As many of you know, the That Grape Juice Facebook Group launched last month. Be it at work, school, college, wherever; I’m sure many of you – like myself – spend countless hours on Facebook. Yes, it’s overly addictive lol.
Combine your daily Urban Pop Culture fix with social networking and come be a part of the ever-growing That Grape Juice Facebook community. Along with the hundreds who have already joined, you’ll be the first to get word on upcoming interviews, competitions and much more. The discussion board/wall will also give you the chance to interact with other ‘Grape Juice readers moreso now than ever before.
It’s an open group, so anyone can join – invite your friends too!
Kanye & Alexis Call It QuitsFollowing mounting speculation, Kanye West’s fiancée Alexis Phifer has confirmed that she and the rapper have, indeed, ended their relationship. The pair had been engaged for a year and a half, having dated on and off since 2002. Check out the report via PEOPLE.com:

“It’s always sad when things like this end, and we remain friends,” Phifer tells PEOPLE. “I wish him the best in his future and all of his endeavors. He’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met.”

Phifer was spotted on the red carpet sans her engagement ring at an “Evenings in Vogue” event on Thursday night in New York, where her clothing line, Ghita, was featured.

“They’d been having problems,” a pal of West’s says. “Kanye is really focused on his show; he’s putting everything into the show right now. Alexis is a nice girl, but Kanye has been going through a rough time. They hit a rough patch and for now they’ve split.”

According to the friend, Phifer and West, both 30, had been spending less time together in the last few weeks as the Grammy-winning star prepared for his nationwide “Glow in the Dark” tour. “I haven’t seen [Alexis] around at all the last few times I’ve seen him recently,” the friend added.

Another one bites the dust…

Your thoughts?

Mariah Carey Lines Up 'Love Story' In an interview New York’s Hot 97 radio station today, Mariah Carey confirmed that ‘Love Story’ will likely serve as the third single from ‘E=MC²’. Elaborating further, she revealed actor Nick Cannon will both feature in the clip for current single’ Bye Bye’ as well as that of ‘Love Story’, citing a storyline tie-in similar to ‘It’s Like That’ and ‘We Belong Together’ from the ‘Mimi’ record.

Having dropped the light mid-tempo in the form of ‘Touch My Body’ and now the ballad ‘Bye Bye’, the most logical move IMO would be to release club banger ‘Migrate’ next. Granted there’s a strong likelihood that the track will at some point receive the single treatment (according to Mariah), delaying what will inevitably be a hit, especially in favour of ‘Love Story’ doesn’t make much sense to me.

Your thoughts?

Teairra Mari - 'No No No'Former ‘Princess of The Roc’ Teairra Mari is currently prepping her Interscope debut for a summer 2008 release. In the meanwhile, the album’s first single ‘No No No’ has surfaced (via YBF). Though hardly groundbreaking, I’m liking this. The gritty hard-hitting production, as well Teairra’s flow make for a real solid track; her runs toward the end really highlight her growth vocally. Good stuff.


Hit or Miss?
 

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Check out this sneak peek of Alicia Keys on the set of the video for ‘Teenage Love Affair’ – third single from her multi-Platinum effort ‘As I Am’:

The vid looks as if it’ll be her most interesting in a while, concept-wise. Be on the lookout for the full premiere, as it should be anytime from now.

Any thoughts?

Nas - 'Be A N*gger Too'While rapper Nas continues to prep his controversial LP ‘N*gger’ for release on July 1st, a cut from the much-anticipated set has surfaced. ‘Be A N*gger Too’ serves as the first indicator as to what to expect from the album. I know what I’m thinking about this all, but I’m real interested in hearing your take on the song/album’s concept etc.

Hit or Miss?
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Our friends over at The Most Access caught up with the ladies of Cherish on the set of their new video ‘Amnesia’. Check it out:

While the song has grown on me a little more, the video looks set to be a bore. I’m also finding it hard to ignore the striking similarities between this and the clip for their single ‘Unappreciated’. Cherish’s new album ‘The Truth’ hits stores on May 3rd.

Your thoughts?

