Interview with Andre Johnson, Washington, District of Columbia

Andre “Whiteboy” Johnson is a singer and guitarist based in Washington, D.C. Johnson is the lead guitarist and founding member of D.C. go-go band Rare Essence. In 1976, Johnson co-founded Rare Essence with friends in elementary school. Originally the Young Dynamos, they later changed their name and expanded their lineup, becoming one of the city’s premiere go-go institutions, putting on marathon shows that ran until 5 a.m. and performing regularly six to seven nights a week. Since the 1980s, the band has released dozens of studio albums, mixtape albums, live albums, compilations, and singles. They have performed with Run DMC, Wale, DJ Kool, LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Ice Cube, Heavy D and the Boyz, Wu Tang Clan, Redman and Method Man, French Montana, Scarface, TLC, Eric B and Rakim, YoYo, Shabba Ranks, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Thievery Corporation, KRS-1, and go-go icons Chuck Brown, Trouble Funk, The Junk Yard Band, and EU.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 11/02/2020.