Kendrick Lamar Drops New Album

Listen to Kendrick Lamar on

UPDATE: Pre-order purchases have gone through on iTunes. This means the new Kendrick Lamar album “To Pimp a Butterfly” is officially released. An amazing album with highs and lows. It’s so deep, we need to listen to this project at least 10 more times to get a grasp. Full review coming soon.

Original Post: The past 12 hours have been hectic and confusing for Kendrick Lamar fans world-wide. Here’s what we know, as of 10AM on 3/16/2014. I have a feeling this will be updated at least 1,000 times.

“To Pimp a Butterfly” Kendrick’s newest album, set to be released 2/23, drops early and Kendrick tweets out a link to purchase it on iTunes. It has since been taken off of iTunes, available for pre-order. Only the single “The Blacker the Berry” is available for download. It is unclear why it was available early and for a short period of time, but it might be fair to suggest that someone made a mistake along the way.

The album is still available on Spotify for streaming, for now..

This highly anticipated album features George Clinton, Thundercat, Bilal, Anna Wise, Snoop Dogg, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley, and Rapsody. After playing the first few songs, the album is totally different than any previous Kendrick Lamar project. Absolutely worth a listen.


Here is the tracklist for To Pimp a Butterfly:

1. Wesley’s Theory (feat. George Clinton & Thundercat)
2. For Free? (Interlude)
3. King Kunta
4. Institutionalized (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg)
5. These Walls (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat)
6. U
7. Alright
8. For Sale? (Interlude)
9. Momma
10. Hood Politics
11. How Much a Dollar Cost (feat. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley)
12. Complexion (A Zulu Love) [feat. Rapsody]
13. The Blacker the Berry
14. You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)
15. i
16. Mortal Man

Backstage Pass: Alexa Lusader

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we talked to Alexa Lusader about her influences growing up. Listen to her music on

Alexa Lusader, 21 year old from Rochester, MI, was one of the first artists to sign up on Ourtunez in 2013. Since then, her music career has grown and has a promising future. This wouldn’t be the first time a pop star hailed from Rochester.

Madonna also originated in this suburb of Detroit. Alexa claims that she is one of her influences. “90s pop is the first genre I remember listening to Madonna cassette tapes, (and going to) NSYNC concerts. Always loved Christina Aguilera and her insane pipes.” Along with writing original music, Alexa enjoys doing covers. “Feeling Good by Nina Simone is and will forever be my go to cover song.”

Alexa’s influences are very eclectic. “The variety of genres and decades of music my family introduced me to over the years influenced me a lot: pop, rock, R&B, alternative and hip-hop. There are so many different elements I want to put into my music. Then I was introduced to the beauty of jazz, blues, and soul. I love the way it felt to sing those songs.”Alexa Lusader

Everyone has their own approach to creating music. “For me, it always starts with a melody. If you don’t have a great melody, you don’t have a great song.” She understands the difficulty in being a songwriter. “There is no wrong way to write a song. Everyone has their own method. How much work does it take to create songs? Let’s just say I’ve figured out what works because I’ve found everything that doesn’t work..”

One highlight of Alexa’s young career was opening for Niykee Heaton, last month. “Loved the vibes from the crowd. I’m getting more of a grasp on who Alexa Lusader the performer is so I’ve got some tricks up my sleeves.”

Alexa is all about the feeling you get when you listen to music. “My goal is to take people into another world when they listen to my music. Entertain them, move them, inspire them, make them feel something. The greatest thing a creative can do is inspire others to be great.”

-Nino Munaco, Ourtunez Editor ( (@ninomunaco)

Update: Ourtunez 1.8

We have updated our iOS app, folks! Ourtunez is now better than ever. Download Ourtunez 1.8 today! We have listened to your suggestions, had a few ideas of our own, and improved Ourtunez’ user experience, bringing you addicts your musical fix.



New Features:

Streamlined Streaming: Faster streaming speeds. What’s loading?screen568x568

New Look and Easy Design: Sleek black theme and new layout, designed to make listening, liking, and sharing even easier.

Lock Screen Display: Use Ourtunez from your lock screen for a quicker way to change or pause music. This also enables music control through your Bluetooth devices.

Organized Stations: Find your favorite stations with our new categorized menu.

We’ve also squashed more bugs than an exterminator.

