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Mary’s ‘Growing Pains’ Sells 629,000 First Week

Mary J. Blige Mary J. Blige made a huge impact on the Billboard 200 album chart with her eighth studio album ‘Growing Pains’. The Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul sold through an impressive 629,000 copies of the LP – the follow-up to her 2005 multi platinum effort ‘The Breakthrough’. Despite this, Blige charted at #2 – unable to oust Josh Groban’s ‘Noel’ album from the top spot (which sold 757,000 in it’s third week of release).
In other album news, Alicia Keys’ ‘As I Am’, currently #3 on the chart, enjoys a 62% sales increase with 474,000 copies sold. Chris Brown continues to sell consistently with ‘Exclusive’, selling 176,000. Jaheim’s ‘Making Of A Man’ enters at #11 with 176,000 units shifted, whilst Lupe Fiasco’s ‘The Cool’ occupies the #15 spot with 143,000 copies sold.
Lower down the chart, Bow Wow and Omarion’s ‘Face Off’ takes a tumble – dropping 11-29 with 89,000 sold. In what must be an embarrassment for Disturbing The Peace star Chingy, the rapper’s latest LP ‘Hate It Or Love It’ came in at a dismal #84, having sold just 31, 517 copies. Ouch.

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Music

WTF: Raz-B Claims Stokes Allegations Are False

Ok, so is this some bogusness or what? Following the hysteria that ensued after former B2K member Raz-B came forward alleging his cousin, the group’s former manager, Chris Stokes molested him, the claim has now been taken back. In the video below, Raz-B denies there being any truth to the allegations he made just two days ago. Check it out:

The way I see it, either he’s a complete idiot or there’s more to it (e.g. money, threats etc). Did you notice how he doesn’t look into the camera. Whatever the case, the damage seems to have been done; his claims have verified the rumors that have been swirling around since the group were still together. It’ll be interesting to see where this whole saga ends up at.

*Update*

MTV.com have just posted the following update regarding the story:

The truce between Raz and Stokes doesn’t appear to have been extended to Ricardo. After MTV reported on the apology, Ricardo told MTV News that he stands by all the original allegations and is not recanting his story. He said he hasn’t spoken to his younger brother in more than a day — which he said was unusual for the siblings and predicted that Raz will “come back around,” suggesting that the apology might not have been his brother’s idea.

Somehow, I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear in this saga.

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Music

Omarion Speaks Out On Chris Stokes Drama

In light of the controversy surrounding Chris Stokes in the last couple of days, R&B singer Omarion – who is managed by Stokes – has released a statement, via his publicist, condemning the claims. Check it out below:

“I want to be on the record as saying that “Raz B” Thorton and Ricardo Thorton are lying regarding Chris Stokes. Chris is a father figure to myself, and many others in the industry. He’s guided us, helped raised us and is nothing more than an inspiration and someone I respect to and look up to. I have spent countless hours, days, weeks and months with the man since the age of 5 and have never once seen him behave inappropriately. He’s married to my aunt and I know this man very well. I stand behind him with no question whatsoever.

I have grown up around Chris and this is crazy to me. These people have damaged me, and my reputation and I won’t stand silent and will do all within my means to speak the truth about this matter”.

This whole situation seems to be escalating by the day. It’s not surprising to see Omarion defend Chris. For what reason though; does he genuinely believe he is innocent or is he trying save face?

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Music

Bow Wow & Omarion – ‘Hey Baby (Jump Off)’ Video

After a disappointing debut on the charts last week (#11 with 107,146 copies sold), ‘Face Off’ – the collaborative album by Bow Wow and Omarion – doesn’t look to be doing all that great. Still, a second single in the form of ‘Hey Baby (Jump Off) has been released – the video for which premiered today. Put simply, neither the song or the video are anything other than ‘ok’. If anything, this is a step-back from their decent-yet-forgettable ‘Girlfriend’ release IMO.

What do you think of the video?

