Arts Desk

Head to Head: Phil Adé vs. Philippa Hughes

A new series in which two local figures share their thoughts on developments in D.C.-area culture. For this edition, we talk to Maryland rapper Phil Adé and Pink Line Project founder Philippa Hughes.


Washington City Paper: This week, the Sonic Circuits Festival released its annual District of Noise compilation, a collection of local experimental music. This year’s edition includes “Hello, Human!,” a batshit polyrhythmic track from Takoma Park’s Pilesar. What do you think of the song?

Phil Adé: Definitely different from anything else I’ve ever heard. The drums remind me of music from West Africa. I think it’s cool, though. I might even sample it for a song in the future.

Philippa Hughes: Angular syncopation gibberish chanting ethereal primitive loopy climax of symphony of computers chanting together creative multimedia spasm.

artsgrazer-weedboxersWCP: How do you feel about marijuana-patterned clothing and accessories, like these weed boxers and weed socks sold by Commonwealth?artsgrazer-weedsocks

PA: I think it’s just another reason why marijuana should be made legal in the U.S. There are many helpful things marijuana can be used for, including underwear.

PH: It’s not very interesting. Big deal, you like smoking pot. Maybe wearing clothing emblazoned with marijuana images makes you feel like you’re stickin’ it to the man! Mostly I think wearing graphic clothing is a lazy way for people to create and express their identity.

WCP: Ted’s Bulletin’s Pop Tart ice cream sandwich vs. Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats’ doughnut ice cream sandwich. Which one and why?

PA: I would go with the doughnut ice cream sandwich. I recently tried a grilled doughnut with vanilla ice cream and it was amazing. Anything close to what I had must be good.

PH: I have the fondest memories of eating Krispy Kreme doughnut ice cream sandwiches late at night with a beer chaser at St. Maarten Cafe in Charlottesville. The Pop Tart is too complicated. Adding ice cream doesn’t improve it.


WCP: Look at this famous diptych in the Hirshhorn’s collection: Francis Bacon’s “Study of the Human Body.” Thoughts?

PA: The painting visually is dope. I just have no idea whats going on. Looks like two pulled teeth in a doctor’s office waiting room having an argument.

PH: Mmm… bacon.

WCP: D.C. strip joint Stadium Club is no longer just a place; it’s a symbol, or a trope, particularly in hip-hop. What do you think of that?

PA: I think it’s getting well-deserved publicity. I’ve never been big on strip clubs, but as far as they go I don’t think they get much better than Stadium Nightclub. It has a five-star restaurant inside. That speaks volumes enough.

PH: The Stadium Club might be a trope for something much more ominous in American culture—a media-perpetuated fantasy lifestyle that involves worshipping commercialism, misogyny, power, guns, and bling, and that people try to emulate at the micro level. The Stadium Club is but one place to live out some of that fantasy. There may be a faction of hip-hop that glamorizes this lifestyle, but hip-hop as a whole is not the culprit. This fantasy lifestyle is a reflection of who we are today.

Francis Bacon's "Study of the Human Body" courtesy Hirshhorn collection; Philippa Hughes photo by Matt Dunn; graphic by Carey Jordan

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  • morgan

    ha! I dig this.