The DMV rap scene has gone through a few evolutions in the last 15 years or so, while also garnering more respect for its homegrown talents. Adé (formerly known as Phil Adé) has seen it all play out, as both a fan and an artist. In 2019, he's returned with a totally new energy, making music to uplift and keep people happy. Fresh off the release of his Always Something EP, courtesy of his new deal with Epic Records, Adé stopped by XXL to kick a few bars for our Flex Zone series.

He starts his freestyle by explaining how he's survived the ups and downs of life—in and outside of the rap game. "My life in the last three years has been the craziest/Swear I'd be pushin' up daisies if I was atheist/Ain't drop a tape, heard ’em say, 'That Ade the laziest'/I'm Lazarus, raised from the grave, but the J's from 86," he rhymes. The MC even gives a nod to Kanye West and Inspectah Deck.

Showing off some clever wordplay to describe both his return and his ability to weather the storm, Adé is ready for whatever comes next. Aside from spitting some stellar rhymes, the rhymer also shares some of his new motivation. "Positivity, keeping people's spirits up," Adé reveals. "I been in dark situations the past few years, but music is what kept me positive. My goal is that my music could do that for somebody else." He also breaks down why his new EP is titled Always Something: "Realizing that no matter what situation you in, whatever dark situation, there's always something positive you can hold on to. There's always something going on that can give you hope."

Happy to see how far the DMV has come, Adé explains how it all worked out, giving props to some big names from the area in the process. "Wale definitely opened the door, hip-hop, that wasn't it, that wasn't the sound kids wanted to hear," he says. It was go-go. If you was in a go-go band, you was lit. Then Wale combining it and introducing rap to it, it made everyone feel more comfortable doing it."

"Then [Fat Trel], he opened the door," Adé continues. "You got Shy Glizzy, Q Da Fool now. Then you got Rico Nasty, Idk, Innanet James, Chaz French. It's a ton of people, people with deals. It's good to see that."

Catch Adé's freestyle at the top of the post.

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