Kevin “Kato” Hammond is a Media Mogul and Musician. He is the owner of Take Me Out To The Go-Go, Inc. (TMOTTGoGo), which comprises Take Me Out To The Go-Go Digital Magazine, TMOTTGoGo Radio, TMOTT Website and Graphic Design, and Otakcity Publishing. The TMOTTGoGo brand gains attention from outside media outlets for its designation as “the official gateway to a Washington, DC music culture.” Such platforms as Vibe Magazine, WETA, NPR, TV One’s Unsung and the National Museum of African American History and Culture have made Kato Hammond and TMOTTGoGo a significant source of information about the Go-Go music culture. Hammond’s history as a musician includes serving as Lead Vocalist and Guitarist for Pure Elegance, Little Benny and the Masters, and Proper Utensils.
Born in Washington, DC, Kato grew up in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, and attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC and Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland. As a child, he performed in DC area organizations such as CUE (Children’s Urban Arts Ensemble), Bren-Carr Dancers and The T-N-T Poppers. Hammond is also an
award-winning playwright. At the age of 17, he wrote a play entitled Buddies that listed in the finalist division of the Young Playwrights Inc. Young Playwrights Festival at the Public Theater. This play was performed Off-Broadway and starred Denzel Washington, Anna Maria Horsford and Michael Wright, all of whom were lesser known actors at the time. Today, in addition to managing multiple ventures, Hammond serves as a Language and Arts Educator for Teaching for Change and Drummer for Chantilly Baptist Church.
Kato has released two books. One is an autobiography entitled “Take Me Out To The Go-Go.” And the other is a children’s book entitled “I Want To Play Too!” Soon to be releasing his novel “Glen Willow” set to publish in 2017.
Go-Go’s De Facto Historian, Remembers His Roots - Washington City Paper
Go-Go Music, Live on Display - Elevation DC
WETA's Washington in the 80s - The Georgetowner
Life Lessons - Rene Syler's Good Enough Mother
Crank & Groove - Story Disrict
The Story of Kato Hammond, The D.C. Go-Go Scene Best News Source - WAMU Bandwith
Awards Celebrate Go-Go’s Funk - Washington Post
TV-One’s Unsung Documentary on Chuck Brown - Washington City Paper.
The Go-Go Book - DC Brand 99
Music, Youth and D.C.’s Club Culture - The Kojo Nnamdi Show
Going For Go-Go: Washingtonian
Marion Barry, Go-Go Politics, and the Death of Chocolate City - Vice
Go-Go’s De Facto Historian, Remembers His Roots - Washington City PaperIn 1996, Kevin “Kato” Hammond discovered the Internet at his day job at the Newspaper Association of America, where he worked as a database operator. He tried searching Netscape for “gogo music.” Nothing came up. He searched again, then again, and finally found one very brief mention in a British music guide. That didn’t seem right to Hammond, an avid gogo fan and musician who had played with several gogo bands during the late ’80s and early ’90s. So he built his own AOL webpage and named it after one of his favorite Rare Essence songs, "Take Me Out to the GoGo.” TMOTTGoGo.com was officially launched in March 1996. Next year, the website will mark its 20th anniversary.
Go-Go Music, Live on Display - Elevation DCUnderstanding the history of the music helps those on the outside to realize that this isn't just music, it's culture, says Kato Hammond, one of the storytellers at Crank & Groove, former lead guitarist for Little Benny and the Masters and publisher of the gogo centric site TMOTTGoGo.com .
WETA's Washington in the 80s - The GeorgetownerFor the piece, WETA interviews included Barry and former councilmember and mayoral candidate Carol Schwartz, television journalists Maureen Bunyan and Tom Sherwood, radio journalist Kojo Nnamdi, political commentator Pat Buchanan, entertainment reporter Arch Campbell, former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, musician Kato Hammond, former D.C. police chief Isaac Fulwood and architect Arthur Cotton Moore.
Life Lessons - Rene Syler's Good Enough Mother
Crank & Groove - Story DisrictWe are a few days out from opening night of Crank & Groove: A GoGo Love Story and I am so, so, so honored to work alongside Kato Hammond, Natalie Hopkinson, Nina Mercer, Christylez Bacon, DJ Zombie, DJ Mothershiester, Black Picasso, Be’la Dona Band and photos by Thomas Sayers Ellis– standalone artists in their own right. And I know there are so many others that could be on stage with them. At Sunday’s tech rehearsal, Kato (who I consider one of GoGo’s architects) said that his was one of many GoGo stories. I believe that, and I am grateful that we get to hear his.
