Phil Adé Talks R.O.S.E. and Being Maryland’s Next Great Rapper
Rapper Phil Adé had an unlikely brush with politics at the Broccoli City Festival last spring when D.C. Mayor Vince Gray introduced him at the show.
It was a weird moment for the audience and Adé himself. The mayor looks more like a smooth-jazz kind of guy. "The first song I performed was 'Paper Over Pussy' as the mayor walked by," Adé says with a laugh. "That was kinda awkward, but it's cool."
Adé is set to release R.O.S.E. (Result of Society's Evil) next Tuesday, the rapper's first mixtape since 2011's #PhilAdeFriday2. It was one of four mixtapes Adé dropped that year.
So why the long wait between projects? "I wasn't making the music I wanted to make, and how I wanted to make it," Adé says. "I didn't have a project that meshed with one sound. With R.O.S.E., I feel I have that. I'm making a statement of who I am and who I choose to be."
When he's working, Adé spends lots of time on tour and away from his family. "My mother lives by herself," he says. "There were times where I didn't talk to her for two weeks. I had to build that relationship back up with my mother and siblings. I feel like I'm more focused now because of that."
Adé first made a mark in 2009 with Starting on JV. Powered by the catchy "Hollywood," the expansive mixtape showcased Adé's lyrical and vocal dexterity. From there, the rapper released a string of projects over a short period of time, including The Letterman, #PhilAdeFriday, and A Different World, among others. For a while, it seemed Adé was the city's superstar-in-waiting. That was until the gritty trap-music specialist Fat Trel took that spot.
"I felt like it was just his time, and it wasn't mine yet," Adé says of the rapper. "Trel represents a side of D.C. the world hasn't seen yet. He personifies the inner city and is a better representation of D.C. artists. I feel like I'm the next rapper to come out of Maryland. I wasn't ready at the time. I feel like I'm ready now."
R.O.S.E. is out July 30 on 368 Music Group. Listen to his recent single, "Xscape," below.