“Later on in my destiny, I see myself having your child”
With fans and celebs alike rejoicing at the arrival of Beyonce‘s baby girl Blue Ivy, we thought it the aptest of occasions to travel back in time to relive one of the new-mom’s most defining moments.
This week’s From The Vault pick is the live performance her 2003 classic ‘Dangerously In Love’ at the Grammys 2004.
King Bey won 5 of her 16 Grammys on that night, one of them being for the said song.
Backed by a larger-than-life animated painting, the megastar delivered a vocally flawless rendition of the track. Notably more passionate, raw, and honest than the recorded version, she performed with such intensity and conviction that one can’t but feel what she felt for those 4 minutes.
Happy Christmas to all our That Grape Juice readers. We hope the holidays are treating you oh so well.
In embracing the the festive spirit, our From The Vault pick this week is Destiny’s Child‘s ‘8 Days Of Christmas’.
Released as the first single of their holiday album of the same name, the cut – which was released in Winter 2001) is a fan favourite and a R&B classic.
The track amazingly blends traditional hooks (the core of the song is an interpolation of the carol ‘Twelve Days Of Christmas’) and modern Urban beats. It also doesn’t hurt that their world-renown 3-part harmonies are on full display – showcased at its most stellar with the choir-like breakdown.
The accompanying video sees the three diva’s dressed in sexy Santa outfits, parading around a Christmas-themed toy store, complete with a carousel and all. All very standard-festive-fare. Yet, we love it all the same.
So, as you stuff your belly with all that fierce food, hit ‘PLAY’ and let DC3 take you back!
Here at That Grape Juice, we love the holidays. So, in order to spread the spirit and get you in festive mood, this week’s From The Vault pick is Whitney Houston’s reworking of the Christmas classic, ‘Joy To The World’.
This recording of “Joy” is lifted from the ‘Preacher’s Wife’ soundtrack, which happens to be the biggest selling gospel album of all time. The hit LP, released in 1996, spawned many Whitney classics such as ‘Step By Step’ and ‘I Believe In You And Me’ and was hailed by critics for Ms. Houston’s crystalline voice.
A remake of 40’s film ‘The Bishop’s Wife’, the movie saw Houston star opposite Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, all the while cementing her status as an artist of many talents.
As we have witnessed in the past as well as in recent times, it’s a hard task making a Christmas song sound exciting and authentic again. Well, that’s exactly what Team Whitney managed to do here with one of the most performed Christmas carol ever.
From the angelic intro to the high-octane ending, the Heartbreak Hotel singer’s delivery is simply flawless and the participation of the legendary Georgia Mass Choir elevates the song to a whole new height of ‘inspirational’.
Although many a purist would beg to differ and say that this interpretation is a butchering of a classic tune, we strongly feel that this version of the carol is amongst the very best there is. For, along side the obvious reasons – such as the diva’s unstoppable voice and technique, it too reminds us about why we’re celebrating Christmas to begin with.
So if you’re in need of some festive cheer, this live showing of the tune in 1996, will have you soul-clapping and stepping like it’s a Sunday all around your Christmas tree.
Looking at her today, it’s hard believe that people once hailed Britney Spears as the 2nd coming of Janet Jackson. Indeed, although her PR team forged a convient likeness to fellow blonde Madonna, it was clear that Britney’s creative team was reading and applying pages of “Miss Janet” book. And by we mean no shade, rather a nod to her. Ms. Spears used to be one hell of a performer.
Case, point, example: this 2002 performance of ‘Boys’ from her Dream Within A Dream Tour, featuring the mighty Pharrell Williams, also masterminded the track.
Here you’ll see vintage Britney commanding the stage in a way only she could at the start of last decade. The downright ridiculous lip-syncing is offset by some intricate choreography – including a made-for-MTV breakdown – that she manages to execute effortlessly. She oozed a sexiness and a confidence even when simply walking across stage. And of course it doesn’t hurt that the song is a definite winner.
Aged 20 at the time, the ‘Circus’ singer was only 5 years into her recording career and was already performing like a seasoned world class act.
Unfortunately, fast forward 10 years later, Britney is merely a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of her former self, resorting to “armology”, “chairology”, and “wheel-me-around-the-stage-ology”. A sad reality, as her musical efforts continue to qualitatively stay on trend, garnering “hit” status in the process. Had she kept performing with such intensity, she would still have been THE biggest popstar on the planet – by way of undeniable fact and not PR fiction.
Today’s From The Vault pick comes in the form of Janet Jackson‘s ‘Call On Me’.
