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Introducing…Frank Ocean

New Orleans-born, Beverly Hills resident Frank Ocean is the bubbling under artist-of-the-moment, who seems to be on a meteoric rise to the big leagues. The 23-year-old affiliate of controversial rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) or Odd Future for short, has most recently penned a track for Beyonce (‘I Miss You’), and logged in studio time with hip-hop legend Nas and producer Pharrell Williams. The Def Jam artist is even hinting towards collaborations with Jay-Z and Kanye West.

‘Acura Integurl’

Ocean is also an accomplished songwriter. By the name of Christopher “Lonny” Breaux,  he  boasts credits in releases from Brandy (‘Human’), Justin Bieber (‘My World’), and John Legend (‘Revolver’). This talent led him to a deal with Island Def Jam over a year ago. There, Ocean completed his album nostalgia, ULTRA. The album shines on the basis of Frank’s knack for story telling, which is almost poetic at times, laid over tracks from left-leaning pop acts and certified rockers like Coldplay, Mr. Hudson, MGMT, and The Eagles, all presented with Brandy-esque vocal arrangments, and backing vocals.

‘Swim Good’

Yet, the album along with Frank went ignored by the company for what he alleges to be a full year. On Feb 16, the singer took matters into his own hands, releasing the LP as a free download via his tumblr as sort of a middle finger to the company. The results were nothing short of epic. nostalgia, ULTRA has received overwelmingly positive reviews from critics and some of the industries biggiest names (see above). Ocean, along with the Drake-approved The Weeknd, have been called the “new wave of R&B”. Even Chris Brown’s mini-beef sparking comment, was nothing more than a misconstrued compliment on Ocean’s artistry.

‘Novacane’

Now Def Jam is trying to make things right. Frank Ocean’s debut will be officially released as a shortened EP, nostalgia, LITE, on July 26. You can check out the full, free version here.

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Music

Hot Shots: Nicole Scherzinger Heats It In Up In Vegas

Thermostat please.

X Factor USA judge Nicole Scherzinger graced the Marquee Club in Las Vegas with her presence yesterday to celebrate her 33rd birthday.

The ‘Right There‘ singer is currently in preparation for the X Factor live shows which begin in no more than three months time.

More pics below….

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Music

From The Vault: Michael Jackson & Janet – ‘Scream’

This week’s From The Vault celebrates the careers of two of Pop-Culture’s biggest phenomenons: brother and sister Michael and Janet Jackson.

With the 25th of June (yesterday) marking the 2 year anniversary of the Legend’s passing, That Grape Juice once again tribute him and his unmatchable talent.

And since little sister is touring Europe at the moment and will be coming very soon to our hometown of London, what better time than the present to reflect on the output of two of music’s great stars. What better way to do that than with their 1995 epic duet, ‘Scream’.

Released as the first single from Michael’s ‘HIStory’ album and produced by Janet’s longtime producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the track serves as an open letter to the press following MJ’s 1993 legal drama. Janet’s participation was her way of supporting her big bro’.

The high-octane cut  sees Mike and Jan flaunt a  more aggressive tone, which in tandem compliments their controversial lyrics (“Just stop pressuring me, stop f*cking with me”).

A dream collaboration on paper, the blissful reality was rendered ever better with the help of ‘Scream’s award-winning video.

At the time the most expensive music visual ever made, the futuristic black & white clip is a classic for many a reason, although it’s the iconic dance-break that generates the most praise to this day.

The world had been waiting for a joint performance of the track for years, but instead had to settle for a virtual showing in 2009 when Janet tributed her brother at the VMA’s. An amazing performance to say the least, yet still heart-wrenching knowing that we’ll never get to see them set the stage a ablaze together.

Many a fan have expressed desire for Janet to return to the creative force that are Jimmy & Terry. A sentiment we co-sign; they are after all the ones who’ll provide songs in the vein of this one (i.e. stellar production + non-standard lyrics), as well as the wealth of hits she amassed under their guidance.

As for Michael, this piece of art right here is one of the many reasons he will NEVER be replaced. Even though this vid saw the light of the day more than 15 years ago, it is aesthetically leaps and bounds better than most of what is out today.

MJ may be gone, but his art and legacy live on! Forever and a day.

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Music

New Music: Tyrese – ‘I Gotta Chick (ft. R. Kelly & Tyga)’

Hollywood actor and R&B vocalist, Tyrese is prepping his new album Open Invitation. The first song to surface from the upcoming set is ‘I Gotta Chick’, a mid-tempo cut, which features R&B King, R. Kelly, and Young Money rapper Tyga.

Check it out below…

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Music

New Music: Sammie – ‘Marvin’s Room (Remix)’

It seems, since the release of Drake’s ode to the liquor induced “I still love you” confession, that is ‘Marvin’s Room’, various covers of the tune have popped up every other day on the internet. This time around, one time child star Sammie gave his best take on the conflicted protagonist in his version of the song.

Check out it out below…

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Music

Ne-Yo To Debut ‘Bad Boy Side’ On Next Album

Following the commercial disappointment that was 2010’s ‘Libra Scale‘, Ne-Yo is hoping to change the approach to his next release due this fall.  The singer recently sat down with VIBE magazine to discuss exactly what those changes would be.

See what songwriter had to say after the jump:

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Music

Lil’ Kim Boycotts BET Awards

While the rest of the world may be amping up for Urban music’s biggest night, there’s definitely one who will not be.  Lil Kim tweeted a special message to her followers yesterday:

Rap’s self-proclaimed Queen Bee is in the middle of a heavy promo tour for her latest Paypal chart blockbuster ‘Black Friday’.

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Music

Hot Shots: Alicia Keys Rocks L.A.

Alicia Keys took center stage last night (June 24th) at Los Angeles Pantages Theatre for a concert commemorating the release of the 10th anniversary edition of her debut album ‘Songs In A Minor’ (in stores June 28th).  The event, entitled Piano & I: A One-Night Only Event With Alicia Keys’, saw the singer give rousing renditions of some of the album’s biggest hits (‘Fallin’, ‘A Woman’s Worth’, ‘Girlfriend’) as well as a few covers of soul legends Mary J. Blige and Marvin Gaye.

You can read a full review of the event here.

You can also catch Mrs. Beatz performing live at the 2011 BET Awards, June 26th at 8/7c.

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Music

Hot Shots: Jessie J Rules Glastonbury Festival

A broken leg wasn’t going to stop Jessie J from flaunting her skills today at Glastonbury. The talented vocalist took to the stage rocking an interestingly innovative fashion accessory.

Try and spot it in the pics below.

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Music

JoJo Sheds Light on ‘Jumping Trains’ Project

R&B vocalist JoJo recently phoned in to Kempire Radio, to answer questions from fans and discuss what’s going on with her anticipated ‘Jumping Trains’ project.

Check below to listen to interview…

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