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Check out Danity Kane performing ‘Bad Girl’ and ‘Strip Tease’ on the Making The Band 4 New York tour stop at the Hammerstein Ballroom last night:

Bad Girl

Strip Tease

The ladies nailed it, both vocally and with the choreography. They really are seizing the previously vacant title of hottest girl-group out at the moment and running with it. Pussycat Dolls, who?

What do you think of the performances?

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Part 1: Moving Mountains, Here I Stand

BET aired an Usher ‘Here I Stand’ special to celebrate the release of the singer’s album earlier this week. The 29 year old performed select tracks from the record as well as an old favourite (‘Yeah’).

Part 2: Yeah, Love In This Club

Great performances.

In other Usher news, despite reports that ‘Here I Stand’ has been illegally downloaded more than half a million times, the singer is still on course to have one of the highest first-week sales so far this year with first day sales of 146,000 according Nielsen SoundScan. To get an idea of what the album is set to sell first week, one need not look further than Mariah Carey, whose ‘E=MC²’ LP sold 154,000 on its first day out, going on to shift 463,000 units by the week’s end back in April. Though the numbers are looking very promising, it’s a far cry from the 1.1 Million Usher’s last LP ‘Confessions’ sold first week. {Source}

 

Any thoughts?

Rihanna - 'Disturbia' ‘Disturbia’ is the next single to be lifted from Rihanna’s forthcoming ‘Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded’ re-release (due June 17th). At the risk of being labelled a ‘hater’, the Synth-Pop cut continues the mediocre tone set by its predecessor ‘Take A Bow’, offering little in the way of substance or originality. With much better tracks such as ‘Breakin’ Dishes’ and ‘Push Up On Me’ sitting unreleased on the album’s original track-list, it’s hard to understand why neither was released instead of this rubbish. Seeing as nearly everything her promo team she touches these days turns to gold, it wouldn’t surprise me if this one shoots to the top of the charts. SMH…

Hit or Miss?

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Danity Kane’s Aubrey O’ Day features in the latest issue of J’ Adore magazine. It’s good to see some of the ladies on their grind outside of the group. Word has it, their iron clad deal with Bad Boy sees them making little money, despite all of their success. The price of ‘fame’, I guess…

 

What do you think of the pics?

The third and final video for Kanye West’s ‘Flashing Lights’ surfaced just a few hours ago. Though better than the second, I’m still out of the loop as to what the vids are actually about. Kudos to Kanye for continually thinking out of the box, though…

What do you think of the vid?

New 50 Cent MTV Show To Uplift Kids In a welcome change to the controversy that usually surrounds a 50 Cent story, it has been announced that the G-Unit leader has partnered with MTV for a new reality show – with a twist:

Taking the “Charm School” recipe one step further, 50 Cent has teamed with MTV to create a reality show that is actually aimed at helping the community. In his new, still untitled, elimination show, 16 young kids will compete to master the skills that elevated 50 from the streets to the top of the charts. But here’s my favorite part: Instead of the winner receiving a cash prize, the last one standing will actually be awarded a full scholarship to college. {Source}

Though I wholesomely commend 50 for partaking in such a show, I did have to chuckle at the ‘master the skills that elevated 50 from the streets to the top of the charts’ part. Perhaps we’ll see the kids talk mess about the top contender near the time for their task? Just a thought lol…


Any thoughts?
Tricky: Hip-Hop To Blame For Violent BritainBritish musician Tricky (no I don’t know who he is either) blames Hip-Hop for rising crime in the UK, insisting ‘it has created a generation of angry and violent young men’. Check out the report via Contact Music below:

The artist, who mixes rock, hip-hop and pop in his music, claims parts of Britain are now more dangerous than New York, and the popular hip-hop culture must be held responsible.

Tricky – who has performed with Massive Attack – says, “I love hip-hop, but it has to take some responsibility for the gun culture we’ve got over here. We’re getting super-violent. You can walk around the Bronx for days on end and nobody bothers you. “In England, you can say the wrong thing in a pub and, before you know it, you’ve got a bottle over your head or a bullet in your brain. English people have got quicker tempers.”

His genuine opinion? Maybe. A publicity stunt? A possibility. Stupid? Hell yes! Granted the crime rate here in the UK has risen in recent years (and is a hot topic in the media at present), it’s very unoriginal to take aim at Hip-Hop. To say the mainstream UK Hip-Hop movement is lacking would be an understatement, so I’m assuming he means US Hip-Hop (the only kind we’re exposed to on mass). Yet, he’s contradicting himself in his ‘parts of England are tougher than the Bronx’ statement, as it’s largely the same thing we’re listening to around the globe. What’s more, without generalising, it’s highly unlikely that you’d find your average Hip-Hop listener in a ‘pub’. For someone who claims to ‘love Hip-Hop’, he sure did little to show it.

In a broader context, I wanted to know if you feel Hip-Hop is responsible for violence/crime in your own locality/country? If so, why? If not, why?

Your thoughts?

Cherish Member Neosha Gets MarriesAfter six years of dating, Cherish member Neosha King tied the knot with boyfriend Jason Lawrence early this month. The small, intimate beach ceremony was held on Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Essence magazine were on hand to cover the couple’s big day. As well as photographing, the mag interviewed the pair:

Neosha On Jason: “Jason and I both had come out of bad relationships,” explained Neosha, “and we met when he visited his childhood friend, who was also my sister Farrah’s then boyfriend. From the beginning, there was something special between us.”

