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T-Pain Kickstarts A Comeback With “Up Down”

In the last decade of hip-hop, few artists have had as many ups and downs as T-Pain. Having come up during the heyday of vocoder/autotune, the Florida-bred emcee has struggled to find radio hits in recent years. Still, his tours sold out and offers to collaborate continued to roll in. T-Pain kept quiet, working on major singles as opportunities arose, and now it seems he’s finally set for a comeback with his new single, “Up Down.”

Time can change a person in many ways, but those worried T-Pain would abandon his love of vocoder can rest easy knowing the rapper’s signature robotic voice is still completely intact on his new material. “Up Down” pairs Pain with Atlanta kingpin B.o.B. for a track about the girls at clubs that make you want to spend all of your money. It’s catchy, simple, and complete with a great hook. You can view the song’s official lyric video below.

T-Pain has certainly taken a major risk by refusing to change his vocal approach over the years, but “Up Downs” is proof enough he still knows how to craft a radio/club-ready hit. This track might be forgotten in a year, but it will certainly help T-Pain regain his credibility in the urban music scene. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on the performance. Continue reading ‘T-Pain Kickstarts A Comeback With “Up Down”’

B.o.B. Releases “Headband” Video

Atlanta-bred rapper B.o.B. has partnered with 2 Chainz to release a video for their latest collaborative effort, “Headband.”

Debuting online within the last 24 hours, the official video for “Headband” features one of Bobby Ray’s simplest concept to date. Forget about the larger-than-life shots of luxury, travel destinations, and the like. This time, the man who gave us “Nothing On You” performs around what appears to be his house, while 2 Chainz relaxes in a lawn chair surrounded by synchronized sunbathers. It’s as odd as it sounds, and thoroughly entertaining. You can view the video below.

B.o.B. is reportedly working on a new album, but no information has been confirmed at this time. Stay tuned for further updates in the weeks ahead. Continue reading ‘B.o.B. Releases “Headband” Video’

Mixtape Mondays: B.o.B, Jitta On The Track, Action Bronson

A few weeks have passed and now it’s time once again to take a look at the mixture market. Huge releases have been arriving nearly every day, and a lot of big names are still planning to drop records before the year comes to an end. I think Chief Keef may have proven he has a classic on his hands with the Finally Rich snippets that arrived online this morning, but we still have a few weeks before we’ll find out.

In this edition of Mixtape Mondays we’ll be discussing a few notable names, as well as OurStage favorite Jitta On The Track and the impending release of Alphabet Soup. If you have a new track or mixtape you want featured in this column, email jshotwell@ourstage.com and I’ll do my best to include you in an upcoming article. Continue reading ‘Mixtape Mondays: B.o.B, Jitta On The Track, Action Bronson’

Soundtrax: Rap Royalty

Get your drinks in the air – we’re celebrating the biggest and baddest rappers in the game. This mix features some of the hottest names in hip-hop, alongside rising OurStage rappers Jitta On The Track, Will Brennan and The Niceguys. Enjoy!

Exclusive Q and A: Sublime With Rome Remember the Past, Embrace the Future

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsLike most musicians at the age of twenty, singer-songwriter Rome Ramirez was inspired by the music he listened to growing up, including influential reggae group Sublime. Little did he know, he would not only be given the opportunity to jam with Sublime, but to also become their new frontman. The band had not performed as Sublime since the death of original vocalist Bradley Nowell in 1996, but founding members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh knew that Ramirez would be the right choice to sing for the newly reunited band. Sublime with Rome released their debut album, Yours Truly, in July 2011 and have been touring nonstop since. We had the opportunity to speak with Rome himself about fronting this legendary band, what it’s like to write with Bud and Eric and his future plans for a solo record.

OS: What is your musical background and how did it lead you to connecting with the members of Sublime?

RR: I started playing guitar when I was eleven years and I wanted to learn Sublime songs. I played other instruments too, but I was mainly a guitar player. I didn’t start singing until way, way later. I was in a studio in Orange County, and the studio owner was good friends with Eric, the bass player of the band. Eric would come by and hang out and shit, and over the course of time we started to jam. My soon-to-be-manager caught wave that a kid who kind of sounded like Brad was playing Sublime songs once in a while with Eric. She thought of the idea and talked to Eric, and Eric was like, “I was thinking the same thing!” Next thing was going up to Tahoe and seeing Bud…

OS: That’s crazy!

