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Download of the Week: Blacklisted Individuals

The Austin-based dynamic duo Blacklisted Individuals are back at it again with their trademark “everyday hip hop.”  Snyp and Da’Shade may be wowing the crowd in their hometown during this year’s SXSW but there also they’ve been keeping busy recording their upcoming EP, Working Title. Earlier this month Da’Shade spoke with Spinner and explained that the band’s driving force isn’t politics, but social commentary:

Around 2002 we decided that we were going to try to create our own lane and do music that was relevant to us, as well as the people that were around us going through the struggle. It didn’t seem like there was a lot of music out there representing the common class, the working class. Hip hop, with its competitive nature and the need to display the triumph, it was too flashy at the time. So we decided we were going to make music for people, period, end of discussion.

Blacklisted Individuals have earned several notable achievements on OurStage including a multiple Top 10 rankings, an Alternative Hip Hop Channel prize and a feature on Winamp. This week’s freebie, “Dance Sucka! (Street Mix),” shows off Snyp and Da’Shade’s ability to command the dance floor while encouraging community action at the same time. Not a bad combination at all for this week’s MTV Music “Needle in the Haystack” pick.

OurStage Extends Deadline for Lilith Local Talent Search as Lilith Tour Reveals Details for Eight Cities

Still working on that song that might earn you a full set on this summer’s Lilith Tour? Take a deep breath ladies, there’s still plenty of time to get your entries in. OurStage is extending the submission deadline to May 22nd at 11:59PM EST. Due to this new entry date, fan judging will now begin on May 1st. Artists entered into the “Lilith Local Talent Search” will be placed into regional channels based on their location in order to compete for a chance to perform at a Lilith 2010 tour stop near their hometown. Visit to see which regional channel you’re eligible enter.

In other Lilith news,  the dates, venues and artists for 8 new cities on this summer’s festival schedule have been announced. Tour stops in Las Vegas, Cleveland and Kansas City will be included on the 36-city run. Beginning March 27th, the general public can purchase tickets for the following dates at and

(**Tickets go on-sale April 3)

For the list of artists playing each city, please click HERE.

From Lilith:

Much like the original Lilith Fair, there will be 11 artists on each date, with only 2 consistencies per show: the Lilith Local Talent Search winner who starts the day and headliner Sarah McLachlan. The remaining acts on the line-up are constantly rotating from among more than 80 acts.

Liner Notes: Love Lies Sweet – “Goodbye to Fairytales”

Austin pop rockers Love Lies Sweet are somewhat new to OurStage, but that hasn’t stopped them from storming up the charts. Last month, the band’s anthemic “Goodbye to Fairytales” struck a chord with fans of the Rock Channel and ultimately took 4th place. The boys of Love Lies Sweet have been keeping themselves busy by recording their first album and working a packed tour schedule. Frontman Vinny took the time out to let OurStage know the songwriting process behind the band’s powerhouse single.

Continue reading ‘Liner Notes: Love Lies Sweet – “Goodbye to Fairytales”’

Download of the Week: Zigmat

ZigmatAfter touring the US, Mexico and Brazil and signing with Spanish and Brazilian labels, it’s clear this week’s MTV Music “Needle in the Haystack” is a band destined for international success. Last May the Brooklyn duo Zigmat released their full length debut Sounds of Machines. The release caught the attention of critics at Billboard Magazine who likened the band to trip-hop and electrorockers Air, Goldfrapp and Massive Attack. However, the Zigmat sound that vocalist Monica Rodriguez and bassist Stephen Yonkin have been developing since their formation in 2006 is in a world of its own. The band’s hauntingly beautiful, yet danceable rhythms and melodies come full force on this week’s free download “Light of the Moon.” Monica’s powerful vocals take center stage in front of a reverb-drenched guitar and chunky-sounding synth bass lines. It’s all very fitting for the song they claim “paints a dark picture of pseudo-sadistic lust.”

Liner Notes: Jahi – “The Realness”

One of hip hop’s unsung heroes is OurStage‘s own Alternative Hip Hop Channel stand out, Jahi. The Cleveland MC shrugs off the flash and cash that dominate the mainstream scene, using his music as a way to give back to the community. Not surprisingly, Jahi’s incredible, down-to-earth mentality comes as a breath of fresh air.  With 10 albums under his belt since 2000, Jahi’s hard work and soulful, old school hip hop style has not gone unnoticed he’s shared the stage with hip hop all stars such as Jay-Z, Outkast and Missy Elliott. “The Realness” is a track that best illustrates Jahi’s dedication to his roots. On this week’s Liner Notes, he explains the story behind the song.

