This new track from TLC’s T-Boz surfaced earlier today. It’s currently unknown whether ‘You Got Me Open’ is from her forthcoming Universal/SRC debut. For her sake I hope not; it’s not that the song is bad, it’s just that such material simply isn’t good enough to be able to stand a chance of competing in the contemporary music industry. I must say though, that, as with Chilli, I’m kinda perplexed as to why each didn’t strike while the iron was hot (during the height of TLC’s popularity)to drop solo records. I mean, is there actually still an audience for them?

Your thoughts?

'Batman: The Dark Knight':Your Thoughts? Randomness, I know; however I went to see the new Batman movie this past weekend to see what all the hype was about. Truth be told, though a little on the lengthy side, the film was awesome. The buzz about the late Heath Ledger’s performance and the film in general really is justified. Highly recommended.
Seen the movie?….

Your thoughts?
Which Releases Are You Most Looking Forward To?

I actually intended to make this post at the start of the month….anyway….

With the first half of the year having served up major releases from the likes of Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Usher etc, the second half looks set to be even bigger. The following are just some of the artists whose new projects are slated to drop in the second half of this year:

• Jennifer Hudson
• Ciara
• Beyonce
• T.I.
• Ne-Yo
• Whitney Houston
• Solange
• R. Kelly
• Brandy
• T-Pain
• Michelle Williams
• 50 Cent
• Keyshia Cole
• Keri Hilson
• Teairra Mari
• Monica

That Grape Juice wants to know whose releases you’re looking forward to most. Who do you think will succeed? Who do you think won’t (aka flop)? Drop your thoughts in the comments section…

Your thoughts?

Michelle Williams Opens Up About Broken Engagement In the latest issue of Sister 2 Sister, Michelle Williams reveals for the first time the heartache of her broken engagement in 2004. Check out the report via Contact Music below:

Former DESTINY’S CHILD star MICHELLE WILLIAMS is keen to make sure her next romance is for real – after a broken engagement left her upset about the time and money she’d spent on it.

The singer picked up last-minute plane flights so she could be with her unnamed fiance during breaks in her Destiny’s Child schedule and, at one point, racked up a $10,000 (GBP5,000) cell phone bill just chatting to her man while she was on tour.

Williams also spent a lot of time planning a dream wedding and moving house only for her romance dreams to be left in tatters when her fiance began to get cold feet.

Eventually, the singer called off the engagement and she and her one-time fiance mutually agreed to split, leaving her to pick up the pieces of a broken dream and counting the emotional and financial cost of her failed romance.

She says, “Relationships get very expensive… You try to fly on the red-eye (overnight plane) home, you try to spend time (with him).

“When I was overseas, I racked up a $10,000 cell phone bill.”But Williams insists the experience won’t put her off getting married: “I’m not weary of it at all. I do believe there is a particular gentleman out there for me who will come when I least expect it.”

It really goes to show that one can never be too sure of what’s happening behind all the glitz and glamor this industry propagates. I mean, if my time-line serves me correct, Michelle’s (broken) engagement would have fallen within Destiny’s Child’s last stint and most of us were nonethewiser. Interesting…

Your thoughts?

Mariah Carey’s 1997 smash ‘Honey’ serves as this week’s From The Vault video. As the the first single to be lifted from the diva’s ‘Butterfly’ LP, the track and its accompanying video ushered in what was then considered a very ‘different’ Mariah. Newly divorced and musically embracing an edgier, Urban sound, Mariah shed her conservative ‘girl next door’ image with this racy Paul Hunter directed clip. Random tidbit: here, also saw the debut of the ‘Mariah Whine’ LMAO. Check it out:

Great song, even better video.

Your thoughts?

