Phil Ade and Levelz: Busting Loose on the DC Hip Hop Scene
November 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
The DC Diaspora of music is celebrating the creme de la creme of young hip hop talent in Washington, DC as they roll out rappers Levelz and Phil Ade for their DC Diaspora Thanksgiving Kickoff event. They are both of Nigerian descent, and together with a new crop of young rappers are poised to pull DC hip hop out of the hulking shadow of go-go music, where it has been languishing since the 70’s. We can go way back in history to radio stations not supporting quality hip hop (“Radio stations, I question their Blackness, they call themselves black but we’ll see if they play this!” – Public Enemy, “Bring the Noise” 1988) but in DC, they really take it to ridiculous levels.
The airwaves won’t be able to ignore artists like these much longer, however. Thanks to the blogosphere, the success of DC rappers like Wale and Tabi Bonney (themselves of West African origin), and the raw, pure talent oozing out of this area they call the DMV, fresh young hip hop voices are busting loose like Chuck Brown in ’78! If you want to see two of the most notable of these, get on down to Liv Nightclub on historic U Street in DC on Friday November 26 and watch Phil Ade and Levelz take the stage in a live showcase. And it will be live; hip hop’s live bands, like DC trend setters Mello-D & the Rados, have been gaining ground since the late 90s when The Roots made it cool again. Phil Ade has already gotten the attention of Raheem DeVaughn, who signed him as the first artist on his 368 Music Group record label. Since then, and two major
mixtapes later, Phil Ade has been getting steady rotation on national outlets like MTV Jams and BET.com. The influence of seminal hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest in unmistakable in his joints; in fact the video for “Always There” is stylistically similar to Quest’s “Electric Relaxation.” But seeing Levelz’s video to his track “Niger Delta” (which you can watch after the jump) makes you think simply of the power of hip hop. It’s refreshing to see these two up and coming hip hop stars do the positive with the torch they’re being handed. Afrofusion TV will be around to bring you all the best from the event (in case you miss it, which you shouldn’t). In the meantime, check out the video for “Niger Delta” by Levelz. Heavy stuff. Bless…
LATE NEWS!!! Young up and coming pop sensation Di’Ja is one of the opening acts for this show, along with Greenspan! CU There!
- GZA’s CMJ show, new Big L, Leaders Of The New School back together & other upcoming hip hop dates & stuff (brooklynvegan.com)
- Music Review: Wale – Attention Deficit (blogcritics.org)