The Five One
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The Five One

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Band Alternative




"The Five One & Mambo Sauce @ Jammin Java"

Admittedly, The Five One were performing in front of a crowd with more energy than they’re used to, thanks mostly to Mambo Sauce sharing the stage just following, but their brand of future-synth reggae pop (ED. note: stfu) was more than enough to amplify the vibe. Thankfully, one of the benefits of playing the smaller venues is the longer set, which while good for them and the fans, was actually not so great for me and my dying battery (ED. note: jackass), which explains the discrepancy between the amount of Five One and Mambo Sauce photos. I’ve had bigger disappointments than not being able to take more pictures of radio-friendly go-go though; the real shows have always been way more based - Start of The Line

"Area Band Rock's at Jammin Java"

ammin’ Java was packed
on Saturday night with
fans of two of the area’s
favorite bands: The Five
One and Jammin’ Java.
The Five One took the stage first.
The four-member band has assigned colors to each of its members: Red, Blue, Green, and Gold.
While on stage, they use these
names and dress in their respective color, even down to the shoes.
The Five One’s newest video for
their song, “Mandatory,” will be
airing on MTVU later this month.
For more information on The Five
One, visit their website: http://
The second act to take the stage
was local hero Mambo Sauce. The
six-piece band is known in the area
for their high-energy performances.
They are best known in the area
for their hit “Welcome to D.C.”
Keyboardist Christian “Chris”
Wright is actually a Grammy nominated musical director. Other
members of the band include: the
heartbeat of the band, drummer
Patricia “Twink” Little, bassist,
Khari Pratt, percussionist Jermaine
“Pep” Cole, lead vocalist Alfred
“Black Boo” Duncan, and lead voThe Five One’s Gold and
Green wear shirts and
shoes correlating with their
respective colors.
Main vocalists JC and Black Boo dancing to Mambo
Sauce’s high-energy music.
JC and Black Boo holding out the mic for the audience to
sing along.
Area Bands Rock at Jammin’ Java
calist Joi “JC” Carter.
For more information on Mambo
Sauce, see http://
—Stephanie Knapp - Vienna Connection OCTOBER 2010

"The Five One’s “Mandatory” Review"

It's damn near impossible to categorize The Five One's music and ideals. The band, with its self-described Haitian indie-rock flair, blends hip-hop with Caribbean rhythms. The ideals? Well, the Reston quartet personifies itself as colors: The members call themselves, and dress in, Red, Blue, Green, and Gold. (Don't ask their government names, because they won't tell you.) It all boils down to the idea that each person has a color, and the world can live together under one rainbow.

"People can think we're self-centered or self-righteous because of how dedicated we are to our beliefs," Green told me recently. "We are completely trying to unify people with these ideals, and if you respect what we do, then you're lucky enough to be in the loop."

Such is the topic of "Mandatory," the breezy, Caribbean-themed first single from the group's upcoming RED BLUE GREEN GOLD album, whose release date is TBD. The five-minute song, which showcases Red's fluid guitar work, is all about the unification and support. Gold, assisted by the ever popular Auto-tune, sings about the unwavering support he receives from a high-school flame, while Blue—the band's drummer—rhymes about a woman struggling to find her own color. "...You need only reach for me, I aid you with my hands/But the journey for your color you’re gon' have to take alone," Blue raps.

I'm a proud member of Jay-Z's Auto-tune hate group, so "Mandatory" took time to stick. Still, it's a stirring tune from a colorful cast of characters. - Washington City Paper

"The Green Complex Review"

If you were to just listen to the song above you would have no idea just how many genres and sounds the group manages to pack into each release and sometimes individual songs. The Green Complex is the second release in the group’s Virginia Complex series and 4th release in just two years. The four members of the group Red, Blue, Green, and Gold all bring something to the group and what comes out is a series unique songs and sounds that are bigger than their individual parts. The group themselves describes the sound of The Virginia Complex series as “…the raw approach of rap with the sensibilities of rock , pop , and reggae music.” Genre mixing, genre bending, genre defying…whatever it is, it’s not your typical rock/rap or hip-hop with live instruments. What I can say is that it’s good fuc*kin music, so don’t sleep on it.

The group has just released the second part in The Virginia Complex series entitled “The Green Complex.” It’s available now at and if you need to catch up with the movement you can download their other projects fore free. Go check it out and thank me later. - BigBadMedium


The Virginia Complex (2006)
The Red Complex (2007)
The Green Complex (2008)
Mandatory [Single] MTVU VH1 Video Play (2010)
Red Blue Green Gold [LP] ( COMING SPRING 2011)



The Five One's influences range from legendary rock/pop artists to the most iconic figures in hip-hop culture. If you had to define their sound you would have to imagine The Beatles rapping over a punk song made by Bob Marley. Although their sound is refreshing, the most meaningful aspect behind The Five One is their concept. Revalulion [rev-uh-loo-lee-n], is the action of personifying oneself as a color, which is a philosophical term coined by the band. The members of The Five One Red, Blue, Green, and Gold, have simplified themselves from the complexities of societal identity by becoming colors. Defined only by the color in their closets, the color-coded quartet has a niche for meaningful lyrics and a sound that defies the norms of popular music.

Trekking around their area now known as the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia), they have spread their music and mythology while sharing the stage with local acts whose genres range from Rock and Reggae to Hip-Hop and R&B. In the summer of 2008 the band played the Afro Punk Festival in Brooklyn, New York joining an eclectic blend of artists such as Janelle Monae, Saul Williams, and Murs. The Five One has always been able to naturally integrate into any music scene or genre. Entering MTV’s Dewcircuit Breakout Contest, they obtained national exposure with their song “Active” on MTV2, side-by-side various rock acts across the nation.

With the emergence of niche music blogs, the band gained a lot of attention on the internet through rearranging songs of various artists such as Bob Marley, Lykke Li, N*E*R*D, Gorillaz, Zero 7, Vampire Weekend, Kanye West, and many more. With songs like “District of Colossus” and “What Sarah Said” The Five One grants listeners a sample of their approach by creating songs that deliver intellectually, as well as providing infectious choruses and melodies. This remix project has accrued over 40,000 downloads, and individual songs and videos have been covered on various sites such as MTVU, USAToday, Chicago Now (Gowherehiphop) and Washington Post.

Meeting in Reston, Virginia The Five One has recorded all of their music themselves, in a basement filled with guitars; a drum set, a few microphones, and looped-based recording software. As studio artists their explorations in music are focused on pushing boundaries Implementing samples and loops with live instrumentation. Percussion on their songs sometimes will be a drum kit and other times a chair or bang of a skateboard. Their live show is treated as an opportunity to re-engineer the material into a surprising new form with Red playing guitar, Blue on the drums, Green on keys, and Gold on bass. The Five One’s songs deliver a real message in color that will inspire those who take the long and winding road to freedom.