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Search For The Coldest Finalists Prepare To Battle In NYC

After months of intense judging and voting, the Coors Light® “Search For The Coldest” Competition has reached its final round, with just eight talented MCs preparing to go head–to–head in a randomly selected freestyle battle live in New York City on July 26.

Winners from the New Orleans, New York, National Video, and National Wildcard Channels will face the regional winners from Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Charlotte. Check out the final eight below! When the dust settles onstage, a panel of music industry experts will judge the final performance and officially crown the nation’s coldest MC. Who will be victorious? Stay tuned to find out!

New Orleans

DL.

New York

Chris Akinyemi

National Video

Tarik Trotter

National Wildcard

The Lyrical Maze

Baltimore

KOVE

Atlanta

LS Lane

Philadelphia

Aquil

Charlotte

Felony Fame

 

Search For The Coldest Semi-Finalists Announced – Vote Now For Your Favorite And Win Killer Prizes

The Coors Light® “Search For the Coldest” Competition is about to kick things up a notch. Are you ready? The many have been whittled down to the few—it’s time to meet the round four Semi-Finalists.

The following eight Semi-Finalists from the New Orleans, New York, National Video, and National Wildcard channels will continue to battle it out for your votes online at searchforthecoldest.com until July 10.

New Orleans

Boy Sykes

DL.

Continue reading ‘Search For The Coldest Semi-Finalists Announced – Vote Now For Your Favorite And Win Killer Prizes’

Let The Search For The Coldest Begin…

For the second year in a row, OurStage and Coors Light are teaming up to find the coldest MC in the game. Think you have what it takes? Then the Coors Light® “Search for the Coldest” Competition is for you.

All solo hip hop artists (that are at least twenty-one years old) are encouraged to enter their best original track into the Coors Light® “Search for the Coldest” Competition Channels (New Orleans, New York, National Wildcard, Video, Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte or Philadelphia). Eight semi-finalists will be chosen by the OurStage fans and the competition judges to perform in New York City at a finale hosted by Ice Cube, with one Grand Prize Winner going home with their song featured on Coors Light® “Search For The Coldest” mixtape, as well as a track produced by DJ Drama, and $10,000 worth of studio time. If you want a shot at this awesome opportunity, enter your best original track by May 15, 2012.

 

Follow Up With Coors Light “Search for the Coldest” Midwest Winner Billa Camp After His Baltimore Bash With N.E.R.D. And PacDiv

Billa Camp charmed listeners with his ode to his favorite state in “California” and reigned supreme in the “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” Midwest Channel. The result: Billa got to fly to Baltimore to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv, and has a chance at being crowned the “Coldest MC”! We caught up with Billa after his performance in Baltimore to see what it was like to open for heavyweights N.E.R.D. and PacDiv and how he plans on winning the Grand Prize—a performance at ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans.

OS: How did you react when you found out that your song was the winner of the Midwest Channel?

BC: I was hyped! There were plenty of worthy emcees from the Midwest. It’s an honor to have came out on top.

OS: What inspired you to choose “California” a song about your love of the West Coast, to be the track you submitted into the Midwest competition?

BC: Personally, I love the entire make up of the continental United States. You can drive from one end of the country to the other and feel as if you’ve stepped into different worlds. I was born in New York, became a man in Chicago, but I was always intrigued by how filmmakers portrayed California life. Being from the Midwest you’re in the middle of it all. I feel the song connects with people not only from the Midwest, but all over. Simply because, mostly everyone has dreamed of going somewhere or doing something to escape the realities of everyday life.

Billa Camp performing in Baltimore

OS: What was it like opening for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv? Were you a fan of them before you entered the competition?

BC: Of course, I knew who both the groups were. It was sick, crazy, bananas, inspirational, motivational and any other complimentary word used to describe a situation. Actually, six months ago I had an interview where they asked me: “Who would I most like to work with”? I answered “N.E.R.D.” Positive thinking goes a long way!

OS: What was the most memorable moment from the show for you?

BC: Just being there was memorable, but if I had to pick one thing it would be…Seeing N.E.R.D & Pac Div on the same bill for “free”. Priceless!

OS: What are your plans for promoting yourself to earn that Grand Prize—a performance at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans?

BC: I’d rather not say right now, but all you can do is go BIG.

OS: What kind of impact do you think this will have on your career going forward?

BC: I want to use this as a stepping stone, and these are definitely steps in the right direction.

OS: Any shout outs for the fans and your supporters on OurStage who helped “California” win in the competition?

BC: I want to say “Thank You” to everyone who voted and took the time to support independent music. Without them, there would be no independent artists.

OS: After seeing Eclectic Approach performing live, what do you think of the competition in the finals?

BC: Jowed is dope. He’s got good crowd control. It was a great experience and I had fun. You can’t beat that.

Check out Billa Camp’s winning track below:

Eclectic Approach Talks About Rocking Out With PacDiv And N.E.R.D.

