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Mariah Carey - 'I Want To Know What Love Is' (Full Version)
Barely an hour has passed since we posted a 10 second snippet of Mariah Carey’s new single ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ and the full version of the track has surfaced.
The million dollar question is ‘after all the hype, does the track actually live up to it?’ Unfortunately for Ms. Carey-Cannon’s fans and lambs, it doesn’t. Important to highlight, firstly, is the fact (IMO) that Mariah’s take on the Foreigners classic is by no means a bad effort.
My main gripe with this is the vocal arrangement, for Mimi sounds ‘ok/just there/unremarkable’ until the big key change where she really hits a home run. Yet the vocal acrobatics are so short-lived and abruptly ended that you feel kinda cheated by the end. Generally though, this just isn’t striking me as the undeniable hit her camp and media friends have been hyping it to be. A shame as she really had to nail it with this one to restore the mass interest in her serially delayed LP ‘Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel’, something I’m doubtful she has/will achieve with this.
I’m not one to pit artists against one another, but IMO Whitney has this won hands-down.
Tidbit: I can’t wait to see Mariah nail this live, as usual 😉
Hit or Miss?

Mariah Carey - 'I Want To Know What Love Is' (Full Version)
Barely an hour has passed since we posted a 10 second snippet of Mariah Carey’s new single ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ and the full version of the track has surfaced.
The million dollar question is ‘after all the hype, does the track actually live up to it?’ Unfortunately for Ms. Carey-Cannon’s fans and lambs, it doesn’t. Important to highlight, firstly, is the fact (IMO) that Mariah’s take on the Foreigners classic is by no means a bad effort.
My main gripe with this is the vocal arrangement, for Mimi sounds ‘ok/just there/unremarkable’ until the big key change where she really hits a home run. Yet the vocal acrobatics are so short-lived and abruptly ended that you feel kinda cheated by the end. Generally though, this just isn’t striking me as the undeniable hit her camp and media friends have been hyping it to be. A shame as she really had to nail it with this one to restore the mass interest in her serially delayed LP ‘Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel’, something I’m doubtful she has/will achieve with this.
I’m not one to pit artists against one another, but IMO Whitney has this won hands-down.
Tidbit: I can’t wait to see Mariah nail this live, as usual 😉
Hit or Miss?

Mario - 'D.N.A' Cover
Peep the official cover for Mario’s 4th studio album ‘D.N.A’ (due October 13th). I’m liking the this one…
What do you think of the cover?
Beyonce's New L'Oreal Campaign
Check out Beyonce’s new Holiday 2009 campaign for L’Oreal Paris. Say what you want about her, but Bouncy looks damn near flawless. Work.
What do you think of the pics?
LeToya - 'Good To Me'
Regular readers will know that I felt LeToya Luckett’s sophomore effort ‘Lady Love’ was a little too-ballad heavy (a view, for the most part, I still hold). However having given the album a few more spins, it definitely has A LOT of grower potential and is steadily winning me over – no track moreso than ‘Good To Me’.
The bouncy mid-tempo is best summed up as fire on a track! While listening to this one I was literally saying: “LeToya Nicole Luckett, you better SANG!”. Definitely one of the tracks which showcase Ms. Luckett’s greatly improved vocals. Awesome track, one that should surely be considered as a single.
Hit or Miss?

