Rare Essence has been a household name in D.C.’s Go-Go scene for nearly four decades. Dubbed “The Wickedest Band Alive” by rapper Doug E. Fresh, the group has kept the genre pioneered by Chuck Brown in the ’70s alive and well in its birthplace.
To celebrate the release of its first proper studio album in 15 years, “Turn It Up,” Rare Essence performed for a packed house at DC Lottery Live on Friday, May 6.
The band was also celebrating the proclamation from Mayor Muriel Bowser for four decades of Go-Go in the DMV.
A D.C. band through and through, Rare Essence kept it local with its album artwork, calling on D.C.-born artist Aniekan Udofia to create the cover of “Turn It Up.”
As DJ Lance Reynolds explains in the video below, Udofia has left his mark on D.C. The artist created the Ben’s Chili Bowl mural and the gagged George Washington mural on U Street, as well as a number of others around the city.
The album art was inspired in part by the cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You,” Udofia revealed.
Check out Rare Essence’s new music video for the title track “Turn It Up” below, featuring a cameo by WPGC’s own DJ Flexx.
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