Old Features That You Might’ve Forgotten About:

Favorite, Like, and Dislike Buttons: These buttons are essential to the Ourtunez Experience. Favoriting stations and artists will make those stations and artists more accessible to you. Liking songs will make sure you hear that song more often. Also, for Ourtunez Indie artists, liking their song really helps out their ratings. Show support to your Indie Favorites! Disliking songs makes sure you never hear that song again. Poof!

Manage Dislikes: Ever dislike a song on accident and instantly regret it? Go to Settings to and click ‘Manage Dislikes’. Ourtunez is one of the only apps that provides this service. We know your pain.


Download the new version of Ourtunez. Now.


Backstage Pass: The Invisible World

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we talked to The Invisible World, one of our most professional sounding bands. Listen to their music on

Here at Ourtunez, we get a lot of independent musicians uploading their music looking for exposure and new fans. We blend mainstream music with the music uploaded by our users. A problem that that can arise is that sometimes, no matter how talented the musicians are, the sound quality is noticeably lower than more established mainstream music. This is NOT the case of The Invisible World, a rock band from Kansas City. They are one of the most professional sounding bands you can hear on

Jesse Collins (vocals, guitar), Bryce Veazey (guitar, vocals), John Gibbens (bass, guitar) and Brandon Woodall (Drums) have been playing together for 10 years, first as A Dead Giveaway, and after taking a break in 2010, rebranded and reunited as The Invisible World in 2012. “The name is something I came up with while listening to a radio program a few years ago called Coast to Coast AM. They were talking about the subject of the afterlife and about a world that exists between the one we know here and Heaven or Hell, they called that world ‘The Invisible World’,” said Jesse.

Some of their early success can be attributed to a crowdfunding campaign for a music video for the song “Cars”. “Within days of its release, ‘Cars’ was making regular rotations on social media networks while receiving accolades from radio station personalities and professional film directors. It was evident that The Invisible World was becoming a very visible presence in the Kansas City music scene.”

welcome_to_the_invisible_worldThe Invisible World decided to work with producer Jason Scott Smith for their first official release, Welcome To The Invisible World. Jesse Collins commends Jason for his work on the album saying he “really allowed us to find melodies that we didn’t know were there, and then refocus parts of songs onto those new discoveries.” Talking about the recording of the album he added, “It’s really quite incredible that a group of friends can get together over the course of 4-5 months and create something like this EP. We did it all in bedrooms and basements.” This five track EP is an impressive blend of rock and folk. The vocals are clean and powerful and the music ranges from hard to soft, never skipping a beat. Lyrics and music fuse seamlessly, creating an atmosphere that is very real.TIW1

“It was never intentional, but I do believe that once we stepped back and looked at the EP as a whole some very distinct themes emerged. There’s a narrative throughout the EP that seems to gravitate towards imagination, or even dreamlike scenes. There are themes of self-awareness, sub-conscious grapplings with life and the desire to be satisfied with one’s place in it. On a surface level our songs are about life, love and loss, all the basics that most songs are written about. But I think the way we phrase things and the musical accompaniment that we place it inside of creates a distinct perspective that opens doors to themes that are more felt instead of defined. As far as a message, we think life is meant to be explored, I’d say our songs exemplify that notion and hopefully motivate the listener to take some action in their own life. Whatever that be.” Well said.

We at Ourtunez see a bright future for The Invisible World. I personally feel any one of these songs can gain traction in the mainstream rock scene and take this band to new heights. Their live shows are described as “lively and full of energy,” mesmerizing the crowd with smooth transitions and putting on a performance. New music is on the way. Can’t see this talented band quitting any time soon.

“Time Is Illmatic” – Detroit, MI

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The music documentary of the year and the event of the season is Time Is Illmatic, a tribute to Nasir Jones (Nas) and the creation of his first album in 1994, Illmatic. This album not only made an impact on the growing hip-hop culture in NYC at the time, but is still influencing musicians of all types worldwide. 20 years later, it is still considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time (and this blogger’s first CD he ever bought).nasposter

Nas is currently on tour promoting his new feature length documentary. We got a chance to see him on Thursday, October 9th in Detroit. The spectacle at the Fillmore started off with an exclusive viewing of Time Is Illmatic, directed by One9. The film outlined the life of Nasir Jones, growing up in the Queensbridge projects in Queens, New York. It captures the lifestyle and hardships Nas had to endure that inspired his classic debut album. Losing friends and family to death and incarceration in a poverty stricken neighborhood motivated Nas to use his incredible musical talents as a ticket out of the projects.

