyd leaned back and laughed. "It’s something a true Go-Go fan understands!" He explained.

First, at 54, Donnell Floyd is now getting ready to say goodbye to his love of 33 years. He was known for original Go-Go hits with the group Rare Essence. His style is big. Floyd collaborated with R&B artists, helping to bring the D.C. heartbeat to a greater stage. He even created a second band more recently called Team Familiar.

“It has sent my kids to college, bought my houses, bought my cars. It’s everything to me. It’s a great genre created by Chuck Brown,” said Floyd, “I was fortunate to spend the last 3 years of his life in his band and I just learned so much talking to him. And you know, it’s our culture.”

“It’s what makes D.C. move,” he added, “Redskins, politics and Go-Go!”

Floyd admittedly doesn’t exactly move like he did in his “Lock It” music video. That’s one of the reasons he’s retiring in 2019. However, he has hopes for the genre’s future.

“I want people to go out. Expose their kids to it, because someone’s going to make it,” Floyd said, “Someone’s going to break through. Sugar Bear broke through, without a doubt. But someone’s going to break through it and you know, take this kid to where it needs to be.”

For the real fans, we learned “Lock It” came from the Rare Essence drummer wanting ‘Go-Go Mikey” to stop soloing. 

“Footz just made him ‘boom-bop, boom-bop,” said Floyd with a smile, “That beat just locks in and that’s what makes people love it.”

Floyd tells WUSA9 he isn’t completely done with music. He wants to play saxophone with an R&B or Jazz Band.