A 10 second snippet of Mariah Carey’s ‘first’ single from ‘Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel’, ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ surfaced today.
While I’ll hold my full judgement until hearing the song in its entirety, it seems Ms. Carey-Cannon has gone back to that whisper ish. Ugh.
Yes, it’s early days, but what are thinking about this folks…it sounding like a…
Hit or Miss?
The-Dream Named New Def Jam Executive Vice President
Singer-songwriter The-Dream can add another title to his ever-growing list of achievements – Vice President. The R&B star has announced that he is the new Executive Vice President of Island Def Jam:
The Dream announced his new position as Executive Vice President of Island Def Jam Records Wednesday through his Twitter page. The 27-year old singer, songwriter, and producer sent out a series of Tweets late that evening saying:
“I wanna Thank everyone at Island Records/DefJam for their faith in me and making me Executive Vice President of Island Records. Thank you to my team..my manager Mark Stewart & my attorney Aaron Rosenberg for getting this 1st step of a goal accomplished. Thanks to Judy. Thank you to my partner Tricky Stewart and the RadioKilla & RedZone Staff. LA Reid, Karen Kwak, Steve Bartels, Joe Barino. Steve Gotlieb and Thank you, Universal Chairman, Doug Morris. I look forward to the challenge of rebuilding music for not only Island Records, But for Universal Records as a whole. Today I’m humbled and blessed. Terius “The-Dream”
RadioKilla is taking over the position previously held by Chris Hicks, who took over the position after the untimely death of Def Jam executive, Shakir Stewart. Now L.A. Reid and the Def Jam family are passing the reigns to one of their own by giving the position to The Dream. The Dream also made sure to give a special shoutout to his fiancé, singer Christina Milian and her family for their support.
“Oh yeah thank you Christina for your wonderful belief in me i love you! also i want to thank the entire Nash family and Milian family for the Super Support you Give! this doesnt mean i have extra money it means i have extra bills LOL.”
His third album, which he says will be his last, is entitled Love King and due for release later this year. {Source}
I’m still a little baffled at the idea of artists/producers taking up such high positions at labels, as most evidence points to things turning out to be a disaster (see: 50 Cent & G-Unit, Jermaine Dupri etc). That said, congratulations to The-Dream…
Your thoughts?
Wynter & David Guetta - 'Toyfriend'
French DJ David Guetta is riding high after the success of his worldwide smash ‘When Love Takes Over’ and the follow-up ‘Sexy B*tch (ft. Akon)’ – a hit in waiting.
Upon listening to his album ‘One Love’, which was released this week, I found that the aforementioned songs are not flukes at all, with the LP being packed full of box-fresh hits, inclusive being ‘Toyfriend’ performed by Atlantic Records singer Wynter Gordon (see: Flo’ Rida’s ‘Sugar’ and her own ‘Surveillance’).
This hypnotic club banger is the perfect mesh of the Urban and Dance genres, not leaning too far in either direction. Great track.
Hit or Miss?

Monica - 'Betcha She Don't Love You'
The full version of new Monica cut ‘Betcha She Don’t Love You’ has surfaced. Produced by Missy Elliott (who still insists on screaming and hollering on a track), the song is an 80’s New Wave / Funk inspired slice of music deliciousness. Loving this one!
No word yet on if it’s the lead single from new album ‘Still Standing’; I sure would hope so.
Hit or Miss?

LeToya Predicted To Sell 25k-30k First Week
According to Hits Daily Double, R&B singer LeToya’s sophomore effort ‘Lady Love’ is set to debut at #6 on the Billboard 200 album chart with sales in the region of 25,000 – 30, 000.
Regardless of which way this is spun, it’s not a good look for Ms. Luckett. With the album growing on me daily and it’s all-round great reception, one would have hoped that the sales would reflect it’s quality. Unfortunately this doesn’t look like it’ll be the case. At this point it appears it’ll be an up-hill struggle hitting Gold.
With LeToya being a skilled vocalist, not to mention her media and business savviness, I’d say a move to another label is pretty much a necessity for her to acheive the success she deserves. It’s been a well-known fact for sometime that her label (Captiol/EMI/Virgin) have been having a lot of difficulties – hence the many delays this album – which was due out early last year – has had. SMH…
Update: Check out LeToya’s recent UStream video chat session with her fans, where she talks about not being satisfied with her promotion. (LaTavia is also a guest) Word has it Toya has switched management, as recent as 2 weeks ago, to Alicia Keys’ manager Jeff Robinson of MBK management. Anyways, peep the vid:
Your thoughts?
MOBO Awards 2009 Nominations
That Grape Juice was on hand at the MOBO Awards 2009 Nominations Launch at 5* venue The May Fair here in London yesterday. As I’m sure many of you know, the annual show celebrates the undeniable presence of Music of Black Origin on the contemporary music scene. The event saw PA’s from JLS and Jade Ewen, though was largely populated by press outlets.
Having attended last year’s nominations launch, this year’s event definitely marked a major step forward; everything from the swanky venue, to the more ethnic feel (i.e. Patti’s, Saltfish etc on the menu lol), to the flowing free drink (I am actually still hungover LMAO) and most importantly the united-in-music aura, made this perhaps their best launch yet. A very enjoyable night indeed.
Check out the full list of nominations below:

BEST UK ACT
Alesha Dixon
Bashy
Beverly Knight
Chipmunk
Dizzee Rascal
DJ Ironik
Donae’o
Mr. Hudson
N-Dubz
Tinchy Stryder

