‘Out in LA,” a song by rapper-singer-songwriter the Experience, is destined for dance parties, with its four-on-the-floor groove and a chic bass line reminiscent of dance floors past. The song sounds timeless, but its genesis is of our shared economy, socially networked times.
The Experience, a 24-year-old talent born Dayon Greene, was — as the song says — out in Los Angeles to record music, and when he checked in at his Airbnb rental, he was surprised to find that his host would be staying at the house, too. No matter: The host moonlit as a producer, and Greene asked for and received some beats before he headed to the studio. Eventually, his friends and fellow DMV upstarts Saba Abraha and Innanet James would jump on the track, bringing it all together.
The song’s Angeleno origin aside, Greene is all DMV. His debut EP “All For You?” is full of lushly instrumented rap-soul-funk, and struts down a lane that he says was paved by local contemporaries James, Chaz French and GoldLink: “We have some fire musicians.”
That fire has been burning his whole life. Greene was literally raised in go-go: His father played with such bands as Little Benny and the Masters, and his uncle plays drums for Backyard Band. “Being 4-[years-old] in go-gos . . . I probably should not have been there,” Greene admits, but those early experiences exposed him to the area’s talent and eclecticism.
But because of gentrification, the spirit of go-go — and D.C. music more broadly — is under attack. Greene has seen its effects firsthand and bemoans those who would “try to take the culture away from the city.” Still, when gentrification has pushed, the District has pushed back, as with the recent go-go-focused “Moechella” protest-performance at 14th and U streets NW.
Greene has been to a few such performances, and is emboldened by the movement to protect the real Washington: “It’s beautiful to see.”
Show: June 15 at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd, 2477 18th St. NW. $12-$14.