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Felony Fame Talks Freestyling, Coors Light Search For The Coldest, and DJ Drama

It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work for North Carolina rapper Felony Fame since he left Newark, N.J. at a young age, but now that struggle is finally paying off. Fame was recently crowned the winner of the Coors Light “Search for the Coldest” Competition by judges DJ Drama and DJ Khaled (joined by host emcee Ice Cube), his versatility and originality overtaking several other competitors in the final round of freestyle battles. Now, the competition title, a DJ Drama-produced track, and a feature on Drama’s mixtape are helping this phenomenon become a sweeping sensation in the world of hip-hop. Felony Fame took a minute with us to talk about life before hip-hop, his alter-ego, and where he’s headed from here.

OS: You’re originally from Newark, N.J., how did you end up settling in North Carolina?

FF: I was really born in Newark, New Jersey. I ended up moving to North Carolina with my grandmother. I was raised by my grandmother, then my mother decided to move to North Carolina from Newark herself. So I was raised in North Carolina.

OS: Who are some other artists who you look up to and draw inspiration from? Did any of those artists influence the start of your career?

FF: Some of the artists I draw inspiration from, for me, definitely The Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie, you know, Notorious B.I.G. He was one of the first big artists I was in to. As a kid I used to want to perform his songs at talent shows, and things like that. Usher too, I did a couple of his songs too, that was in elementary school. Those are some of the artists I came up listening to and made me want to do music.

Continue reading ‘Felony Fame Talks Freestyling, Coors Light Search For The Coldest, and DJ Drama’

Felony Fame Takes the Title For Coldest MC In The Nation

Zip up your coats because the Coldest MC in the country has been named.

Many weeks ago, we teamed up with Coors Light® to find the country’s coldest MC, one who could spit rhymes like the frostiest winters, and after brutal competition through several different judging and voting rounds, New Jersey-bred rapper Felony Fame has been crowned the coldest of them all. Also known as Propane Fame, the Newark native moved to North Carolina at a young age and got an early start on his rapping career, soon becoming a rising phenomenon. After some tough times in NC, he returned to his roots in New Jersey to focus on developing as an artist, dedicating himself to the art of hip-hop. Fame describes his title by saying, “I chose the name Felony Fame because I wanted to be known for making records, not having a criminal record. I have an alter ego, ‘Propane’ Fame, which showcases my versatility and creativity on records that are for any genre. Felony happens to be for the streets.”

Fame put that versatility and creativity to the test on July 26 at the Coors Light® “Search For The Coldest finale, hosted by Ice Cube, where he competed with seven other finalists in a random freestyle battle to see who was really the coolest spitter in the game. With help from judges DJ Khaled and DJ Drama, the score was settled as Felony Fame held it down for the Charlotte, NC crew with his heavy hitting punchlines and unique use of metaphors. Now, he’ll cash in on $10,000 in studio time to build a track produced by DJ Drama, and will be featured on the upcoming Search For the Coldest Mixtape, presented by Drama himself. Congratulations to DL, Chris Akinyemi, Tarik Trotter, The Lyrical Maze, KOVE, Lois LS Lane, and Aquil for making it to the finals in NYC.

Semi-Finalists Fire Off Rhymes In Search For The Coldest

Everybody knows that Philadelphia is the “City of Brotherly Love,” delicious cheesesteaks, and the Eagles, but is it home to the coldest MC in the nation? With only 16 semi-finalists left in the running, the Coors Light® “Search For The Coldest” Competition” is ready to find out.  Philly semi-finalists Mike Milan and Aquil recently squared off onstage alongside Ice Cube, DJ Drama, and Wale, as they battled for rhyme-spitting dominance and the right to be crowned the nation’s best undiscovered MC.  Watch highlights from the performance below, and be on the lookout for more videos of semi-finalist action from Atlanta and Charlotte.

The Latest From OurStage’s Greatest

With hundreds of thousands of artists making up the OurStage community, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the latest cool happening with our favorite musicians. Luckily, we subscribe to hundreds of OurStagers’ newsletters and email updates so we can always be there to lend a hand or a congratulatory high five. Consider this post a fist pump, thumbs up, ass slap, whatever you will, to these artists for their continuing hustle. Stay awesome.

You may remember the alt hip hop group OMG from their cooler than cool showing in the Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition, where they froze out competition to become finalists and opened for N.E.R.D. Now they’re heating things up with their latest single “Chase the Sun” released on August 3 from their upcoming debut LP Mr. Mars. The funky hip hop beats will put you in a block party mindset complete with warm tall boys, but the swaggy hip hop vocals will melt you down into a groovy puddle right on the pavement.

