THE REDSKINS aren't the only hometown players who have made good recently. There's a bumper crop of Washington talent who've been getting their studio stuff down over the past few years. As the rest of the country starts to absorb the D.C.-born go-go sound, they seem poised to make some headway on the charts.
SWEET COOKIE -- "Do You Wanna Dance" (Danya 9657). On the title track, female rapper Sweet Cookie challenges the beastly boys who stand in packs around the go-go: "Come on, pigeontoes, what you waiting for, the place to close?" The percolating "Mind Your Business" is a sassy series of speeches about nosy people gossips, and everyday rudenesses: "Girl, you remind me of a parakeet, everything you hear, you repeat." This solid album, like Salt 'N' Pepa's debut disc, is a refreshing change from the one-note self-absorbed boasting and bravado of the boys. And the girl can sing, too, letting loose a Chaka-like siren wail once in a while.
STACY LATTISAW -- "Personal Attention" (Motown 6247). At the still-tender age of 21, Stacy Lattisaw has to be considered a seasoned pro -- she has eight LPs to her credit. This LP, her first for Motown, shows further signs of development; Lattisaw has come out from under long-time producer Narada Michael Walden's too-sheltering wing -- he made her sound like Angela Bofill and his other protege's. Her voice has shed its teen nasality and coyness for a gorgeous, full-throated adult woman's range, but the singer still needs to find her own distinctive style, as she tries on the successful formulas originated by Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. A Cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" retains the song's elemental thrills, but loses points for the formulaic "updated" dance rhythm it's shackled to.
VARIOUS ARTISTS -- "Go-Go Live at the Capital Centre" (I Hear Ya! CD 0001C). This quick release features 90 minutes of hot go-go from this winter's big CapCen spectacular, an unprecedented event that featured five local outfits in an arena usually reserved for superstars. The lineup includes most of go-go's royalty (with the notable absence of the seminal Trouble Funk), including D.C. Scorpio's go-go rap "Stone Cold Hustler," plus three extended workouts each from Experience Unlimited, Little Benny & The Masters, Rare Essence, and Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers. The tape begins with a funny introduction from "President Reagan," introducing us to The Capital of Go-Go. Also available as a well-photographed videotape.
GLENN JONES -- "Glenn Jones" (Jive 1062). After several false starts, gospel-trained Glenn Jones jumps to Billy Ocean's label and benefits from Ocean's almost- infallible songwriting and production team. Jones has a strong, if not instantly identifiable voice, and the solid material on this LP should give him the chart shot he deserves. So keep an ear open for "We've Only Just Begun (the romance is not over)," a silky ballad in the Ocean-ic style, and a gorgeous cover of the Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl."
SLUG-GO -- "Slug-Go Live in Washington" (TTED 3029). The 11-man go-go band works up real sweat on this simulated "live" recording, taped at Omega Studios in Rockville, but performed "in the tradition of the Howard Theater." The band burns on the long rhythmic combinations of "Say La La" and "Am I a Fool," which includes a medley of Quiet Storm cliche's.
LACE -- "Shades of Lace" (Wing 833 451). Hometown girls make good: Lace is three Duke Ellington High graduates -- Lisa Frazier, Vivian Ross, Kathy Merrick -- who trooped off to Hollywood and came away with a record contract. Like their song says, Lace is a "Triple Threat," swapping strong lead vocals and avoiding the anonymity of the currently fashionable crop of female trios. Though the songs dabble in not-too-deep double-entendre, they're not vulgar, and the women present an obvious visual appeal without descending to flaunting it a` la Vanity and her ilk. Producers Lionel Job, a percussionist, and Preston Glass, a keyboard player, make danceable settings with straightforward rhythms and clever keyboard sounds.
TONY TERRY -- "Forever Yours" (Epic 40890). Terry, another Ellington grad, went on to perform in the long-running off-off-Broadway musical "Mama I Want To Sing." He steers clear of that show's gospel sound on this polished debut, an enjoyable stylistic grab bag that begins with the buoyant title track, a doo-wop ballad, in which Terry's elastic voice brings up memories of Little Anthony, Stevie Wonder and Johnny Mathis. The singer gets punchy, pop-wise production on the hit-bound "Lovey Dovey," and "She's Fly" somehow fuses the commercial but seemingly incompatible sounds of Cameo and Kool and the Gang.
VENNIE "D" -- "$55 Motel" (Kolossal 869497). Most rap records rely less on wordplay than on musicianship, but Vennie "D's" "$55 Motel" features some hot playing. It's a go-go/rap fusion written and performed by Vincent Davis, who narrates a slightly salacious tale about an illicit assignation in a spirited stab at an English accent. You get four versions for your money: a radio mix, longer club mix, a longer-still instrumental passage (which features the best riffs), and a brief a cappella version.
JESSIE JAMES -- "It Takes One To Know One" (TTED 0026). No doubt about it, Jessie James can sing, as he proves on his debut record, a different kind of "fusion" combining blues and pop, with a hint of go-go rhythms and some Quiet Storm-type soft saxy soul. As TTED label chief Maxx Kidd says in a liner message to black radio program directors, this is "the blues you can use." James works out convincingly on some solid songs -- upbeat blues, if you can believe it -- especially "Something To Believe In" and "You Got The Smoke I Got the Fire," which sounds like a black Steely Dan. Unfortunately the record's successes are undermined by the substandard, noticeably tinny recording.