Summer is beginning to come to a close, and it’s about time to start packing. As much as we hate to admit it, we need to leave the lake houses and beach bungalows behind and return to the real world. Home Is Where The Heart Is features an eclectic mix of songs about just how great home is, whether you’re missing familiar surroundings or simply anticipating the happy return to your domicile. So load your trunk, say goodbye to summer friends, and begin the trek back home.
Here are 15 tracks from Native June, The Beatles, Seven Handle Circus, Rancid, The Dear Hunter, and many more to help you on your journey.
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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.
Listening to good music that other people already know about is totally overrated nowadays. This week, OurStage’s own hipster correspondent Kristin has built us a playlist that’s more anti-mainstream than PBR and lens-less wayfarers. This playlist was developed around the supernatural hipster ability to discover great music before anyone else has the chance to hear it. By studying the hipster in its natural habitat, we can learn about how songs start to become trendy at the earliest stages, and predict what music is on the rise based on what hipsters are listening to currently. SoundTrax’s Hold Me Closer Tiny Hipster features popular music that these groovy trendsetters were listening to months ago, before it was cool (of course) and songs they’re listening to now that’s sure to catch on to mainstream popularity soon enough. As an added bonus, there are also a few tracks that were previously overlooked by conformist popular culture that hipsters have attempted desperately to keep to themselves. Sorry for spilling the beans, hipsters.
Post up in a local coffee shop on your MacBook then work on your Avant-garde screenplay while listening to these awesome tunes by Lana Del Rey, Bronze Radio Return, We Were Lovers, Imagine Dragons, and many more.
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Widely known for his breakthrough single, Fireflies, Owl City has mentioned the possibility of recording a “screamo rock” album in the future. The electronica act, whose real name is Adam Young, told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat that he grew up wanting to do nothing else except that. I haven’t had a chance to do it, and do it right. Young is releasing his fourth album on Aug. 21 titled The Midsummer Station, featuring collaborations with Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry/Kelly Clarkson producer Dr. Luke, and Rihanna/Ne-Yo co-writing team Stargate. Growing up I was really into the whole underground, obscure, artsy, heavy, screamo, chaotic, angry angst music. I love it. That was my thing “ that’s what I identified with.
Young expressed concern with whether or not his fans would take to the new project and the drastic change in style. I feel like I could do it right. Do it all myself and record it all and make it sound good. It’s tempting. It might go over the heads of my fans but it might open some new doors and that’s what it’s all about. Every now and again I need to put on one of my old records [that] make me feel that same thing. There’s a place for that.
There’s no word yet on whether the Owatonna, Minnesota multi-instrumentalist would pull a Snoop Lion and take on a fiercer animal name (though our vote is for ˜Pterodactyl Town). You can watch Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s video for Good Time below.
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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.
Sometimes, your average, run-of-the-mill hip-hop just won’t cut it. You need some beats and rhymes that are a little…different. This week, OurStage’s own technical liaison Jordan has put together a playlist for all those alternative hip-hop fans out there. Here’s a mix of rappers who are all thinking outside the box, creating odd combinations of sounds and lyrics to form a synthesis of head-bobbing tunes. These unusual rap songs from artists like Outkast, Philadelphia Slick, Gorillaz, and many more are sure to give you a whole new way to look at rap music. Post up, and contemplate the unique stylings of alternative hip-hop.
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Seven years of hard work has taken Latin urban artist Lokixximo to a whole new level of stardom and all over the map”from The Bronx to The Dominican Republic to Los Angeles. After catching his big break in the Tr3s Dame Un Break Competition, OurStage artist Lokixximo has nowhere to go but up. He was awarded the opportunity to record with four-time GRAMMY-winning producer Sebastian Krys, along with professional direction and production of a music video for his club single, Noches Europea. We caught up with him after the whole experience to see how things went, and to find out where he’ll be going next.
OS: Your music career started over seven years ago, how would you say you’ve developed as an artist since you first began making music?
L: Well I started when I was 13 years old. You know, doing shows and stuff like that, I think it was 2005. That’s when I really branched out and started doing songs and stuff like that. It takes years, you know, to come up with your own style.
OS: What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face so far in your career?
L: The biggest challenge for me really is just trying to get my music to the fans. If you’re working alone, and you don’t have a label or anything, it’s really hard, trying to work and trying to make money in your career. That’s always been a big challenge. But to tell you the truth that’s really like, the fun part of it”the struggle, the process¦ It’s a challenge, you know? Not everyone is willing to do that, to spend their money on their own talent¦ That’s where it really comes. The ones who really believe in themselves are the ones who go far.