The Story of Kato Hammond, The D.C. Go-Go Scene Best News Source - WAMU BandwithToday, Hammond releases his self-published memoir, called, of course, Take Me Out To The Go-Go. It’s different from go-go books like The Beat by Kip Lornell and Charles Stephenson and Go-Go Live by Natalie Hopkinson, which take a historical view of D.C.’s homegrown music. Hammond’s volume is instead a personal tale, exploring his life story and the hold that go-go has had over him for nearly four decades.
Awards Celebrate Go-Go’s Funk - Washington PostKevin "Kato" Hammond, chief executive and publisher of "Take Me Out to the GoGo" magazine and Web site, was a presenter at the awards. Several weeks ago, he dedicated one of his Internet radio shows on WTGO GoGo Radio to addressing problems with the awards. After the show, Hammond and other members of the GoGo Coalition, a group of gogo artists and managers whose mission is to promote the music and culture, met with WKYS to discuss improving the ballots. Hammond said the station should have included the gogo community earlier in the planning, but he applauded its effort.
TV-One’s Unsung Documentary on Chuck Brown - Washington City Paper.The Unsung episode includes interviews with the likes of singer Jill Scott; former D.C. mayors Marion Barry and Vince Gray; Brown's 1970s bandmates John "JB" Buchanan and Donald Tillery; Rare Essence’s Andre "White Boy" Johnson; E.U.'s Sugar Bear, and Ju Ju House; TMOTTGoGo’s Kato Hammond; and The Beat authors Charles C. Stephenson Jr. and Kip Lornell. A number of the interviews were recorded specifically for the episode, while others were archival videos found by TV One production staff. Associate Producer Shekila Ferguson tracked down much of the latter through various collectors, vendors, gogo artists, and filmmakers who've made videos on D.C. gogo. Oyinade interviewed Barry just a couple of weeks before he passed away.
The Go-Go Book - DC Brand 99This story is fundamental to American culture, authentic, and antithetical to the usual narrative of how Black men come of age, mature, and make their own dreams come true. The Godfather of Go-Go Media’s artful voice is relentlessly resilient, and his lens picks up the extraordinary in the everyday.
Music, Youth and D.C.’s Club Culture - The Kojo Nnamdi ShowFor decades, dance clubs have been incubators for Washington D.C.’s thriving musical cultures, from Go-Go to Punk to Hip-Hop. But after a local teen was tragically murdered at a local club, D.C. leaders are considering legislation to curb teen access to venues that serve alcohol. We look at the recent controversy over “all-ages” clubs from a cultural perspective.
Going For Go-Go: WashingtonianA group just beginning to draw attention is Fatal Attraction, whose oldest member is 19. “These guys are going against the grain of younger go-go bands that do all this jumping and yelling and pounding,” said Hammond. “Ther’re doing more old-school flavor, and they’ve even got a horn section. They remind me of Rare Essence when they started.”
Marion Barry, Go-Go Politics, and the Death of Chocolate City - ViceOne of the biggest problems facing Barry and other big-city mayors in the 70s and 80s was urban flight, as a lack of jobs drove up crime rates, squalor, and drug use. Barry helped combat that by starting the Summer Youth Employment initiative, a program that also helped spur the go-go scene. "That was like a big thing," Hammond said, noting that he was hired by city's Department of Recreation in 1980 to play music for the n at public spaces around the city. "It helped inspire us in the area of music and you can also say that it helped encourage the music and helped the growth of music."
- Ta-Nahisi Coates: (1999-09-02). “Go-Go’s New Folio”, Washington City Paper, pp. 56.
- Eric Brace: (2001-02-23). “A Horde of Awards”, Washington Post, pp. T06.
- Alona Wartofsky: (2001-06-03). “What Go-Goes Around…”, Washington Post, pp. G01.
- Eric Brace: (2002-01-18). “Perkin’ On The Railroad”, Washington Post, pp. T05.
- Natalie Hopkinson: (2003-07-16). “Low Budget Reality…” Washington Post, pp. A01.
- Darona Williams: (2007-08-07). “D.C. Cyber Funk”, Washington Post Express, pp. 41.
- Star Power: The Impact of Branded Celebrity
- Peter Relic: (2015-08-03). “Take Me Out: Kato’s Must-Hear Go-Go Songs”, Mass Appeal.