The Five Best Underground Rappers in Washington D.C. Right Now

Photo courtesy of Phil Ade/Facebook

Ben’s Chili Bowl, go-go and mumbo sauce. The White House, the National Mall, Marion Berry and the Redskins. For outsiders looking into Washington, D.C., those intangibles might be the only things connecting them with the nation’s capital.

The list is shorter for D.C.’s popular hip-hop exports: there’s Wale, the arrogant upstart turned Rick Ross sidekick; Tabi Bonney, the king of skinny jeans swag; and Fat Trel, the city’s most visible trap rapper. Though underground vets Kokayi, Oddisee, and Substantial are praised stateside, their appeal reaches overseas.

Of course, the DMV — the acronym stands for D.C., Maryland and Virginia — is chock-full of capable lyricists worthy of wider national attention. Here’s the five best right now.

1.Phil Adé

A protégé of soul crooner Raheem DeVaughn, it seems Adé has been on deck for a while, only for that attention to be diverted by the aforementioned Fat Trel, whose sudden notoriety dimmed his spotlight somewhat. Still, the prolific Maryland MC is a wiz with the wordplay and a confident master of the mixtape (he dropped four of them in 2011). While Adé’s been relatively quiet this year, he certainly won’t stay that way for long. [Download #PhilAdeFriday2 via DatPiff.]

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