Lil' Kim Parts Ways With Atlantic Records Rapper Lil’ Kim has officially parted ways with longtime label, Atlantic Records, according to The pint-sized star plans to release her next album independently. Check out part of their report below:

On DJ Kay Slay’s Sirius Satellite Radio show “Streetsweeper Radio” last week, Kim shared that she harbors no ill feelings toward Atlantic. She said she was afraid to release her music independently several years ago but is now more comfortable in her knowledge of the music business to work her project.

It’s rumored that the MC will join Capitol Music Group’s independent arm, Imperial Records, however Kim’s management was unavailable for comment. Fat Joe is also signed to Imperial.

Lil Kim’s upcoming album, which was originally slated for February, is now tentatively set for April or May 2008.

Kim’s Atlantic swan song, 2005’s “The Naked Truth,” has sold 394,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

I was kinda surprised by this, simply because I thought Kim had left Atlantic soon after being release from jail in 2006. An increasing number of artists are opting for the independent route, with varying levels of success. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out for The Queen Bee.

Any thoughts?
That Grape Juice To Interview Kelly Rowland It is with much excitement that I can confirm that That Grape Juice will be interviewing R&B star Kelly Rowland in Central London on Thursday. The interview has actually been something that’s been in the pipeline for several months now, so I’m real glad it’s come to fruition. With Kelly being a prominent feature on the site, I’m sure you have questions you’d want answered, so please do drop them in the comments section (as usual, only legit/reasonable questions will be considered). Thanks guys.

Pop superstar Janet Jackson continues the promo for her latest effort ‘Discipline’ (due February 26th) with an interview with French magazine MadmoiZelle. Jackson, 41, spoke on a number of things including the new album, tour plans and her relationship with Jermaine Dupri. Check it out:

Your thoughts?

Young Buck Speaks On Rumored 50 Cent Beef The on-off rumors about the supposed ‘beef’ between G-Unit members 50 Cent and Young Buck have been rife for several months now. Buck addressed the issue during an interview with our friends over at SOHH. Here’s an extract:

With the rapper noticeably missing from overseas tour dates with the Unit, people have speculated on his relationship with G-Unit boss 50 Cent. Buck says that while the relationship has changed, he wouldn’t call it beef.

“I wouldn’t say that the relationship has deteriorated, ” he explained. “At the end of the day, I been over here getting money and establishing me. My relationship with 50, it is what it is. 50’s becoming bigger by the day.”

“We don’t communicate as much as we used to, but that’s cool because I’m not the type of artist that’s gonna wait for the CEO to make a move for me,” he continued. “I respect 50 to the utmost. Even though at times to the world it seems like 50 ain’t down with me, I still stay loyal to the n*gga because he put me in this position. It’s just he’s more focused on 50 more than anybody. Everybody wonders, what’s up with Buck and Fif? He’s a business man. He gets the final word and makes the [business] decisions for G-Unit. Anything outside of that, you gotta ask 50 about.”

Any thoughts?
Amy Winehouse Caught Smoking CrackUK newspaper The Sun has published exclusive pictures of trainwreck-in-waiting, Amy Winehouse, taking a cocktail of drugs -including cocaine – whilst at a party last Friday (January 18th). The paper also reports the ‘Rehab’ singer snorted powdered ecstasy, as well admitting to taking six Valium pills to “bring myself down”. Check out the rest of the pics below (you can watch the video by clicking here):
vAmy Winehouse Caught Smoking CrackAmy Winehouse Caught Smoking Crack

A mess. Why she has been allowed to go on drug binges and whatnot, without facing the legal consequences, is beyond me. For her own good, she needs to be locked up…now. SMH…

Your thoughts?

Jennifer Hudson Update The producer behind Leona Lewis’ monster hit ‘Bleeding Love’, Ryan Tedder, has stated that there is a ‘strong possbility’ that he’ll be working on the much-anticipated debut album by ‘Dreamgirls’ Jennifer Hudson. This comes on the heels, interestingly, of Tedder’s confirmation that J Records label head Clive Davis is taking the album in a new direction – one consistant of “high-energy, beat-driven material with soulful hooks.” Here what he had to say about the project:

They made half an album and ended up scrapping it. Clive — wisely, I think — said, ‘No one’s going to buy this. We’re trying to turn her into Aretha Franklin, and that’s not realistic. They scrapped a bunch of songs and started fresh”.

