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Music

Pop Music & And Its Rejection Of Dark-Skinned Women

dark skinned article thatgrapejuice 600x387 Pop Music & And Its Rejection Of Dark Skinned Women

Back in September, the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley ruffled the feathers of TV producer Shonda Rhimes when she took the position that the star of her latest series ‘How To Get Away With Murder’, actress Viola Davis, was “less than classically beautiful.”

“Less than classically beautiful” perhaps being a politer way of branding the “darker skinned”, full-lipped, Afro-wearing Davis as…ugly.

Scoring responses from both Rhimes and ‘The Help’ actress shortly after, Stanley‘s remark-albeit “well-disguised”- saw her place a megaphone to whispers uttered just as much by casting directors in Hollywood as they are by sales-hungry A&R execs in the world of music.

“If it ain’t light, it ain’t right.”

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Music

Barks & Bytes: Do Azealia Banks’ Social Media Beefs Help Or Hurt Her?

azealia banks TGJ Barks & Bytes:  Do Azealia Banks Social Media Beefs Help Or Hurt Her?

Oh, Azealia Banks.  Hair is certainly the nicest thing the ‘Yung Rapunxel’ has let down since her eye-popping debut onto the rap scene.

In addition to letting down fans with innumerable pushbacks of her debut album ‘Broke With Expensive Taste,’ the fiery femcee has (not so gently) let down any Twitter user who’d dare cross her path.

Oft-attributed with dispensing unforgiving and, at times, well crafted shade, the ‘ATM Jam’ maestra has taken to Twitter on many occasion to light into many-a-well known pop culture figure from Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton to Pharrell Williams and now T.I.

Love her or hate her, one thing you cannot deny is Banks’ ability to cash in on and court public attention.  With discussions of her host of eccentric yet lukewarm-received singles/videos at a minimum, news that incites ridicule from nemeses, haters, and spectators alike, Banks – the cultural figure at large – still remains a talking point.

So, it begs the question:  is Azealia Banks winning?

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Music

Weigh In: Gospel Sex Scandals Rock the Net

Screen shot 2013 10 31 at 1.50.44 PM Weigh In:  Gospel Sex Scandals Rock the Net

Paging Olivia Pope & Associates!  You are needed for clean-up on aisle 3!

In a time where gospel music permeates mainstream in more ways than ever (see: reality shows, Urban/pop music stylings, secular collabos), what has unfortunately come with some of those breakthroughs are headline-grabbing breakdowns.

Indeed, just weeks after the controversial, hit Oxygen reality series ‘Preachers of L.A.’ rocked television, the show’s star Deitrick Haddon was embroiled in a scandal that saw alleged nude photos of the ‘Have Your Way’ hitmaker hit the net in a big way.

Now, thanks in part to R&B songstress Lil Mo’, gospel star Kevin Terry has set the net ablaze with a viral video of him rocking the mic  with no stage in sight.  The video and accompanying story already had moderate traction, but after the ‘Superwoman’ songstress tweeted about the incident to save her friend, that traction went from buzz to boil…

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Music

At Her Best: The Best of Aaliyah’s Ballads

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As many know, today marks what would’ve been the 34th birthday of ‘One In A Million’ maestra Aaliyah.

Though her life was cut tragically short in 2001 at the young age of 22, the sweet voiced songstress had already collected more hits and accolades in that brief time than many artists 2-3 times her senior.  In such, we at That Grape Juice, like so many around the world today, pay homage to the everlasting legacy of the late R&B hitmaker.

But this time, with a twist:

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Music

Weigh In: Who Is This Generation’s Vocal Bible?

brandymonica e1330646945386 Weigh In:  Who Is This Generations Vocal Bible?

Let’s face it…

The turn of the century has unfortunately been accompanied by an under-appreciation of true vocalists.  Veritably, it has been clear to see that as production technology has increased its ability, inversely, quality vocal performances have decreased.

Turn on the radio today and you will be assaulted by an abundance of autotune, so much so one may question if he/she is listening to real people or The Transformers…

*Voting closes Monday, January 14th at 11:59pm CST*

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Music

Fixing the Femcee Formula: Finding Success As A Rapstress

untitled Fixing the Femcee Formula:  Finding Success As A Rapstress

“Sell outs”.

Ask hip hop’s reigning highnesses – Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, and Nicki Minaj – and they can attest to being titled such at some point in their illustrious careers (the latter more than her rap predecessors).

Indeed, in the heavily male-dominated genre of rap, trying to “hang with the boys” has either constituted hypermasculinization or explicitly detailing bedroom antics.  Either way, rap’s estrogenic entities have had to take the extreme route often to little notoriety…

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Music

The Skinny On Success: Weighing In On the “Overweight Debate”

Untitled 2 The Skinny On Success:  Weighing In On the Overweight Debate

Over the past year, we at That Grape Juice have turned to the readers for their thoughts on the roles age, race, and even sexuality play in one’s success in the music industry.  Now, let’s weigh in on a heavier topic – weight.

Our culture is collectively becoming more stylized, making substance a thing of the past.  As image drives the culture, often filling media with airbrushed or digitally altered representations of “beautiful”, the standard of beauty has never been more sought.  An anomaly indeed given that statistics have proven most of the people subscribing to those very standards oft do not meet them.

So, what’s the big deal?

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