Whitney Houston - 'Like I Never Left (ft. Akon)' With the release of Whitney Houston’s much anticipated ‘comeback’ album drawing ever-nearer (due November), a new Akon produced and featuring track, presumed to be from the LP has surfaced titled ‘Like I Never Left.
Though it’s great to finally hear a sample of the fruit of Whitney’s more recent studio time, I can’t say the airy mid-tempo track strikes me as chart-topping material. Still, a decent album cut. I’m hoping Whitney comes with her ‘A’ game as far as the first single and the album more generally. {Thanks Andy, Terrence, Bryan; you’re all stars!!}

Hit or Miss?

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Hip-Hop veteran LL Cool J performed his brand new single ‘Baby’ along with The Dream on So You Think You Can Dance this week. Great song, great performance.

‘Baby’ is featured on LL’s 12th studio album ‘Exit 13 – due September 9th.

What do you think of the performance?

Ne-Yo Covers 'Take A Bow' Ne-Yo stopped by the UK’s top Urban radio station 1Xtra earlier today to promote his upcoming ‘Year of The Gentleman’ LP. The talented singer/songwriter also performed a rendition of Rihanna’s #1 smash ‘Take A Bow’. I’m really liking his take, on the otherwise, so-so track.

Hit or Miss?

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With Bow Wow set to release his seventh studio album ‘Pedigree’ in the coming months, the video for the LP’s first single ‘Marco Polo’ made its debut today. Featuring Soulja Boy, both the song and video get the ‘blah’ treatment from me; Bow’s gonna have to up his game if he’s looking for any notable kind of success with this record. Yawn…

What do you think of the song / video?

Some 6 months after ‘Damaged’ dropped, Danity Kane finally premiered the video for their second single ‘Bad Girl’ on FN’MTV just a few moments ago. Undeniably, the ladies’ biggest budget effort to date, the video is their best IMO. That said, something still feels kinda lacking with this one…not sure what it is, but it’s something. Anyway, feature artist Missy Elliott as well as Day26’s Qwanell make cameos.

What do you think of the video?

Teairra Marí Speaks Out On Jay-Z & MoreIn a recent interview with, former Princess of The Roc, Teairra Marí spoke out the current status of her relationship with one-time mentor Jay-Z:

AHHA: Is there still a relationship at all with Jay-Z?

Teairra Mari: There is no relationship there at all. I haven’t heard from him since that time. I think I sent him a happy birthday message because his birthday is two days after mine, like two years ago and since then it’s been nothing. And I don’t want it to be – Actually, it’s fine because I was a young girl. If you could come into a young girl’s life and then just throw her on the curb, you put this father presence on and then be like, “I’m done with it.” I don’t want a relationship like that.

Ouch. She seems a lil burned by the way things went down and rightfully so. Label or no label, it wasn’t right the way her so-called ‘father’ dashed her to the side like that. Anyway, she also discussed her dislike of the direction of her first LP:

AHHA: With your first album, Roc-A-Fella Presents Teairra Mari, do you feel that project accurately depicted where you wanted you career to go and what you wanted your sound to be?

Teairra Mari: I was 17 and I had a parental advisory sticker on the album. I was totally against that. I was pre-instructed to do what I did. They wanted me to be that rebellious, young teenager. At the time I was going through a rebellious stage so I guess I could see it, but the curse words I didn’t totally understand it, like a cursing 17-year-old girl. I just did what I was told because I believed in those people.

I always did wonder, what right-minded label exec would have a 17 year old singing about ‘do I need to tell a n***a how to touch me'(on ‘Make A Girl Feel’}. Here’s hoping Teairra’s latest effort brings her the recognition she deserves.

Any thoughts?

The video for ‘Dope Boys’, the official second single to be lifted from The Game’s forthcoming ‘L.A.X’ album premiered today. Though the video is standard-fare, the song -which features Travis Barker- goes harder than hard. IMO, the Compton bred MC is really coming with his ‘A’ game this go round, further silencing the naysayers who believed he couldn’t deliver the goods post G-Unit. Good stuff.

What do you think of the song / video?