Eclectic Approach won big in the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” Competition. Chill doesn’t begin to describe the laid back vibe these hip hoppers bring to the table and thanks to their track, “Cool”,  Eclectic Approach was crowned the winner of the West Channel. We caught up with Eclectic Approach MC Jowed Hadeed after his performance in Baltimore to see what it was like to open for heavyweights N.E.R.D. and PacDiv and how he plans to win the Grand Prize—a performance at ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans!

OS: How did you react when you found out that your song was the winner of the West Channel?

JH: I was so excited. Ryan (our guitarist) called me and said that we won and that we [would] get flown to Baltimore and I was like “NO WAY!” This is my first time ever being flown for a competition so I was stoked. We have worked so hard these last two years since we started music full time (nine years all together) and it feels good to have something good come our way.

OS: As the only finalist in the competition that uses live, organic instrumentation in your hip hop production, how do you think this will effect your chances in the competition?

JH: I hope that it will improve my chances. We spent a lot of time in the studio making the song “Cool” sound big and I feel that not a lot of music these days is taking the extra time and effort for live instrumentation and good production.

OS: What was it like opening for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv? Were you a fan of them before you entered the competition?

JH: Opening for N.E.R.D. was amazing. I consider them to be one of the top five hip hop producers and performers today and of all time. I had not heard of PacDiv up until this performance but they put on a good show.

OS: What are your plans for promoting yourself to earn that Grand Prize—a performance at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans?

JH: My plan is to use the social networks to the fullest. Our fans, friends and family have all seen the hard work we put in and are ready to do everything they can to vote and promote. We will be using all communication channels possible to spread the word about voting.

OS: What kind of impact do you think this will have on your career going forward?

JH: My hope is to win, and meet with a rep from Universal. I think that our band displays such a wide variety of styles and talent that someone with the right platform could focus the “best” sound for us and put us on the road in front of big crowds so that we can prove our music is good.

OS: Any shout outs for the fans and your supporters on OurStage who helped “Cool” win in the competition?

JH: OurStage has been so awesome to our band. We couldn’t be more thankful that OurStage exists and that they have such wonderful and supportive people there. I really get the feeling from them that they want to see our band succeed and we hope to make them proud. Our fans are so amazing as well, they have all been rooting for us since they heard about the competition.

OS: After seeing Billa Camp performing live, what do you think of the competition in the finals?

JH: All I can say is that going into this competition it was my goal to be who I am and nothing else. I got up and only performed two songs but I feel as though I did a good job of speaking to the crowd and giving them an experience that left them feeling good about my music. I wish all the other contestants the best of luck!

Check out the winning track from Eclectic Approach below:

Get Lyrical: Greenspan’s “Cold”

We realized recently that we haven’t been giving a lot of love to OurStage’s hip hop fans on Get Lyrical (and there are a lot of you out there)! So this week, we’re changing things up with rapper Greenspan and his infectious, Lupe Fiasco-esque street anthem “Cold,” which is currently competing in the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” Competition.

Greenspan is a Baltimore native who takes his stage name from famous economist Alan Greenspan. (Fittingly, he calls his crew “The Federal Reserve”.) With his simultaneously relentless and laid-back delivery, he turns “Cold” into a fresh track about success. “On my way to the spot for the interview/I run into rappers I’ve seen before say they feel a few/of my records.” He’s rapping about being interviewed and getting his due from other musicians, but Greenspan makes it clear that none of his success has been handed to him and that he’s put in his time with the line, “I been around the state for my schooling/No university/And been through things that made my skin tough enough/Ain’t no hurtin’ me.”

Listen to the track, and you’ll hear how steadfastly Greenspan adheres to the words, “All I know is time being wasted/And yo, we through with that.” He lays down his verses over a simple, repetitive beat, and doesn’t even slow down long enough for a chorus. He just spits until he’s exhausted himself. It makes for good listening—the track is impossible to listen to without nodding your head or tapping your feet. And we think Greenspan’s timing is perfect; now that it’s finally getting warm out, there’s no better time to open your windows, turn up the bass and enjoy a “Cold” one.  Check out Greenspan’s track below!


Have an interesting story behind your lyrics? Let us know at pr@ourstage.com!

The Beat Generation: Lazerbitch

Lazerbitch are veterans of the Electronica Channel—their single “Twilight” has been rocking the Top 40 for months. This guy-girl duo are based out of Baltimore and they rep their scene HARD. No surprise as the city has always had a vibrant music scene. For those of you who only know the city as the crab cake captial of the world and from The Wire, you’re missing out. The music of the Baltimore club scene, and more recently their indie rock scene, has gone nationwide in the past few years, borne out of warehouses and artists communities. While Lazerbitch’s sound is a bit removed from those scenes, they do their musical city proud.