RR: Dude, it’s nuts. It happened so fast!

OS: What is like to be so young, but performing with a band that has a twenty year legacy?

RR: I grew up listening to that music, in particular, so to be able to pick up a phone and call them is just fucking weird [laughs], let alone being on stage and playing their songs!

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Sublime With Rome Remember the Past, Embrace the Future’

Taylor Swift Will Sing With Anybody

Taylor Swift has been keeping herself very busy since the release of her triple platinum album Speak Now. The singer-songwriter just wrapped up a nearly six month, cross country tour in support of the record this past Tuesday in New York with a two-night residency at Madison Square Garden. While we understand that Swift needs a break—between the constant touring, the songs Swift has been putting together for her next album and the tweets of her too-cute-to-handle new kitty, Meredith—we hope that she can make it back onto the road soon.

Seriously, this cat is too much to handle.

Why do we want Swift back on tour? Well, in addition to the fact that we haven’t seen her in concert yet, Swift was providing a very special treat to fans coming out to her live show: surprise guests! In case you haven’t been out to one of her shows yourself, Swift has been bringing on a performer each night to do a little ditty with. And for those that have no interest in country music, fret not—most of these stars are some of Swift’s fellow Top 40 alumnus.

Continue reading ‘Taylor Swift Will Sing With Anybody’

Soundcheck: When Hip-Hop Goes Pop

Mash-ups are a mainstay on the hip hop scene with rappers constantly collaborating to deliver fresh material.  Even the most vicious emcee paired up with the current R&B diva has a natural charm, and we’ve come to expect Rihanna, Beyoncé or Kelly Rowland backing up big verses from big rappers.  Now, it seems that hip hop has crossed over into the pop star realm, blurring the lines between the sugary sweet stylings of pop icons like Britney, Katy and Bieber with the hard-hitting sound of the streets.

We got our biggest dose of the crossover craze when Nicki Minaj announced she would join Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour this year. In a groundbreaking move, fans of pop music’s reigning queen would be shoulder to shoulder with fans of the hottest thing to hit hip hop in years.  What resulted was one hell of a party!

Now, other singers are following suit, and pairing up with some unlikely collaborators. Justin Bieber will throw a little hip hop into the holidays when he releases Under The Mistletoe, on November 1.  The fifteen-track holiday album features a version of “The Little Drummer Boy” with none other than Busta Rhymes. We can’t imagine Rhymes’ grimy, gruff voice singing about the birth of Christ, but we’re all ears.  Other guests on the album will include Usher, Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey.

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: When Hip-Hop Goes Pop’

Vocal Points: Lead Singer Syndrome Strikes Again?

Hayley Williams, lead singer of the band Paramore, possesses an incredible voice. Not only is she naturally talented, she’s worked hard on her voice with coach Brett Manning since she was  thirteen years old. It is clear that these lessons have taught her control, and have strengthened her vocals. But while the kind of strength, passion and personality which Hayley portrays onstage have aided her music career, they’ve also resulted in negative effects offstage.

Hayley has consistently stressed to the public that she wants people to care about the band as a whole, but she still comes across as the band’s shining star. With her spunky attitude, ever-changing hair color and her powerhouse voice, fans cannot ignore her. The band’s songs are often composed of pretty standard rock progressions, but the way that she attacks every note with precision sets them apart from other acts. Additionally, her strong voice allows her opportunities which the other band members cannot take part in—a recording contract with Atlantic Records and the guest spot on B.o.B‘s hit song “Airplanes” for example.

Back in December 2010, rumors of her overbearing voice surfaced after original members Josh and Zac Farro left the band and issued an exit statement which alleged that the band had become all about Hayley. The brothers said that they could no longer put up with what they called a “manufactured band” and made it clear that they felt their own voices could not be heard while in Paramore. And while the Farro brothers had always seemed like crucial ingredients in the band’s success, Hayley and remaining members Taylor York and Jeremy Davis decided to proceed without Josh and Zac. Nothing could stop Hayley from moving forward and continuing to show what a sensation she is. And the successful release of their first single without the Farro brothers, “Monster” proves the point.

Continue reading ‘Vocal Points: Lead Singer Syndrome Strikes Again?’

 


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