Maryland based rapper, Phil Adé, is a product of humble beginnings. Surrounded by a family deeply rooted in music, his talent and lyrical ability comes as no surprise. Using his background and the spirit of everywhere he’s lived to inspire his music, he has been hard at work making a name for himself among the crowd of artists on the come up. He gained his buzz with his debut mixtape, Starting on JV, by way of 368 Music Group, and is now looking to make some real noise with his latest project, The Letterman, which is hosted by Don Cannon.
“I’m from the Maryland area. That’s the area I represent, and I rep to the fullest, but I’ve also lived in Florida, Alabama, and California. I guess Maryland you could say, is where I found my home,” Phil told us. “I think my music is diversified since I come from all those places. So, each plays a big part in influencing my music.”
A singer by nature, it wasn’t until his junior year in high school that Ade picked up rapping. Never really deciding on music, but instead allowing music to decide on him, Phil Adé has went from “a regular dude from the ‘burbs”, to being the first artist to sign to Raheem DeVaughn’s label, 368 Music Group. Originally just doing it for fun, he quickly found out the power of fate and being in the right place at the right time. While at Oakwood University, Adé started rapping and singing regularly with a go-go band. It was at that point that he realized his passion for performing and being on stage.
“I met a dude that stayed in the suite next to mine and I used to go in there because a lot of my friends from back home stayed in that suite also. I used to freestyle rap with the dudes in there and he kind of just noticed and told his brother. His brother happened to be best friends with Raheem,” Phil explained, “and what’s funny about that is that the dude I met at the college, he hadn’t seen his brother in ten years… so it just seemed like everything was just aligning for the path to take off.”
Under the guidance of “Dre”, co-owner of 368 Music Group, the plan for Phil Adé’s debut, attention grabbing mixtape, was to tell the tale of a come up, turning high school basketball into a musical metaphor, and using a game to describe what the industry has coined, ‘the game’. “My first mixtape, Starting on JV, would make the statement that I’m one of the best upcoming cats, like I’m starting out on JV. It’s like your varsity cats would be the established artists like Jay-Z and Lupe and Diddy and all them big cats. JV would be like dudes coming out like J-Cole, Wale and Kid Cudi. Basically just making the statement like I’m one of the best coming out. The Letterman, basically that’s when you get your varsity jacket and get your varsity letter on your jacket, and that’s making the statement that I’m ready to be an established artist in the game and to be respected.”
Proving that there’s success in simply being who you are and making what you like to hear, Adé’s road to success has now led him to touring the world with Raheem DeVaughn who’s currently promoting his latest album. And although he has huge aspirations and plans to work with other “varsity” artists, for Phil Adé, 368’s first artist, it’s just one day at a time when you’re becoming The Letterman.
Written by Charles Stokes