Continue reading ‘Liner Notes: Jahi – “The Realness”’

VIBE Picks Dujeous for Editorial Feature and Returns to OurStage for March

Last month over 700 artists competed for a shot at being featured on in the “Your Music on” Channel. Holding the Number 2 spot on the charts was an action-packed NYC hip hop band by the name of Dujueos with their track “Spectacular.” The group has a solid record on OurStage’s Alternative Hip Hop Channel with two Number 1 monthly titles and a Number 1 hip hop video. It’s no surprise that this band, who’s opened for the likes of Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Funkadelic and John Legend, would catch the eyes (and ears) of the editorial staff at VIBE. After finding out about their big win Taylor, the band’s guitarist, was bursting with excitement: “OurStage is a great place for indie artists to get discovered.  We are really happy about winning the upcoming feature and are glad that people are hearing and feeling our music.” Keep checking for more on Dujueous.

Wait, there’s more! VIBE is returning to OurStage again this month to scout for more new rising superstars in the urban music scene. Hip hop and R&B artists should enter their original songs the “Your Music on” Channel for a chance to be featured in one of the urban music scene’s most popular online destinations. One artist will be selected from the Top 10 by staff at VIBE to receive a Q&A and streaming music premiere on in addition to a music critique from the president of G-Unit Records, Sha Money XL, and the all-star producer Hi-Tek (Talib Kweli, Common, 50 Cent)

For more information visit

Download of the Week: I Fight Dragons

Video games, superheroes and infectiously catchy power pop are the fuel behind Chicago’s I Fight Dragons journey from obscurity to the national spotlight as this week’s Needle in the Haystack featured artist. Armed with Game Boys and guitars, the group spearheaded their way into the OurStage and CMJ charts this past summer with tracks off their stellar Cool Is Just a Number EP. However, the band isn’t just a treat for the ears — they’ve earned quite the local rep for their live show playing old school video game controllers, like the beloved Nintendo powerglove, alongside traditional tools of the trade. After a recent signing to Photo Finish Records, the Nintedo-crazed six piece is gearing up to share the bill with 3OH!3, Cobra Starship, and Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes on the Too Fast For Love Tour starting in April. Give a listen to this week’s free track, “Heads Up, Hearts Down” and see what all the buzz is about for yourself. Keep your eyes peeled to OurStage and the MTV Music blog to get better acquainted with the I Fight Dragons crew.

Beat Kangz Independent Artist Challenge Returns to OurStage for March

Last month Beat Kangz launched the “Beat Kangz Independent Artist Challenge” for urban, pop and electronic artists to celebrate the introduction of Beat Thang and Beat Thang Virtual — revolutionary beat making solutions. Over 700 OurStage artists competed for the grand prize, a music critique by the GRAMMY award-winning producer Rockwilder (50 cent, Jay-Z, Eminem) along with Beat Thang and a copy of Beat Thang Virtual from Beat Kangz Electronics. Congrats to the Number 1 ranking artist in the channel, Jarell Perry, who was named the grand prize winner for his song “My Life.” Other members of the channel’s Top 5 will  receive a copy of Beat Thang Virtual — preloaded with a library of over 3,000 sounds recorded by Beat Kangz — as well as a free year of and over 50 royalty-free beats made by super producer Rockwilder.

If you didn’t get to compete in last’s month competition, don’t worry. Beat Kangz are giving artists another chance to win this groundbreaking gear! The Top 5 ranked artists in this month’s “Beat Kangz Independent Artist Challenge” will be eligible to win Beat Thang with Beat Thang Virtual in addition to a music critique by Rockwilder. Urban, pop and electronic artists are invited to submit their best original songs before March 23rd. For more information on rules and entering visit

Be sure to check out music from last month’s winners.

Liner Notes: High Child – “Songbird”

You don’t need a ton of money and a fancy recording studio to make a good recording these days. The members of the London rock quartet High Child proved this by securing a place in the OurStage Indie Pop Channel Top 10 this past January. The band’s keyboardist Alex Plowright stepped in for this week’s “Liner Notes” to tell us about the DIY recording process for their ’60s Britrock-influenced tune “Songbird”:

Continue reading ‘Liner Notes: High Child – “Songbird”’

Ernie Ball Returns to OurStage: Win a Year’s Supply of Strings and Accessories

Last summer the world’s Number 1 guitar string brand came to OurStage to reward a few top-ranking acts with $500 worth of goods. Now Ernie Ball is back to help out more emerging musicians and their sight is set on the Rock Music Channels.  One high-ranking act from March’s Rock Channels will be hand-picked by Ernie Ball to win a year’s supply of strings and accessories!

For your chance to win, upload your best original song to your OurStage profile before March 23rd  and enter it into one of the following channels: alternative, funk, indie rock, rock, soft rock or southern rock. Don’t forget to check out last year’s OurStage Ernie Ball winners — Matt Mays & El Torpedo, Tim Blane and Static Cycle.

To find out more visit


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