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Music

B2K Reality Show Preview 3

Check out the third preview of B2K’s forthcoming reality show:

Watching this back really reminded me of how badly Chris Stokes screwed them over; Omarion comes across kinda wrong too. I’m actually hoping these guys make something of themselves with this comeback – if only just show that you can’t hold people down with such shady tactics.

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Music

New Releases: Which Will You Buy?

A number of R&B/Hip-Hop releases drop today, most notably Bow Wow & Omarion’s joint effort ‘Face Off’, Mario’s long-awaited ‘Go!’ and singer/songwriter The Dream’s ‘Hate It Or Love It’. So which, if any, will you be picking up this week?

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Music

That Grape Juice To Interview Trina

Keeping the exclusive interviews coming, I’ve just gotten confirmation that That Grape Juice will be interviewing rapper Trina next Wednesday. The Diamond Princess is currently prepping the release of her new album ‘Still Da Baddest’, which drops via Slip-N-Slide/EMI on February 12th 2008. Do feel free to drop any questions you have for her in the comments section. As is usually the case, only legit/genuine questions will be considered. Thanks 🙂
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Music

Bow Wow & Omarion Appear On Tyra Show

Bow Wow and Omarion were guests on a ‘Sexual Health’ episode of the Tyra Banks show, alongside rapper Eve and Dita Von Teese. I am still in hysterics about what went down when Tyra asked “Stand up if you’ve ever faked ‘it’…” Check it out:

LMAO at Bow Wow! Omarion’s face was priceless. I’m guessing the jokes kinda write themselves with that one…

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Music

B2K Reality Show – Teaser 2

It appears the guys formerly of B2K (sans Omarion) are serious about putting out a reality show. Check out another teaser clip of the show below, in which Omarion, former manager Chris Stokes and the ‘B2K’ name rights are discussed:

This actually seems like it’ll be a good watch. Aside from the obvious strained relations with Omarion, it’ll be interesting to see how they plan on making a comeback.

Any thoughts?

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Music

Donda West’s Passing: The Latest

As many of you by now Kanye West’s mother, Dr. Donda West, sadly passed away over the weekend. West was 58. Whilst no official word has been given on the cause of death, some reports have cited ‘complications from cosmetic surgery’. Check out the reports below, both via TMZ:

A plastic surgeon refused to perform plastic surgery on Dr. Donda West because he thought there was a risk of a heart attack. Dr. Andre Abolian told her she needed to get clearance from an internist but Dr. West went ahead with a tummy tuck and breast reduction without the co-sign from the internist.

The fire service were called to Ms West’s residence, following a 911 call:

A hospital spokesperson tells TMZ that an unresponsive West was brought to their ER around 8:00 PM Saturday night. They attempted to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead around 8:30 PM that night.

Whatever the cause, this really is sad. When I heard the news on Saturday, I was in shock. Evidently Kanye and Donda were close and it’s probably near impossible to identify with what he’s going through right now. Having been in London when he received the news, I can’t help but think what the plane journey home must have been like for him. My condolences go out to the entire West family. RIP Dr. Donda West.


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Music

‘Life After B2K’ Reality Show Trailer

It appears yet another defunct group are jumping on the reality show bandwagon in hopes of resurrecting their careers – this time it’s B2K. Before I continue, I’m literally cracking up right now at the ‘realty show’ spelling – very professional lol. About the trailer, it was pretty interesting to see the guys back together, as well as the hinting at there still being unresolved issues with Omarion. Saying that, this kinda screams desperation to me; none of the group, aside from Omarion, have achieved any solo success. Hmmm…

Would you be checking for a B2K reunion?

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Music

Bow Wow & Omarion – ‘Girlfriend’ Video

The video for the first single from Bow Wow and Omarion’s joint album ‘Face Off’ premiered yesterday. Considering I had my preconceptions about the album, I must say that I am liking this song and video; nothing great, but still pretty good. ‘Face off’ hits stores December 4th.

What do you think of the video?
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