Some music is just written for heartache. But if you’re really looking to torture yourself, you’re gonna want the songs that were written from heartache. Chris Akinyemi delivers in “Aya Mi” (means My Heart in Yoruba) of his debut Autumn EP, a soft acoustic song about what sounded like a wrenching break up with his college girlfriend. Just as you’re about to slit your wrists, female harmonies and the slightest percussion accents are dropped in (4:20) for a revitalizing finish. Regardless of the inspiration for the song, Chris has the last laugh, as the “Aya Mi” music video will soon premiere on MTV.

Our DVR may be slightly backed up with the new episodes of Entourage (what? Sunday nights are busy!) but The Niceguys video for their new single “Ari Gold”, off their upcoming The James Kelley EP, is enough to remind us why we need to make a date with our remote, and soon. Spitting a take-no-prisoners philosophy, we want to bump the song while driving around cursing off our boss (hypothetically, of course!).  In the latest issue of Rolling Stone (p. 56)  Jeremy Piven insisted he really is a “nice guy”… maybe The Niceguys can make him one of their entourage.

Amy Kuney makes the kind of music that lends itself to pop culture and relevant going-ons. Her song ”All Downhill From Here” made an appearance in the uber-creepy Catfish, a was-it-or-wasn’t-it documentary exploring online relationships. Most recently “Gasoline Rainbows” was used by So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Stacey Tookey to convey a wake up call in regards to growing environmental issues. Whether it’s intentional or not, Amy is certainly tuned in.

Being sick sucks. Being sick with food poisoning sucks even more. Being sick with pneumonia, food poisoning AND being in Germany probably sucks serious bratwurst. But Xoe Wise is bouncing back and getting ready to depart on a North American tour with Matt Ryd, hitting pretty much every major city and adding in five performances at Microsoft locations, who are sponsoring her. Look for our care package of TheraFlu in the mail, Xoe.

The New York Times, as they say, has all the news that’s fit to print. So it’s only fitting that Sarah Solovay popped up in the N.Y./Region section last month in an interview about her career as a seventeen-year-old musician juggling songwriting and prep school. Despite a respectable number of song placements in TV and film, “her biggest achievement was opening for [John] Mayer. Fans [judged] for her on OurStage.com, and on July 24, 2010, she took the stage in front of 18,000 people in Scranton, Pa.,” where our old friend music exec Bruce Tyler noticed and took special interest in her career. Taking the summer to work on her new album, it’s back to the stacks in the fall for Sarah.

 

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:

PyInfamous Hits The Stage With N.E.R.D. And PacDiv

Mississippi’s own PyInfamous won big this May thanks to the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” Competition. With the effortless rhymes and chilled-out horns on his track “Bliss (Cooler Than This),” PyInfamous took the competition’s South Channel and earned an opening slot for hip hop heavyweights N.E.R.D. and PacDiv when their tour rolled through Atlanta. We caught up with PyInfamous after his performance to talk about the show, the song and his plans for winning the Grand Prize—a performance at ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans!

OS: Why did you decide that “Bliss (Cooler Than This)” was the right song for you to enter in the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” South Channel?

PI: The “Bliss” record has a universal feel to it. My homie Colin Dunbar from Canada did the beat, which is outstanding, and when Kerry Thomas came up with the singing piece on the hook, I knew it was phenomenal. The record had been done for a while, so I thought that I would see what everyone else thought about it, plus it seemed to work well with the theme of the contest.

OS: What are some ways you promoted the song and encouraged your fans to support it?

PI: Ironically enough, I didn’t promote the song at all. I’ve done well in the past in regular OurStage Channels with several Top 10 finishes, and I never really promoted the songs. Plus, I honestly figured that the type of music I make, being less “commercial,” wouldn’t do well in a national contest like this one, especially since it doesn’t sound like anything that’s currently getting burn on the radio.

OS: How did you react when you heard that your song was the winner of the South Channel?

PI: I didn’t really believe it. It didn’t really hit me until I got to Atlanta. I was definitely appreciative of OurStage, the fans, Coors Light and everyone else involved, but it took quite awhile for me to take it all in.

OS: What was the experience of opening for PacDiv and N.E.R.D. like?

PI: It was insane. I’ve done shows with large crowds before, but nothing with two national acts that were as popular as PacDiv and N.E.R.D. It was almost like I was splitting time being an artist and being a fan. Both PacDiv and N.E.R.D. absolutely killed it. I had never seen Pharrell live, and I was quite surprised by the way he rocked. I also have to shout out the crowd in Atlanta. They rocked extra hard with me, which was definitely a plus. It’s always great when the crowd is responsive and having a good time.

PyInfamous and PacDiv

I had only heard a little of PacDiv’s music, but what I heard was dope. I’ve been a fan of N.E.R.D.’s music for a while. I appreciate and respect the diversity in their music and their willingness to make the type of music they want to make, regardless of what is trending in the industry.