The film is gripping and inspirational on many levels. Family is important to Nas. The film features Jungle, his brother who has been with him through all the ups and the downs. He’s very outspoken and provides the feature with some comic relief, though it may not be intentional. Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams both make appearances, describing how Illmatic has influenced their music. The documentary also outlines how he was discovered by MC Serch of 3rd Bass and then signed with Columbia Records. Although the film illustrates the dark times of his life, Nas’ release of Illmatic is a triumphant success.

After the film, Nas came out and performed every song of Illmatic, the greatest album in hip-hop history. One highlight of the night is when Nas sampled Sky Is The Limit by Notorious B.I.G. during his song One Love. I feel like Nas was honoring the late Biggie, and recognizing other New York rappers who made the genre what it is today. He also paid tribute to Michael Jackson. Before he performed It Ain’t Hard to Tell, Michael’s youthful face appeared on the screen, and his song Human Nature played, which blended in with Nas’ song. Nas is a lifelong fan of MJ, and says it explicitly in the Illmatic. Nas is appreciative of the people and musicians who have inspired and helped him become the musical success he is today.illmatic

Illmatic is not a long album, only 9 songs and an intro, but it is immensely dense in its content and production. Even though Nas dropped out of school, he is self taught in some very complex ideologies and literary techniques. He tackles many of the socio-cultural issues during that time, most of which apply to today’s world (I guess 20 years isn’t long enough to get it right). One song in particular, One Love, is written in the form of a letter from Nas to his friend who is in jail. In it, he criticizes the public school system and religious dogma. Although it’s a somber song, Nas urges his friend in jail, and in turn all of us, to stay positive, no matter what.

Somehow, Illmatic is a positive album in my mind, despite the stories of poverty and crime that Nas has experienced. Part of that can be attributed to the production. When great music can come from an unexpected place, it can be nothing but positive. Legendary producers such as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Large Professor, and L.E.S. all composed tracks on Illmatic. The samples used are mostly jazzy, the beats are loud, and the baselines are groovy. My personal favorite is The World Is Yours, done by Pete Rock. The piano piece sampled is truly beautiful and the drums are clean. The Illmatic’s sound is pure New York.

If Nas is coming to your town, I HIGHLY recommend you see this unique event. It was like going to a film festival and a concert in the same night. Time Is Illmatic is a timeless piece.

-Nino Munaco ( (@ninomunaco)

Photo: Dontae Rockymore (@mrheatcam)


Backstage Pass: Them Strangers

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we talked to Them Strangers, one of our most diverse bands. Listen to their songs on

Many established artists struggle with the concept of changing up their style without sacrificing their identity. Some stick with the same technique, but their music can be repetitive. Others change it up too much, and lose their core fan base. Then there’s that select few. The ones who keep it fresh and interesting but stick to their roots. Them Strangers is that band.


Them Strangers is made up of two guitarists from the Yosemite mountains of California, Marshall Henry and Spencer Scott Holmes. They met after high school and started a glam metal band called Kabuki Shocks. After inconsistency at the drummer position and one member moving away, Henry and Holmes needed a new direction to take their music. “This is how Them Strangers began. We were listening to Eddie Vedder’s solo work and Tom Morello’s Nightwatchmen albums and saying man this is great! But also its simple, just vocals and guitars pretty much. Why don’t we try that. So we wrote some simple acoustic songs and that was the start of our trip into other genres for inspiration,” said Holmes.

Henry and Holmes have come a long way since their hair metal days and have become more diverse. The songs on their first, self-titled album (which can be found on Ourtunez) range from rock to pop rock to folk and everywhere in between. Their sound has that authentic indie vibe, especially with the soothing vocals from Henry. “The diversity to us, is our selling point. It could be a make or break for some but I like the idea of having an albums where the music is always changing. Another influence of ours is the Gorillas and change is apparent in many of their songs,” said Holmes.


The music industry is changing in today’s technological environment and artists must adapt to get their music out there in new ways. Holmes recognized this and used his other talents to get Them Strangers’ songs to the public. Outside of Them Strangers, Holmes does freelance video and animation. He creates all the music videos for Them Strangers and believes more artists should take advantage of this tool.

