Nia Long Lashes Out At Singers Who Turn To Acting
In the latest issue of Pride Magazine (the UK’s version of Essense), noted actress Nia Long takes aim at the ever-growing list of singers who are turning to acting for the sake of it. On the topic, long said:

“I didn’t see (Beyonce’s) ‘Obsessed,’ so I can’t comment” she says “but it’s just not about how talented you are anymore. It’s about, ‘How much box-office revenue will this person generate?’ When you see certain people – we won’t name names – they just don’t have the skill, and no one in their team has said, ‘You need acting classes’”

As blunt as she sounds, it’s hard to deny that she’s preaching the truth. Besides the countless black acting enthusiasts struggling to get their foot in the industry, there’s the many black actresses like Nia (see: Sanaa Lathan and co) who are known but severely underrated and overlooked in favour of artists whose foray into acting is solely to enhance their ‘brand’. Often these artist don’t get shining reviews for their performances, effectively closing the door for more opportunity for legit up and coming black actors and actresses. I mean my girl really has a point.
Your thoughts?

Peep controversial author (former video hoe / ‘model’) Karrine ‘Superhead’ Steffans promoting her new book ‘The Vixen Manual’ on The Today Show yesterday.
Having read her first book ‘Diary of Video Vixen’ a few years back, I actually felt for her with all the flack she was getting. However, after seeing some of her antics, as well as her dragging out her tell-all stories to a second book, I’m a kinda on the fence as to what I think about her.
Your thoughts?
Whitney Previews New Album In London
A radiant looking Whitney Houston was joined by mentor Clive Davis last night here in London at the Madarin Hotel to preview her ‘comeback’ album ‘I Look To You’ to select media and VIP’s. Ms. Houston received a standing ovation from the audience upon her entrance, as well as after the album’s R.Kelly penned title track was played.
Word has it a song called ‘Calling You Tonight’ is almost set in stone as the album’s first single. Check out the Johnta Austin penned, Stargate produced demo by clicking here. I see they are going for that Jennifer Hudson ‘Spotlight’ feel with this one. I like. Other producers set to feature on the record include Swizz Beats and Akon.
‘I Look To You’ drops August 31st here in the UK (Europe) and September 1st in the US. {Thanks Sasha!}
{The first image below is said to be the album cover!}
Whitney Previews New Album In London Whitney Previews New Album In London
Whitney Previews New Album In London
Your thoughts?

Mariah Carey’s video for brand new single ‘Obsessed’ made it’s debut a day earlier than supposed to on Yahoo Music today. Directed by longtime Carey collaborator and Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, the hilarious clip sees the 39 year old diva (40 according to some lol) being followed and obsessed-over by an Eminem-like figure. While some parts of the vid were a little tiresome i.e. Mimi touching EVERY inch of her body during the photoshoot scene (which was too long IMO), it’s hard to deny this one is a winner. At times laugh out loud funny (see: run-over scene), Mariah also looked the best she has in a long minute. My girl looked h-o-t.
Unfortunately it’s a shame the song isn’t. Once a an-almost guaranteed (predicted) contenderfor the #1 spot, the song’s fluctuating performance on iTunes means the chances of it becoming her #19 #1 are unlikely. At the risk of becoming ‘Lamb Stew’ (inevitable lol), I can’t say this isn’t deserved – the song is trash. I just wish Mariah would stop trying to compete with the young’uns (something her stans will no doubt label, ‘adapting’ to the market), dumbing down her music in the process. And yes, success without selling out is possible; one only need look at the ‘Emancipation’ album (her most successful in recent times), which is best summed up as quality/contemporary. I need someone to name me one average R&B chick who could have churned out that album, because I’m struggling on that one. Yet I can tell you 5 who could have recorded ‘Obsessed’…and done a better job. Sigh.
What do you think of the video?

Our good friends over at Soul Culture interviewed former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius during her recent promotional stop here in her hometown London last week. In what is a very interesting interview, the talented singer-songwriter opened up about the cause of the Floetry split, the possibility of a reunion, working with Michael Jackson on ‘Butterflies’ and much more. Definitely a worthwhile watch.
Your thoughts?
Janet Jackson Goes Back To Work
According to reports, Janet Jackson has resumed filming her role in Tyler Perry’s ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ following the shocking death of her brother, The King of Pop Michael Jackson three weeks ago:
Janet Jackson is back at work after two traumatizing weeks, dealing with the death of her brother and King of Pop Michael Jackson.
According to co-star Malik Yoba, Jackson is on the set of Tyler’s Perry’s ‘Why Did I Get Married Too,’ the sequel to the 2007 flick ‘Why Did I Get Married’.
Speaking of Jackson’s return, Yoba, who plays her husband in the film, told fans Jackson “seems well”.
“For those of you who are curious about the state of Ms. Jackson, all seems well.”
“She’s here at work and we’ve got a couple of serious scenes to shoot today.”
Why Did I Get Married Too is slated for release Spring 2010. {Source}
Kudos to Janet for summing up the strength to return to some kind of normality. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Jackson family at this painful time.
Your thoughts?