OS: How did you like playing in Atlanta? Have you played shows there before?

PI: Atlanta was extremely dope. I had rocked there a few years ago at Apache Café, but it’s been a while since I’ve been back to perform. The crowd was tremendous when I was on stage and afterward. I made my way through the crowd and talked to quite a few folks who said they felt the performance, which was good to hear.

OS: What was your favorite part of the experience?

PI: Performing. The best part of music is performing. I love interacting with the crowd—call and response, feeling their energy. There is nothing like it the world. And it’s always great when you have a chance to talk to folks after the show one-on-one to hear how they felt about the set.

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

PI: We have a couple of tricks up our sleeve for that, but I don’t want to ruin it for the fans. We will use a mix of traditional and nontraditional marketing methods though, all of which will be focused on engaging fans on a high level.

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

PI: That’s an interesting question. I don’t really know. I have seen other artists win contests and nothing happen, so I can’t say. I just plan to enjoy the moment and do everything I can to pull out a win. Whatever happens, I still plan to give the fans great music and great live performances, wherever those shows are.

OS: Any shout outs for the fans who voted for “Bliss (Cooler Than This)”?

PI: I would like to shout out to everyone who voted for the record and want to ask for your support again when voting resumes. I definitely want to shout out to the judges for selecting the record and all the folks who came out to the show in Atlanta or watched it on Ustream. We’re almost there! We just have to push toward the finish!

Check out highlights from the Atlanta show featuring PyInfamous, N.E.R.D. and PacDiv below and don’t forget to support your favorite artist when the Grand Prize judging begins June 10th!

OMG To Bring The Heat From The North In Search For The Coldest Finals

Make way for the “Search for The Coldest” contender from the north! The “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” Competition is about to pit the four “Coldest” hip-hoppers in the country against each other in a massive war of words. Out of the Top 40 entries in the “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” North Channel, OMG arose victorious with the song “Blah”.

Brooklyn natives OMG will get to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv on May 31st in New York City, the birthplace of hip hop. The performance will be taped and hosted on OurStage and searchforthecoldest.com side by side with the three top contenders from the South, West and Midwest Channels. Fans can then vote for their favorite performance and help choose which artist will be crowned “Coldest” MC!

The Grand Prize winner will be given an opening performance for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv at Essence Music Festival 2011. Congratulations and good luck OMG from OurStage and Coors Light—you’ve earned it.

 

PyInfamous To Rep The Dirty South In Search For The Coldest Finals

In just a few short weeks, the world will witness a hip hop battle of epic proportions. Four finalists in the “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” Competition will clash head to head for a chance to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv at Essence Music Festival 2011 and be crowned the “Coldest” MC in the country.

But first, the final four will get to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv in select cities nationwide. Hailing from “small pond” Clarksdale, Mississippi, MC PyInfamous will get his chance to represent the Dirty South in the final competition and is performing in Atlanta on May 25! Py’s effortless flow and alt hip hop vibe on “Bliss (Cooler Than This)” proved a winner with the OurStage fans and competition judges, securing him the top slot in the “Search for the Coldest” South Channel.

His upcoming performance will be taped and posted on OurStage and searchforthecoldest.com alongside “Search for the Coldest” finalists from the North, West and Midwest competitions. Fans will then be able to vote for their favorite performance and decide once and for all who is the “Coldest” MC. Congratulations to PyInfamous and good luck at the show!

Check out the Coors Light Facebook page on May 25, at 10:45pm EST to see PyInfamous, PacDiv and N.E.R.D. live in Atlanta! Click here to stream the show.

 

Prizes For All In The Coors Light Search For The Coldest Competition

There’s less than two weeks left to enter your song for a chance to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv! We don’t mean to sound too excited, but if you want a shot at making it to the big time, then you need to ENTER your “Coldest” track in the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” Competition by May 1, 2011. It may just be the best thing you decide to do for your music career.  The Grand Prize Winner will open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv at this year’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans AND score $10,000 in studio time. So what are you waiting for? The competition is open to all hip hop artists ages twenty-one and over—you’ve got nothing to lose but your obscurity.

Don’t think for a minute that we’ve forgotten about the loyal fans…you guys are the one’s who keep this massive artist discovery machine running! By judging in the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” Competition you can take part in helping one artist score their big break and take home some sweet prizes. Every day, four lucky fan winners will win a prize package that includes a pair of Sony Headphones, an MP3 player, a t-shirt and a free MP3 download. One Grand Prize winner will land an all-expenses paid trip to the Essence Music festival in New Orleans in July! Make sure to weigh in soon; the first round of judging is only open until May 15, 2011. If the prospect of a sweet prize package doesn’t tempt you enough, check out the competition’s hottest artists in the playlist below.

 


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