Competition: Alicia Keys Tour Give-Away! That Grape Juice has teamed up with AEG Live, one of the world’s leading providers of live entertainment, to give you the chance to win tickets to see Alicia Keys live in concert! The Grammy Award winning superstar is currently touring the US in support of her multi-Platinum album ‘As I Am’. With special guests Ne-Yo and Jordin Sparks, the tour is unmissable!
Over the course of the next three weeks, That Grape Juice will be offering a pair of tickets to select dates of the tour in May. This weeks cities/dates are:

* San Diego, California: San Diego Sports Center – May 7th 2008

* Las Vegas, Nevada: MGM Grand – May 9th 2008

To be in with a chance of winning this week’s instalment, answer the following question correctly:

Which label did Alicia sign with first?

a) J Records

b) Columbia

c) Def Jam

Email your answer as well as your full name, age, and address (as well as State – *very important*) to [email protected]. Please be sure to put ‘Alicia Comp – Week 1’ as the subject. Winners will be selected randomly from all correct answers. Competition ends Sunday 27th April. Good luck!

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You can also purchase tickets to Alicia’s tour by clicking here

Amerie Officially Done With Columbia After months of speculation, it appears that R&B songstress Amerie has severed ties with Columbia Records, following the removal of her name from the labels roster. The singer’s third studio album ‘Because I Love It’, though critically acclaimed and a hit in Europe, did not receive a Stateside release. Instead, a succession of proposed release dates, came and went without yielding the album. Reliable sources confirm that the singer is currently locked in talks LA Reid’s Def Jam. {Source}
Here’s hoping she signs with a new label ASAP. It’s criminal that ‘Because I Love It’ wasn’t given a chance to be heard by the masses. Truly a great record.

Any thoughts?
Pretty Ricky Unveil New Member Following the departure of Pretty Ricky’s lead singer (Pleasure) last year, the group have revealed their new member – Ambition/4Play (pictured second from the right). The singer will now serve as ‘the new voice of Pretty Ricky’ {Source}
Check out the group’s first performance with Ambition (Warning: Explicit):

The group are a mess, but evidently someones liking their music…

Your thoughts?

The Best You Never Heard: Nivea, Luke & Q, Fya & Kiley DeanThis week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up songs by Nivea, Luke & Q, Fya and Kiley Dean. You can drop me your suggestions for future installments at [email protected]

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Nivea – Okay (Red-Cup Remix)

It’s not often that a song’s remix is better than the original, however this was very much so the case with Nivea’s ‘Okay’. Featured on her 2005 effort ‘Complicated’ (along with the released version), the track boasts entirely new lyrics, production as well a feature by then-husband The Dream. The ‘Crunk Craze’ that swept the industry a few years ago makes it all the more understandable why the original was released instead of this standout cut.

Listen: Okay (Red-Cup Remix)

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Luke & Q – My Turn

Some of you may remember R&B duo Luke & Q from their brief appearance in Destiny’s Child ‘Soldier’ video. Described by Beyonce herself as being ‘the total package’, the group generated a moderate buzz back in 2006 with their debut single ‘My Turn’. Indeed the pair’s unique combined vocals make for an engaging listening experience; Q’s smooth tenor complements Luke’s husky delivery surprisingly well. Though things seem to have gone quiet with the guys, there’s no denying the gem that is this track.

 

Listen: My Turn

 

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Fya – Must Be Love

 

 

Somewhat echoing the sentiments expressed by Estelle recently, UK trio Fya serve as prominent example of how the majority of urban acts here aren’t supported by the industry. The girls burst onto the scene in 2003 with their own brand of Dancehall-flavoured R&B, spearheaded by, this, their awesome debut single ‘Must Be Love’. Despite releasing a solid follow-up also, the girls were dropped by Def Jam UK soon after; a shame considering their potential was endless.

Listen: Must Be Love

 

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Kiley Dean – Kiss Me Like That

Set for stardom back in 2003 as a protegee of Timbaland, Kiley Dean found herself at the receiving end of label drama – eventually severing ties with the hit-maker’s short lived Beat Club imprint. Having recorded two shelved albums for the label, the Timbaland produced ‘Kiss Me Like That’ stands as a personal favorite. Dean recently signed with Matthew Knowles and Music World, with an album slated to drop this year.

Listen: Kiss Me Like That

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

Whitney & Ray J Attend Vegas Fight NightWhitney Houston and rumored boyfriend Ray stepped out together for the second time this week, heightening speculation that they are, indeed, a couple. The pair posed for pictures while sitting front-row centre at the Hopkins vs. Calzaghe boxing match in Las Vegas, Nevada last night. While, I’ll reserve my judgement on them dating, it’s great to see Whitney looking happy and healthy. Tidbit: Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina also accompanied her mother.
Whitney & Ray J Attend Vegas Fight Night

Any thoughts?

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