One video Them Strangers recorded was a cover they did for “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors.”Turning Japanese is just an awesome sounding song and just about everyone’s heard the original before. Plus we love 80’s music and Japanese culture so much. Making the song heavier, yet keeping the pop element, and throwing a ton of solos in was the key ingredients to our version. You can see our hair metal roots in that one too, especially with the video.” They want to do other covers in the future, including “Finger Bang”, a song from South Park. “A bit of comedy is always good in music. That’s why I think that bands like Steel Panther, Star Bomb, Austrian Death Machine, Arnocore, and Weird Al are so amazing!”

Them Strangers have new music in the making, about a half an albums worth. We couldn’t be more excited for more music from this versatile duo.

-Nino Munaco (

Backstage Pass: Krish Mohan

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we talked to Krish Mohan, our very first stand-up comedian. Listen to his jokes on Krish6 It takes a lot of balls to go on stage in front of people and do any sort of performance, especially stand-up comedy. Krish Mohan, 25 year-old comic, has been doing it for close to a decade. His first performance came at a young age, in high school.

“I got into Comedy completely by accident, really. I was 16 and my high school had a talent show and few of my friends, who were in bands, told me I should put in for it. I shrugged it off, but I went home and wrote about 8 bits mostly circling around my family and stuff about high school classes. But the catch was I couldn’t win anything, because there as no one to compare me to, so I’d co-host and do three 5-minute sets. Everything went over great and my last 5 minute set was just me doing the Indian accent and imitating my mother.”


Krish showed early signs of on-stage poise, despite being an immigrant in the United States at 8 years old. Some of his topics include poking fun at himself and his Indian heritage at times, but he keeps it clean. One of his biggest influences was superstar comic Russell Peters. “From him I learned how to pepper in my cultural identity into my material without beating people over the head that I’m an Indian.”

Comedy has it’s dark side, unfortunately. Last month we lost comic legend Robin Williams, a loss felt by all who ever laughed at his jokes or during his films. Comedians everywhere have paid tribute to Robin Williams including Krish. “Robin Williams was a firecracker! I was immediately captivated by his energy on stage and realized I had to really believe in the things I say with energy and confidence.” Krish has lost someone close to him to suicide, someone he thought of as a little brother. His message for those suffering under depression is to not be afraid to seek help from others. “I think if you are having those types of thoughts you should talk to someone about it. You’d be surprised how many people care for you and will do what they can to help you.”

Back to the comedy! Krish Mohan has been performing across the United States for some time. He will be headlining the KaPow! Comedy Show at the Hildebrandt Art Gallery on September 26th in Cleveland. He will also be in the DC area during the second week of October. “I’m going to be headlining the Comedy on the Half Shell at the Main St. Oyster Bar in Bel Air MD on October 8th at 9pm. And I’ll be featuring at the Star City Comedy Club in Roanaoke, VA on October 11 at 8pm. I always hang out after shows to chat with people so please feel free to come by and say hello.”

Krish1Krish’s stand-up special, “Segways, Race, & Love” is available on Ourtunez. This hour long album is rich in humor. Topics include getting kicked out of a Victoria’s Secret in high school, traffic in India, Wanda Sykes’ dildo, and other hilarious jokes. Apart from being a stand-up comic, Krish writes for his website and is a graphic designer with his own business. He is also the writer and creator of Fork Full of Noodles, a weekly Satire Web series that focuses on one cultural & political issue each week. Listen to Krish Mohan on the Comedy Station on Ourtunez!

-Nino Munaco (

Backstage Pass: SPiN

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a series where we introduce an independent artist from Ourtunez. This week, we caught up with SPiN, winners of our Indie Showdown Contest. You can check out their music on

Congratulations to Philly band SPiN for winning our Indie Showdown Contest for their song “Pushed Around”. This comes as no surprise, as SPiN has been one of our top artists since they signed up for Ourtunez. SPiN’s use of multiple rock elements appeals to a wide range of listeners.