“I heard a Timbland song that was by far the best song she’s done. I do wish, and I know the label wishes, that this album had come out six months ago. But Clive’s smart. He didn’t want to just put out a crap album just because of the momentum” {Source}

It kinda figures. Considering it’s been so long since ‘Dreamgirls’ came out, it was obvious something was up with the project. Still, it’s good to see that Clive is making sure Jennifer delivers the best album possible. I’m real amped about Timbaland’s contribution to the album…it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with

Your thoughts?
Usher's Dad Dies Suddenly According to Access Hollywood, R&B star Usher’s father, Usher Raymond III, passed away in an Atlanta hospital on this past Friday (January 19th). As of writing, the cause of death is unknown. Funeral arrangements are set to be announced shortly {Source}
It’s been well-documented that Usher’s father was not much of a feature in the singer’s life. Having walked out on Usher’s mother, Jonetta Patton, soon after the singer was born, it wasn’t until 2004 that Usher decided to strike up a relationship with him. I guess, despite the unfortunate nature of what’s happened, it’s good Usher was able to establish a relationship of sorts with his dad prior to his death.

Any thoughts?
Kelly Rowland UpdateThe release date for the re-release Kelly Rowland’s ‘Ms. Kelly’ album was confirmed on BBC Radio 1 yesterday during their chart countdown. A re-vamped version of Rowland’s sophomore effort will hit stores, in the UK, on March 10th. Her new single ‘Daylight’ will feature on the set, as well as production from the likes of JR Rotem (‘S.O.S’) and Nate ‘Danja’ Hills (‘Gimme More’). Also included will be the Freemasons remix to current UK single ‘Work’, which is performing fantastically well over here The single debuted at #31 on the Official Singles chart -prior to it’s official release today.
Be on the lookout for the first televised performance of ‘Work’ this week, when Kelly stops by daytime show This Morning here in London on Thursday. What’s more, fans hoping to see Kelly can catch her at the London Astoria on January 26th, where she is to perform a live set.
I’m kinda on the fence about the idea of the re-release; a whole new album sounds better to me, but oh well. The Danja track(s) is something I’m particularly looking forward to.

Your thoughts?
It’s been a short while since the last ‘From The Vault’ posting, but it’s back this week in the form of ATL’s ‘Make It Up With Love’ video. Released back in 2004, I remember playing this song over and over. In a time when B2K were ruling (I’m using the term very loosely) the charts with their cookie-cutter songs, it was real refreshing seeing a group of same-aged teens, who were all vocally talented, putting out great music. Check out the video – see if you can spot a certain ‘Goodies’ singer:

Following the release of this song, the 2nd single from their LP ‘The ATL Project’, the group disbanded, were dropped or something…they basically disappeared lol. Still, with such good material, it’s a shame they never lasted the distance.

Your thoughts?

After the hysteria that ensued following Raz-B’s shocking molestation claims (and the subsequent retraction of them), I thought that spelled the end of the B2K reality show/re-launch. It appears I was mistaken ,as yet another preview for the show hit the net recently. Check it out:

All I can say is WHOAH! I’m assuming this was the drama that went down after Raz-B lifted the lid on the bogusness of Chris Stokes. J-Boog and Lil’ Fizz were heated. I’m really hoping this gets picked up by a major network or, at the very least, is aired in some capacity. This is unmissable TV.

Your thoughts?

Nelly Enlists Fergie For New SingleSt. Louis rapper Nelly has teamed up with Fergie for his latest single ‘Party People’. According to {Credit: Kevipod}, the single is set to officially hit airwaves on February 19th and will serve as the ‘official’ first single from Nelly’s ‘Brass Knuckles’ album. Originally set for release back in November last year, the album was withdrawn from release schedules after the lead single (which will probably be labelled a ‘buzz’ single now) ‘Wadsyaname’ tanked. ‘Brass Knuckles’ is now set for release on June 24th.

Are you checking for Nelly // Your thoughts on the Fergie collabo?
Brandy Spotted Out In LA R&B singer Brandy was snapped by the paparazzi whilst shopping in Los Angeles on Thursday. Hmmm……

What do you think of the pic?
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