Jason On Neosha: “When I saw her walk down the aisle it hit me that we were getting married,” says Jason, a design engineer. “We’d been in love for so long and on one accord that it always felt like we were married. She was so beautiful it simply reaffirmed that she was The One for me.”

You can click here to read the entire feature

Neosha with Bridesmaids
Neosha With Grandparents
Neosha & Jason

I actually had no idea that Neosha was engaged or anything. In any case, congratulations to both her and Jason.

Any thoughts?

Tyra Covers The New York Times Supermodel turned media mogul Tyra Banks appears on the June 1st cover of The New York Times Magazine. In her feature, the talk show host describes herself in as a mixture of Oprah Winfrey with a dash of Martha Stewart thrown in.
Speaking on Tyra, NYT staff writer says: “Her brand, like her trademark ‘tough but still smiling’ smile, is consistent in all her shows: serious about the frivolous; empathetic and empowering, and always, always aimed at young women, across all races. It’s girly TV with a punch”.

Cool cover. It’s great to see Tyra garnering so much recognition outside of the modelling world. It goes to show that sky really is the limit. More power to her.

Your thoughts?

The Best You Never Heard: Ashanti, Monica, Mis-Teeq & LL Cool JHaving been rested on the bench for a few weeks, The Best You Never Heard returns this week with little known cuts by Ashanti, Monica, UK trio Misteeq as well as LL Cool J. Do you have any suggestions for future instalments? Drop me an email at [email protected]

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Ashanti – Freedom

 

Despite the fact that Ashanti’s third studio album 2004’s ‘Concrete Rose’ achieved Platinum status, the record was largely dubbed a commercial failure for the once Princess of Murder INC. That said, I felt as though the LP was Ashanti’s most solid to date and served up what IMO is one of her strongest offerings in the form of ‘Freedom’. Raw, vocally lucid and a welcome change from her expected norm, the song is an awesomely constructed response to her critics.

 

Listen: Freedom

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Monica – Getaway

Though the ridiculous decision to release ‘Everytime The Beat Drops’ effectively rendered Monica’s 2006 album ‘The Makings of Me’ dead on arrival, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the LP was far from poor; the record stands as one of my more recent favourites. Album closer ‘Getaway’ sees the songstress show her vulnerable side in a ballad that reminds us of the rarity of this voice we have grown alongside with since her mid 90’s debut. Great track.

 

Listen: Getaway

 

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Mis-Teeq – Scandalous

 

 

Some of our UK readers will remember Misteeq; the trio, consistent of Sabrina, Alesha and Su Elise, for a brief moment in time dominated what is now the non-existent homegrown R&B market here in the UK. Though the ladies split in 2004, they left behind a selection of chart hits, including their most successful single ‘Scandalous’. Produced by Stargate, this banger, one of the girl’s last releases, ensured the ladies went out on a high. Random tidbit: the song was the theme to Halle Berry’s ill-fated ‘Catwoman’ movie.

Listen: Scandalous

 

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LL Cool J – Down The Aisle (ft. 112)
LL Cool J’s 2006 LP ‘Todd Smith’ oddly wasn’t billed as a collabo record, despite only one track featuring solely the rapper himself. Despite the album boasting joint efforts with the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez and Ginuwine, it was the 112 assisted ‘Down The Aisle’ that was the standout IMO. Having left the bravado on the back-burner, the song’s concept – growing and tying the knot with that special someone – is real refreshing. Good stuff.

Listen: Down The Aisle (ft. 112)

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

Competition: 'The Great Debaters' DVD Give-Away To celebrate the recent DVD release of Denzel Washington’s ‘The Great Debaters’, That Grape Juice are giving you the opportunity to win a special 2-disc copy of the Golden Globe nominated movie, which also stars Forest Whitaker.
Plot: The film, loosely based on a true story, revolves around the efforts of debate coach Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) at historically black Wiley College to place his team on equal footing with whites in the American south during the 1930s, when Jim Crow laws were common and lynch mobs were a pervasive fear for blacks. In the movie as in reality, the Wiley team eventually succeeds to the point where they are able to take part in a debate with Harvard University.
In order to be in with a chance of winning this must-see movie, answer the following correctly:

Forest Whitaker won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2007. Which film was it for?
a) Dreamgirls
b) The Last King of Scotland
c) Street Kings

Email your answer as well as your full name, age, and address to [email protected]. Please be sure to put ‘Great Debaters Comp’ as the subject. Winners will be selected randomly from all correct answers. Competition ends Monday 2nd June. Good luck!

T.I. To Star In Reality Show It seems T.I. is the latest star to hop on the Reality TV bandwagon. The 27 year old has partnered with MTV for the project:

“[MTV] will follow the hip-hop star as he performs more than 1,000 of community service before beginning to serve his one-year prison sentence next spring. Ish Entertainment is behind the untitled series, which has scored an eight-episode order from MTV. Cameras already chronicled T.I.’s release from house arrest, and shooting will start in earnest this summer, leading up to his return to jail in early 2009. MTV plans to air the show some time soon after that.” {Source}

Though I’m kinda iffy about the prospect of yet another reality show, I must say the concept sounds pretty interesting. Having enjoyed Lil’ Kim’s pre-jail show ‘Countdown To Lockdown’ a few years back, this one definitely seems like it’ll be worth tuning into. It’s just a shame that our artists aren’t starring in such shows for more postive reasons.

Your thoughts?

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