Part of SPiN’s success is due to the chemistry within the band. With humble beginnings in a high school jazz band and starting off doing covers, SPiN has grown and evolved since their first hit single “Home” in 2007. “It’s very much a collaborative thing. We all write, so we all bring ideas up and work on them until they’re smash hits. Which, of course they all are,” says Jim Vacca, who plays the keys, bass synth, and provides vocals. Eric Rothenheber (lead vocals, guitar), Henry Cieplinski (lead guitar, vocals), and Lou Chudnofsky (drums) make up the rest of SPiN.


SPiN’s sound has been compared to bands of the past and present like Queen and Muse. They combine heavy chords with pop synth sounds for a perfect balance. Mix this with great songwriting, vocals and a great beat, and you got a song like “Pushed Around.” This is a song we can see blasting through the radio waves and being an arena anthem. “Hank brought the original idea up. He said he wrote it on the throne. Then we beat it up until it sounds like we want. Next we put down a rough live mix before recording it. We put together our own makeshift studio, which is great because of the creative freedom we have. Also, there’s the low low studio session price of free. That helps too.” This band truly does it on their own terms.

Ourtunez Featured Artist: SPiN

Ourtunez Featured Artist: SPiN

SPiN has a memorable past as well as a promising future. They’ve provided support for bands like Halestorm, Fuel, Hinder, SafetySuit, Puddle of Mudd, Trapt, Red, Fat Joe, RA and more. They’ve done over 500 live performances. New music is on the way for SPiN. “We are working on a new EP as well as a new video for one of the songs on it… I guess we could be done with it late summer, early fall, we hope. Wait…is it fall yet?” Time flies when you’re having fun, right? “Lou blows kerosine balls in his backyard. We watch. That’s fun. We all do different things. Couple guys are real into baseball, some into light porn. Ya know. Typical stuff.” Interesting hobbies but that’s expected from a true, outspoken rock band. 

Learn more about SPiN at

-Nino Munaco (Ourtunez Editor)

Electric Forest: Festival of Music, Nature, and Community

Electric Forest, which has become one of the biggest camping music festivals in the U.S, was a weekend-long journey that celebrated not only music and nature, but community. People from far and wide camped for four (or five) nights in Rothbury, Michigan to see their favorite musical acts, but what they got was so much more.

The vehicles started to line up on Wednesday during the day, and from 11 p.m. to about 4 p.m. the next day, a steady stream of cars were being led to their respective camping sites. The first thing you might notice is the sheer size of the campground, which housed a sold-out attendance of about 37,000. There were tents as far as the eye can see.

electric forest

Festival-goers, especially the amazing volunteers, were encouraged to be friendly and help those who camped around them. The sense of community could be felt all around. “Happy Forest” was the phrase that made all feel welcome. The campground was organized like a city, with a main street full of vendors and a general store that was open 24 hours. All of this was provided for the guests, and this was all outside the Forest.

The Forest was a work of art that never seemed to end. It was easy to get lost, but that was never a bad thing. You could go in all four days and discover something new each time. It starts with yoga at noon and the activities expand from there. Psychedelic Bingo was another fan favorite. Electric Forest is so much more than just the music, but music is the backbone.

Electric Forest supplied it’s visitors with some of the most talented, diverse group of musicians in the world. Electronic music was the main focus, with big names like Zedd, Steve Angello, Excision, and Moby each making the crowd dance and move to the music of the future. Rapper ScHoolboy Q had heads bobbin’ to his smooth beats and soulful rhymes. Lauryn Hill and Aloe Blacc put on some incredible vocal performances. Stephen Marley set the forest ablaze. Jam bands STS9 and The String Cheese Incident had massive crowds rocking and dancing to their tunes, each doing multiple shows. The Forest Stage even had a touching moment when father and son Kevin and Dantiez Saunderson went back to back for a memorable set. The hammocks in the trees would swing in approval to the sounds of the Forest.

During the day, Sherwood Forest was like a beautiful nature walk, and during the night, a spectacular light show that makes the whole trip worth it. The amount of detail put into the Forest must be recognized. It was an art show worthy of it’s own festival. Monuments and statues stood tall while buildings and gardens served as beautiful meeting spots, full of rich detail and color.

Ourtunez was there for it all, not only promoting our app, but making connections with the people. We were amazed at how people responded to a music service that focused on independent artists. New music discovery is contagious and addicting, and we want to thank EVERYONE who came by our booth for some slow-motion fun and to hear what Ourtunez is all about. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. WE LOVE YOU ALL.


-Nino Munaco, Ourtunez Editor (