BEST NEWCOMER
Alexandra Burke
Jade Ewen
JLS
Laura Izibor
Master Shortie

BEST R&B / SOUL ACT
Beverly Knight
Ciara
Jeremih
Keri Hilson
Lemar

BEST HIP HOP ACT
Chipmunk
Dizzee Rascal
Drake
Eminem
Kanye West

BEST VIDEO
‘Bonkers’ – Dizzee Rascal
‘Boy Does Nothing’ – Alesha Dixon
‘Diamond Rings’ – Chipmunk ft. Emeli Sande
‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ – Beyonce
‘Supernova’ – Mr. Hudson ft. Kanye West

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
Akon
Beyonce
Ciara
Drake
Eminem
Jay Z
Kanye West
Keri Hilson
Lady Gaga
Mariah Carey

BEST SONG
‘Beat Again’ – JLS
‘Diamond Rings’ – Chipmunk ft. Emeli Sande
‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ – K.I.G. Family
‘Number One’ – Tinchy Stryder Ft. N-Dubz
‘Strong Again’ – N-Dubz

BEST ALBUM
‘808s and Heartbreaks’ – Kanye West
‘Catch 22’ – Tinchy Stryder
‘Catch Me If You Can’ – Bashy
‘I Am… Sasha Fierce’ – Beyonce
‘Uncle B’ – N-Dubz

BEST REGGAE
Movado
Sean Paul
Serani
Tarrus Riley
Vybz Kartel

BEST JAZZ ACT
Diana Krall
Herbie Hancock
Madeleine Peyroux
Melody Gardot
Yolanda Brown

BEST AFRICAN ACT
Amadou and Mariam
Baaba Maal
Eidee
Femi Kuti
K’Naan
Lira
Mujava
Nneka
Oumou Sangare
Salif Kelta

BEST GOSPEL ACT
Desire to Worship God
Kiki Sheard
Mary Mary
New Direction
Victizzle

BEST DJ
Manny Norte
Masterstepz
Mistajam
Ras Kwame
Rickie & Melvin
Sarah Love
Semtex
Shortee Blitz
Steve Sutherland
DJ Target
Tim Westwood
Trevor Nelson

The 2009 MOBO Awards take place at Scotland’s SECC on September 30th; you can vote for the winners by clicking here and / or purchase tickets for the show by clicking here

Your thoughts on the nominations?

Kelly Rowland Talks New Album / + New Pics
Kelly Rowland really is flying high these days; hit singles, a majorly anticipated new album and on the brink of signing a new recording deal, the only way for this Destiny’s Child alumni is seemingly up. Ms. Kelly recently sat down with USA Today to talk about her new project, her artistic direction and more. An interesting read. She also looks fab in these new pictures from the piece too:
Since going solo Kelly Rowland hasn’t seen much success in the US but has been having a better luck overseas. Kelly tells USA Today that she had decided to embrace the international market that loves her. She recently had a number one hit with When Love Takes Over one of the three songs she recorded with David Guetta.
“Here, sometimes it’s like my music didn’t quite work, but overseas it’s on top of everybody’s chart. I’ve had more international success than domestic success, and I think that opens my eyes up to music. I mean, I just got back from performing in Lebanon. Lebanon!” she says.
Kelly hopes to release a solo album by the end of 2009 or early 2010.
“I have a new boost of energy,” she says. “All the creative juices are flowing, and I’m having so much fun in the studio because I’m making dance records. And I’m working with producers who are just as curious about the sound internationally, too.”
She says her next release will be dance-heavy, but she won’t forget her R&B roots. While she still covets domestic success working toward that success won’t be her guiding light, she says.
“I don’t ever want to get in a box to where I’m thinking that this is the only place that can ever exist,” she says. “I love being overseas just as much as I love being home. Plus, I know all my eating spots over there now, so I’m good!”
“I feel empowered. Finally,” Rowland says with a laugh and a snap of her fingers. “When you don’t believe in yourself, you feel like you’re living in fear. You don’t give yourself the opportunity to believe that you can. And as much as you tell yourself you can’t do it, you end up not doing it. Me? I was complacent and comfortable where I was.” {Source}
It’s refreshing to see Kelly speakinJustify Fullg so frankly about her success to-date in the US, as well as her embracing of her International appeal. That said, I hope Kelly doesn’t serve up ‘When Love Takes Over’-esque cuts on a solo tip. While it was a great track which opened her up to new audiences, I know many of her R&B fans felt it a little too left-field. In a perfect world Kelly would mesh both the Urban and the Dance sound to come up with something in the vein of what Danity Kane did on their last LP (see: ‘Damaged’, ‘Sucka 4 Love’, ‘Pretty Boy’ etc) and what Whitney does on some of the tracks on her comeback (see: ‘For The Lovers’).
Kelly Rowland Talks New Album / + New Pics
Your thoughts?
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