A duet with St. Louis native Nelly, the cut was released in 2006 as the first single from the superstar’s ninth LP,’20 Y.O’. With production courtesy of then-boyfriend Jermaine Dupri and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, ‘Call’ was a moderate hit, peaking at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 for six weeks on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
The track was the triple-threat diva’s first “hand-clap ballad” try out, which had been rather controversial among her legion of fans. In spite of the change in style, the track still had all the winning elements of a classic Janet cut: great harmonies, whimsical melody, catchy hooks…
The Hype Williams directed music video depicts the ‘All For You’ singer as a mystical goddess, and is influenced by African and Asian cultures.
Although its use of CGI was criticized by some, it remains one of the 45 year old’s most artistic videos to date.
One thing is for sure: Janet Jackson is a living legend, a visionary who has changed the face of the entertainment industry forever. Having said that, we strongly feel it’s about time J stopped celebrating past glories from the 80’s and 90’s and started concentrating on having another decade filled with #1’s. As we have stated in previous posts, Damita Jo still has IT in abundance, so there is absoluetly no reason why, given the right material and promotion, she shouldn’t be back on top.
Judging from some of today’s biggest acts, it’s clear to say that the world is in need of some more Discipline from Ms. Jackson (if you Nasty!)
After the success of her hits-filled debut, ‘On The 6’, we can only imagine how much Team Jennifer Lopez was dreading the pressure associated with the infamous “sophomore slump”
Then along came ‘Love Don’t Cost A Thing’, the first single lifted from Lopez’s second offering, ‘J.Lo’. And, from that moment, if people didn’t know, then they knew Ms. Lopez was there to stay.
‘Love’ was released at the tail end of 2000, peaking at #3 in the U.S. and #1 in the U.K. in January 2001.
The song sees the triple threat diva confronting a potential-lover about how he shouldn’t try to impress her with material things. You now, the tried and tested formula which was all the rage that side of the new millennia.
Still, the best thing about this tune is its accompanying music video. Essentially comprised of shots of Jenny From The Block driving, strutting and stripping her way down to the beach, it’s its killer dance sequence which elevates the release to another plateau. From the cornrows to the sneakers and to the special effects, and of course the choreography, everything is on point.
Set to take to the stage at tonight’s AMA’s, the 42 year old continues to show that she’s still a bad momma shut your mouth! We can’t but salute her!
The year was 2001 and a certain Britney Spears had freshly shocked the industry with an altogether raunchier image and attiude courtesy of her ‘Slave for You’ video.
However, as the age old saying goes, never count out the underdog. A statement which rung true and then some when longtime chart-rival Christina Aguilera roared back with ‘Dirrty’ a year later.
The first single to be lifted from her highly-praised and mega-selling sophomore set, ‘Stripped’, 2002’s ‘Dirrty’ served as an introduction to Ms. Aguilera’s explicit and controversial alter-ego Xtina.
Leaving behind the safeness which defined her earlier effort, the one-time girl-next-door, was now leaving her doors open – both lyrically and visually – in a way we’d never seen before. Ditched were the Pop-by-the-numbers tracks, in favor of a filthy urban sound and sexed-up demeanour, ‘Dirrty’ (and the ‘Stripped’ era) marked a turning point in Christina’s career.
Joining forces again with Rockwilder, the very man responsible for her then-latest hit ‘Lady Marmalade’, Aguilera wanted something radically different from than anything she’d done before to usher in her newest project. The result was this bodacious, unapologetic party anthem based on featured rapper Redman‘s hit ‘Let’s Get Dirty’.
And while the 30 year old might be a judge on rival show, The Voice, she definitely served up the X-Factor. Helmed by the great David Lachapelle, the accompanying video depicted an underground party headlined by biker chick Xtina, where dancing suggestively was a requirement and wearing as few clothes as possible a staunch obligation.
From the classic choreography to the now-iconic leather chaps, it’s safe to say that Dirrty sits effortlessly within the upper echelon of the Top 5 female videos of the 00’s.
And with the mother of one now in the studio working on a comeback (after a series of commercial disappointments), we can’t but get excited that she’s already christened the sound as echoing that of ‘Stripped’. Of course, we don’t particularly endorse her re-treading ‘Dirrty’ water (see: ‘Not Myself Tonight’); however we seriously hope Baby Jane can recapture that imperfectly-perfect combination of strengh, hope and vulnerability that made the album it called home so captivating and relatable.
When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. As such, let’s hope ‘Moves Like Jagger’ global chart success is but a small indication of what’s to come for Christina Aguilera, one of the most gifted artists of this generation.