The duo have been producing music in some capacity since ’99 both under the Lazerbitch moniker and in other projects. Most notably, singer Libby Picken aka Zna.Queene did the vocals for John B.’s “Electrofreek”, a mix of which was featured on Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto Presents mix series. Partner in crime Mad Max is no slouch either, having DJ’d at Coolworld’s Cyberfest and having released a few mixes on his own before starting Lazerbitch. Max is also the instrumental muscle of the group, playing guitar and keytar (!) for their live shows.

The aforementioned “Twilight” is a hot slab of electro-pop. The clean guitars melding with the kick drum makes it sound like an uptempo disco given a modern update. Then the synth really kicks in and the pulse starts percolating and the electro swagger leads right into the hook. Shake your booty. The accompanying video functions as both a love letter to Lazerbitch’s home town and surprise surprise, the video has vampires in it. It’s not at all corny like that other Twilight though… Not sure if Lazerbitch can reverse the current perception of vampires in the media today but at least they’re trying. You can check out the video for “Twilight” below.

Rapper’s Delight: Freeloadas

Besides being a part of the OurStage community, the Freeloadas are known as an ethnically diverse hip hop group based out of Baltimore. They haven’t found a great deal mainstream success, but their longevity and commitment to music is impressive: fourteen years of writing and recording with four independent albums released. The way the Freeloadas see it, anything they produce will become popular, not because it is mainstream, but because they are real and people can identify with that. And it’s true. Sometimes an artist will make it big and you really can’t take them seriously anymore as they rap about poverty and their financial woes. The Freeloadas have managed to keep that “real” factor by not selling out in over a decade of making music, and their music is a testament to that.


The Freeloadas are still very much active and recently dropped a massive 34 track double CD called Modern Art last summer. Check it out on their Web site or buy it at CD Universe ! Here’s a little teaser so you can see what you’ve been missing:

Hip Hop Habit: Lyriqs

Hip Hop HabitThis week’s edition of Hip Hop Habit attempts to learn more about the man behind the mask. With nothing more than a brief mention about his production work for other artists and a series of distancing profile pictures, all we are able to know for sure is that Lyriqs (aka Dwight Giles) is an artistic enigma—flawlessly blending the genres of spoken word, neo soul, and hip hop to create a whole new genre not yet tediously compartmentalized by the man.

All questions left unanswered in his profile are dramatically unveiled in “Me,” a 6-minute audible ablution about the life and times of Mr. Giles himself. From the get go, we learn why he isn’t forthcoming beforehand. On top of a skeletal beat furnished only with morose strings, frenetic percussion and an ironic applause sample, Lyriqs proceeds to spill his guts on what it was like growing up without a father figure, most obviously conveyed in lines like “Now this boy is a man/ just the way as mama planned/ daddy didn’t understand/ what it took to be a man” and “All I can do is think back and blame him/ vowed I never became him.” Yet out of the anger directed at what wasn’t grows an appreciation for what is, and soon enough Lyriqs is thanking his mom for her hard work in raising him and affirming himself as the “rock” he always knew he could be. When it’s all said and done, our protagonist emerges as a hero having successfully slain the troubling fodder of his past.

Baltimore Emcee LyriqsMaybe this is because it’s an unavoidable destination for the majority of Lyriqs’ targeted genres, but the same coffee house spoken word vibe present in “Me” bleeds into “Lyrical Lady,” a descriptively told artist-on-artist love (or is it merely admiration?) story that sees Lyriqs poetically lauding a fellow writer he first sees on the bus. Instead of the typical derogatory male-dominated courting that infests all genres of music, this piece sees both subjects trying to stealthily win the other’s approval, whether it be for musical purposes or other. Fun fact: The charming female voice in this piece is OurStage Artist Yung Miss!

Lyriqs music is absolutely refreshing and unique, but whether it will grow beyond the café is still debatable. There’s no question that his music is good, but it may just fit too well within its niche to break out. Thankfully, if there’s anyway for that to happen, it lays in the hands of Giles himself since he’s started his own record label and production company, Spoken Music Entertainment. Get lost in his mystery genre in the player below, and let us know how you would classify his sound in the comments!

Food for Thought

ismail

The Thinker: Khalil Ismail

Khalil Ismail may be young, black and from the inner city, but that doesn’t mean his story is one you’ve heard before. While some hip hop artists are content to use their experiences on the mean streets as the only fodder for their music, Ismail transcends his own upbringing to bring other social causes to light. Calling himself “ordinary,” the Baltimore rapper delivers galvanized hip hop manifestos that are anything but.

On his debut full-length The Calm Before the Storm, he tackles love, war and everything in between. “Freedom” takes Operation Iraqi Freedom to task. Over keening electric guitars, Ismail unleashes his furor, rapping “Is it so different cause the killings overseas / Should we use the word “collateral” when it’s a human being?” “Hip-hop” is part love song to the genre, part invective against the industry that keeps “feeding the masses with fatty acids as if there isn’t an organic alternative that’s good for your heart and tastes even better than the bad did.” With too many rappers spitting misogynistic and violent lyrics, Ismail has crafted some serious hip hop you can sink your teeth into. Bon appétit.

Signatures_KateB

 


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