Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are You Blown Away? Phil Ade @ Liv 8/6

Phil Ade Interview from Couch Sessions on Vimeo.

Following in the footsteps of Wale and Tabi Bonney, Phil Adé is next in line to bring DMV hip-hop to the masses. The first artist signed to Raheem Devaughn's new 368 Music Group label, he took the stage last Thursday at Liv for a Mixtape Release Party. Backed by four-piece band The Five One, Adé ripped through most of his debut "Starting on JV" (check out the Glass House review here). He kicked things off with an extended version of electro-club banger "Disco Flow," telling the crowd that he never dreamed of this moment considering "Just last year I was in college…with straight F's."

He continued with the golden era boom-bap of "Blown Away," breaking out his own honey-toned vocals during the chorus. While the line between singing and rapping continues to blur with each new Auto-Tune mishap, Phil Adé is the rare MC who can actually blow. He even serenaded a lucky female audience member invited on onstage during the sexy sly "Always There." The energy intensified with a rocked-up "Everybody Still Nose," his reworking of the similarly titled N.E.R.D. track. Other highlights include the uptempo feel-good "Never Let U Go" and heartfelt "Hollywood," which he called a "letter to myself" to remind him to stay grounded in the midst of all his current accolades.

After last week's show the accolades will no doubt continue to roll in for Phil Adé. It's hard to believe he's only been performing for less than a year. With a sound as diverse as his background, he commandeered the stage with the natural charisma and stage presence of a seasoned pro. And if last week's show was any indication, then we can expect to be blown away by Phil Adé for years to come.

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