Phil Ade - "The Letter" x "Going Off"

Some emcees seem effortless. Whether it's merely a facet of their voice and flow or a product of years of freestyling that produces a comfort with spoken word, some rappers can string together complex syllables without them seeming forced or self-aware. It's the opposite of the one-word punchline rhymes that saturated the rap game a few years back, and still appear in some places today. Phil Ade is one such rapper with an effortless flow, belying his youth.

Phil Ade hails from DC, and you can hear his city's influence on his tracks. He raps over go-go beats and his DMV accent draws quick comparisons to Wale. His style is quite distinct from Wale's, though. It's a bit more understandable, which is nice because sometimes I have no idea what Wale is saying through his DMV vocal flourishes.

The first track featured here, "Unusual," is also the first track on his second mixtape The Letterman. It absolutely oozes old school hip hop, conveying Joey Bada$$ levels of rhyming with a style that is (IMO), much more distinct. He pays homage to the old school, but doesn't let it define him. Nowhere is his effortless flow more apparent than when he strings together such complex rhyme schemes as "How you down to earth, but claim you astronomical? / in news periodical articles with artists headed to the mainstream, you don't seem very nautical".

"Going Off" is from Phil Ade's first mixtape, Starting on JV. The beat is raw, straight DC go-go. True to the title, he goes off on the uptempo beat, never losing steam in the entire song. The song itself clocks in at 3:39s, and there is not chorus to be spoken of. Tracks like this are the perfect way to get introduced to rapper, stripped-down, with as few distractions from their lyrical prowess as possible.

To top it off, Phil Ade seems to have his artistic intent in the right place*. He let's us know in that same effortless flow that he has on so many songs at the end of "The Letter," spitting:

"but when I'm in a Porsche and Range / 
and I have a portion of fame /
dear lord, let my course be the same"

"The Letter"

"Going Off"
*Granted, this can change at a moments notice. Who could have possibly imagined Yeezus after College Dropout came out?

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