Soundcheck: Hip-Hop Gets Political

With the 2012 presidential campaign well underway, hip-hop heavyweights are weighing in on the Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney battle. While the celebrity circuit has been relatively quiet compared to the last election, some stars are stepping up to lend their support to Obama, while others are just encouraging young people to vote.

Last week, legendary rapper Immortal Technique voiced his support for President Obama, and doubted he would be ousted come November.

“I don’t think [Romney will] be elected. I’m not saying there’s no chance. I just think the chips are going to fall with Obama. I think a lot of people are very invested in that, and the infrastructure of America especially finishing these wars and going through economic change rare to see them oust a president that way. Although, Romney does have a huge, huge cash influx, which makes him able to put all these ads out. It’ll just be up to the swing states. New York is always going to be Democrat for the most part,” he told Vlad TV.

He also took some time to compare the two candidates, noting Romney’s new focus on personality. (more…)

Soundcheck: Rock The Bells 2012 Announces Stellar Setlist & Murs Exclusive

Boost Mobile and Guerilla Union hosted a star-studded event at Hollywood’s House of Blues Wednesday night to announce the lineup for their 2012 Rock The Bells Festival Series. Supernatural rapped a four-minute freestyle of the ridiculously talented roster of headliners over an impromptu live beat-box from DJ Quik to an enthusiastic crowd; with many of the list’s all-stars sitting right behind him.


The lyrical listing included 2 Chainz, ASAP Rocky, Atmosphere, Big Daddy Kane, Dipset, E-40 and Too Short, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, J. Cole, Missy Elliott and Timbaland, and Salt & Peppa.

Full of famous faces, legends and newbies, mainstream headliners and indie heroes, Rock The Bells looks like the most epic hip hop line-up of the year.

Supernatural went on to announce the newbies like Schoolboy Q, Tyga, Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, along with veterans Slick Rick & Doug E Fresh, Lupe Fiasco, Nas, Naughty By nature, Method Man & Redman, Prodigy, Kid Cudi, Bone Thugs “N- Harmony, among others.

We caught up with Murs backstage to talk about his involvement in the festival. I will be performing with Fashawn, we’re working on a record, we’ll be promoting two EPs, one will come out at the beginning of the festival. I’m happy Rock The Bells is stepping up, I’m excited about the line up, he said. He also revealed that he had a lot to do with linking up some of the stellar set list, and recalled how he helped usher into the limelight this year’s Goldenboy, Kendrick Lamar. Last year Kendrick Lamar was on this stage right here and everyone looked at him like he was nobody. Now if he came up here there would be a riot at the House of Blues. He’s a headliner.


Soundcheck: Hip-Hop Hits Festival Season– Paid Dues, Coachella & Lollapalooza

It was 10:45 Sunday night when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg hit the main stage to close out the three-day music festival at Coachella. When the lights went low, the infamous West Coast duo resurrected some old hits and old friends for their highly anticipated, headlining set. 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Eminem all came out to perform famous collaborations with the prolific pair; leaving lots of room for long breaks for Dre.  An elaborate hologram of the late Tupac Shakur appeared alongside the duo onstage to deliver his verses from Two Of America’s Most Wanted and Hail Mary from beyond the grave.  The tribute was interesting; but a bit morbid as well and the crowd seemed a bit puzzled to say the least.  Overall, the ninety-minute headlining set was nostalgic at best; and while it was enjoyable; Dre’s contribution didn’t suggest the comeback he has been promising for years now.  Backstage fans included Rihanna, Fergie, Will.I.Am and the Fire Marshall shut down the area for capacity reasons, leaving stars like Paris Hilton scrambling from the side stage.


Metermaids Make The Rooftop Shake

Attention hip hop fans! OurStage’s own Metermaids, an underground hip hop duo hailing from Brooklyn, have just released a new album! If you aren’t already familiar with the duo of emcees Sentence and Swell then you should get acquainted, because they’re taking the underground scene by storm. After releasing the Smash Smash Bang EP in late 2009, the pair caught the attention of acclaimed producer 9th Wonder and underground veteran Sage Francis, who signed the group to his label, Strange Famous Records. Since then they’ve been building buzz with a series of mixtapes and EPs until finally dropping their album Rooftop Shake last week. And it is definitely worth the wait.