Phil Ade

In an era where rappers are hard-pressed over obtaining "cross-over appeal" and forcing out commercial hits, up and coming Hip-Hop artist Phil Adé has brought his easy-going subject matter and genuine flow to help lighten up the genre of Hip Hop.

Although Phil Adé proudly proclaims himself as one of the D.C., Maryland & Virginia area's own, he also has spent a better portion of his life in California, Alabama, and Florida. He says, "The 'Metro' area no matter what anyone says is my home. That's where my heart is, but being from more than one place is what makes me more of an interesting person as well as an artist. I make music for everybody."

Adé started making music in his spare time as a source of fun in his junior year of high school, writing the usual cliché raps that he heard on the radio everyday. After a couple years of recording and studying the creative abilities of other rap artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye West, and Lil' Wayne, Phil finally found his own artistic identity and with the encouragement of his closest friends started seeing his newly developed talent as a way to make a living...and so the grind begins.

Currently, Adé is under D.C. based independent Hip-Hop label 368 Music Group. So he has released 5 projects under 368 Music Group: Starting On JV, The Letterman, PhilAdeFriday1, A Different World, & PhilAdeFriday2. He is currently preparing for the release of his 6th project "R.O.S.E." (Result Of Society's Evil)

The Kid Daytona

Hip-Hop has proven itself to be an artform of utmost versatility and it is with such endless possibilities of landscaping the culture is The Kid Daytona able to excel in the eyes of a multitude of fans. Containing the lyrical intution of many of the legendary rap frontrunners from his native NYC, yet possessing the skill as to not pigeonhole his sound, the forward-thinking emcee has continued to be considered a "burgeoning talent" to all newcomers to his musicianship and kept in heavy rotation for all those familiar with his story.

In 2006, Daytona officially broke into credible conversation by releasing his mixtape "A Tribe Called Fresh," with famed radio personality Cipha Sounds. From there, self-motivation and an arduous work ethic propelled him to match the current standard of music giveaways with the release of his free album "Come Fly With Me" to much critical acclaim and fanfare. Featuring the vocal talents of Bun B, Mickey Factz, Amanda Diva, Kardinal Offishall among others, as well as production contributions from 6th Sense, Double O of Kidz In The Hall and Cook Classics, the LP marked a ceremonious debut for an up-and-comer that coincided with a neighboring EP, titled "Daytona 500."

Never settling for just good enough, 2010 saw The Kid Daytona align his potential with the cutting edge fashions of the popular clothing company LIFTED RESEARCH GROUP (L-R-G). With this unique partership, Daytona was placed in high-art adverstisements, including serving as a marquee model in their 2011 Spring Collection. But no bigger payoff came as they collaborated on Daytona's best release to date, "The Interlude LP." Keeping the fan's best interests in my mind, a concept for a full body of work was born. As a disciple of Hip-Hop's rich and sacred culture, Daytona felt like it was time to give fans hungry for more beef than broth "a break from what had become the norm." Taking subtle interludes from storied albums from the likes of Kanye West, Pete Rock, A Tribe Called Fresh and Dr. Dre, "The Interlude LP" carved a lane as one of the few lyrically-driven projects of the year and saw itself placed on several "2010 Best Of..." lists as a result.

Technically a veteran with miles of ground yet to be covered in his bright future, The Kid Daytona looks to be positioned as one of the leading spokesmen for the new generation of Hip-Hop acts in not only the audio superiority department but as setting trends with his visuals on the fashion end as well.

Shawn Chrystopher

“Every rapper that’s actually good at what he does in an intellectual,” says a laid back Shawn Chrystopher from his hotel room in NYC’s Times Square. “Wayne is an intellectual, Jay of course is a intellectual, listen to the things he says its like “How’d you think of that?” Speaking with the tone of a man who’s used to thinking things through, it’s not hard to see which side of the line he falls o...n. But then again, a quick look into his past shows why that’s never been the case.

Graduating high school at the age of sixteen and being offered a four and a half year scholarship to the University of Southern California, Shawn’s future potential, much like his IQ, was truly sky high. But while his peers were still managing their acne, the Inglewood California native was fully focused on a future in music making, mastering five different instruments and building the writing, rapping and production skills that would make him a Hip-Hop All-star. “I was in school band from 7th grade to 12th grade,” he quickly points out.” So we learned music theory and all those things.” Not one to be limited to the classroom, Shawn was also drawn to the production lessons taught by master musician Quincy, via his work with the King of pop. “When he’d do things for Michael Jackson, he would have instruments on different sides so if you listen on the headphones, the strings are on the left and the horns are on the right,” he says with an excited grin. “Stuff that you may not pay attention to but I catch like “Yo that’s crazy!”

Honing his production method, Shawn soon developed the sound that would catapult him into the spotlight. “I use those 808’s that knock the speakers out, it has the substance of the Midwest with the instrumentation of the south,” he says detailing his process. “I would describe it as the new west coast, real high energy and real passionate.” With a signature sound and an introspective, melodic rap style influenced by the late great Tupac Shakur and Midwest marauders Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Shawn had all he needed to create his debut project, 2009’s A City With No Seasons, which would go on to receive rave reviews from and

When it’s all said and done, there is no substitute for the grind. A lesson Shawn got while promoting his project. “One thing I’ve learned is no one going to sell you if you can’t sell yourself,” he says of the work that would have him and his team on their computers for up to 14 hours a day in search of the next gig. “If you want these opportunities, you have to go out and get them.” Thanks to his online presence (over 2.5 million views to date) Shawn became the star of his first ever tour that he’d built from the ground up with sponsorship by the artist-friendly website, MySpace. “People would be like “Who else is on the tour?” and I’d be like “just me,” he says with a laugh.

Being a self-made man, people often wonder why he would bother entertaining offers from the majors that came calling after his March 2010 release The Audition EP scored over 35,000 downloads in its first week. But to those who would question him, he simply asks them to look at the bigger picture. “When a painter does a painting, he wants everyone to see it. So if I’m doing music I want everyone to hear it, and labels can put you on that main stage.” When asked about the well-known pitfalls of signing to a machine, Shawn simply shrugs like a man expecting the question. “I know there are politics,” he says earnestly. “But sometimes you have to swallow your pride for your art.”

There are plenty of things that bother Shawn Chrystopher about the music business. The lack of true artist development by labels, the rush of one-hit wonders diluting the world of Hip-Hop, the reoccurring philosophies of money over art that overwhelm the radio station. But the one thought that ruffles the feathers of the artist who has crafted his every step toward success, is the assumption that true MC’s are not thinking class musicians. “I think I try to be too intellectual when I don’t have to be,” he says shaking his head. “I do that purposely to separate myself, but I don’t think that’s anything extraordinary,” he says with a proud smile. “I put it out there more, but we’re all smart.”

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