R&B star Kelly Rowland stopped by The Today Show today to plug her Bravo reality series The Fashion Show, as well as her new single ‘When Love Takes Over’. An interesting watch.

Your thoughts?

Over the weekend, Shakira’s brand new single ‘She Wolf’ made it’s much hyped debut. The single has had a killer viral campaign going on the net for the net for several weeks now. About the track itself, I’m definitely feeling the production on this Electro-Disco fusion, yet unavoidable to note is the fact that Shakira’s vocals work in some places more than others (some parts are excruciating to listen to). All in all, I’m liking this one.

Hit or Miss?
Nas: 'I Don't Make As Much $ As Kelis Thinks'Nas and Kelis’ divorce seems like it’s getting messier and messier. Such a shame. Check out the latest twist in the saga, which sees Nas submitting that he simply does not make as much as Kelis is making it out he does:

Nas has fired back in his bitter divorce case with Kelis claiming he’s paid her more than she says and he makes less than she thinks.

For starters, Kelis claims Nas raked in $11 million for his album deal. Nas fired back in legal papers, “I did not receive even half that amount”… claiming it’s more like $4 mil. Nas claims his income is declining, and he’s only pulling in $147,165 a month.

As for what he spends … $71,371.96 a month, which includes $10,000 a month in clothing/hair/toiletries/personal effects.

Kelis, who is about to give birth to their child, claims Nas hasn’t paid a penny for child or spousal support since he left her. Nas, who says he wants to be “fully involved” in the parenting of their child, claims he’s agreed to pay $350 for a stroller, $450 for a baby sling and $1,598 for two cribs.

Nas thinks $5,000 a month is reasonable for child support since the kid will just be a newborn. {Source}

Believing Nas and Kelis were gonna be that one couple in the industry that managed to keep it together, I find it real unfortunate that they’ve parted and it’s all being played out so publicly.

Your thoughts?

LeToya - 'Regret (ft. Ludacris)'The full version of ‘Regret’ from LeToya Luckett’s forthcoming sophomore effort ‘Lady Love’ surfaced today, and now features none other than Ludracris. Produced by R&B crooner Tank, the mid-tempo is somewhat of a audio juxtaposition in that it manages to be both a smooth, piano driven Slow Jam, yet gritty and edgy at the same time. Luda’s verse works surprisingly well too.
Saying that, the song doesn’t really rock my world in the way I’ve heard many hyping it to. As a Toya supporter, I’m hoping the album serves up the goodies, as thus far it seems like it’s a bit hit and miss. About ‘Regret’ though…

Hit or Miss?

Follow That Grape Juice On Twitter!As some of you may know, we announced a few months back that you can now follow That Grape Juice on Twitter! Adding to the ever-expanding ways to be apart of the That Grape Juice community, our Twitter page allows you to receive up-to-the-minute updates about the latest posts on the site as well as what’s happening in the Urban Pop Culture world more generally.
What’s more, you, as well as the thousands who have already joined, will be able to keep up with me, ‘Sam’, while I’m on-the-go. I’ll be making use of Twitter’s cool SMS feature which allows me to let you guys know what I’m up to via my mobile/cell. That means everything from checking in with you guys while on location at an artist interview to complete randomness from the wackiness that is ‘my world’. So what are you waiting for…

The That Grape Juice Facebook Group launched last year, as I’m sure many of you will know. Work, school, college, home, wherever; I’m sure many of you – like myself – spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. Yes, it’s ‘that’ addictive.

Why not, then, combine your daily Urban Pop Culture fix with social networking and come be a part of the rapidly growing That Grape Juice Facebook community. Along with the thousands who have already joined (thank you all!), you will be the first to get word on upcoming interviews, competitions, view exclusive pictures and much 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 all your friends too!

Hard on the grind for her ‘Lady Love’ project, LeToya Luckett performed a set in Dallas over the weekend for ‘Hip-Hop For HIV Awareness’. Peep her performance of new single ‘She Aint Got…’ above.

Good performance aside, a little underground drama popped off on the back of this one.

Notice how at the start LeToya does an acapella of previously heard new song ‘Regret’ singing: “Now you’re at the bar with 1, 2, 3. Poppin’ game, ya look so lame, without me your pimpin’ ain’t the same”. Immediately after, just before launching into ‘She Ain’t Got…’, she then says to the crowd “I know ya’ll know who I’m talking about!”. To date, LeToya’s only public romance has been with fellow Houston native Slim Thug.

Further adding fuel to the fire, Slim Thug took to his official Twitter page not long after saying: “If u a R&b singer chick fuck with me Ima make u go platinum.. Give u helluva songs torn,regret,not anymore,she ain’t got etc…gnr”.

I guess things aren’t as cool between the former couple as we’ve been led to believe. Hmmm…

Your thoughts?