In case you are unfamiliar, Adé is a Nigerian/Grenadian-American artist known for effortless lyrics and ability to smoothly transition between rapping and singing. He has previously worked with artists such as Logic and Mac Miller, and his new six-track EP features collaborations with Lil Baby, Rich The Kidand Wale. Adé has previously caught the attention of publications such as Billboard, Complex, XXL, HypeBeast, Hot New Hip Hop and more. Beginning a new chapter in his career with a new name and unique sound, Adé is on his way to rap stardom and a chance for his reinvention to inspire on a massive scale. He recently freestyled over Jay-Z’s “Threat” on L.A. Leakers which can be seen HERE.
Adé is the true voice of the DMV hip-hop scene and has fueled a new wave of D.C. rap. His global perspective can be seen on his diverse new EP featuring undeniable anthems and powerful lyrics. As an artist, he is able to deliver music with something for everyone as he combines live instrumentation, hip-hop, rapping, and singing. Ade’s songs focus on the positives in his life and showcase the newfound confidence he has achieved while introducing himself as a new leader in the DMV hip-hop movement.
More about Adé
In between, growth occurs. Silver Spring, Maryland rapper, producer, and artist Adé (born Phil Adetumbi) underwent such evolution. Under the name Phil Adé, he delivered a string of independent mixtapes, singles, and appearances in addition to collaborations with everyone from Logic and Mac Miller to Raekwon and Bootsy Collins. Starting in 2013, he dove into honing his craft, writing in the studio with a variety of artists, perfecting his own sound as well as his live performance. He ultimately developed his voice immensely. During this time, he made extensive contributions as a writer and featured act to Wale’s #1 opus The Album About Nothing  and Shine , in addition to working with Raheem DeVaughn, Anthony Hamilton, Chris Brown, Eric Bellinger, Mýa, Trevor Jackson, Serayah, 9th Wonder and Bink , while gracing the stage on the sold out SHIN3 Tour. In 2017, he shared the solo single “No Fear” [feat. Tate Kobang and Saba Abraha], which soundtracked WWE NXT and clocked half-a-million streams. Upon the latter’s arrival,Billboard described him as “ready to seize his opportunity at rap stardom.”
However, he changed everything for 2019. He opted to go by simply Adé, signed to Epic Records, and cooked up his first EP of the label, Always Something.
“I spent a long time recording and figuring out what I wanted my sound to be like,” he admits. “I feel like I’m there now. I was able to watch Wale and see a lot of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of being an artist on a major label and how to behave in different situations. Everything got me to my comfort zone. I’ve found a happy medium between singing and rapping. It’s a new era in my life. That’s why I felt the need to reintroduce myself. I’m definitely more experienced. I’m more comfortable with what I’m doing. Since I wanted to start fresh, I changed my name. This is a clean slate. I’m a new artist.”
At the same time, he still kept his heritage and hometown close. Born to a Nigerian father and Grenadian mother, he grew up with a global mindset when it came to music, going from singing in church to rapping in high school. Coming up in the DMV scene, he also developed an appreciation for the live instrumentation intrinsic to the region’s “Go-go” movement before eventually galvanizing the first wave of D.C. rap.
His perspective informs the diversity of Always Something. The six-track project kicks off with the sharp and fiery flow of “Play Something.” Backed by live drums and wailing synths, he properly makes his introduction by “rapping continuously in freestyle fashion about who I am, where I’m from, and where I’m at,” as he puts it.
Immediately after, “Something New” [feat. Lil Baby] coasts along on an airy beat as he locks into a laidback and confident cadence punctuated by a magnetic turn from Lil Baby.
“I made the song one night after coming home from the club,” he goes on. “My art always needs to be fun. It’s all about seeing what’s going on around me, how people move, and staying focused. Lil Baby killed it.”
Elsewhere, “Something from Nothing” [feat. Rich The Kid] stretches from hypnotic verses into a hard-hitting hook. Another highlight, “Something Real” [feat. GoldLink & Wale], unites three DMV titans on one seismic collaboration. As all of the songs feature “Something” in their titles, the project maintains a true cohesion.
“As I was recording, I kept thinking about the phrase ‘Always Something’,” he elaborates. “I found a deeper meaning. In life, you’re met with negatives, and you’re met with positives. From my experience, I’ve always been able to have more peace and progress when I am focused on whatever good is going on in my life. When it seems like everything going on is negative, it’s easier to move forward when you are focused on the upside. There’s Always Something to remain positive about.”
In the end, Adé’s reinvention paves the way to inspire on a massive scale.
“No matter what’s happening, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” he leaves off. “Stay positive. I want everyone to know that.”