R&B songstress Ashanti seems to be pretty much everywhere these days promoting her stellar new album ‘The Declaration’. Check out the singer performing the LP’s second single ‘Good Good’ on the Tonight With Jay Leno show yesterday:

Great performance.

What do you think of the performance?

R. Kelly Trial: The Jury Speaks After yesterday’s controversial decision to acquit R. Kelly on all 14 counts of child pornography/abuse, the jury have begun speaking to the media about how and why they reached their judgement. Check out the report via MTV.com:

CHICAGO — The jurors in the R. Kelly child-pornography trial didn’t doubt whether it was the singer on the tape — they just doubted whether it was the girl prosecutors said it was.

“I thought it was R. Kelly on the tape,” juror #9 said after the verdict was rendered. “I just wasn’t 100 percent on the girl.”

The five jurors who agreed to speak to the press following their not-guilty verdict said they felt the state hadn’t presented enough evidence and that having the alleged victim on the stand would have made the difference.

“The key problem was the identity of the female,” juror #23 said. “Her absence was a major lack.”

“The family was too divided,” said juror #9, who in the preliminary votes had voted for a guilty verdict. “So you had to discount the family testimony either way.”

This didn’t mean that the jurors bought all the defense arguments wholesale. The missing mole, for instance, was a non-issue, they said. They didn’t want to examine the video any further, either.

“I’ve seen that video way too many times,” juror #21 said. “The first time was too many.”

Being sequestered — and the prospect of remaining sequestered over Father’s Day — was not a factor in their quick verdict, they said.

“We wanted to go home, but we knew what we had to do,” said juror #21. Nodding in agreement was juror #40, who just earlier that day had asked to be relieved of duty.

Had he — or juror #40 — been relieved, the vote would have gone very differently, said the three alternates who were dismissed earlier in the day. Jurors 65, 73 and 72 said in a separate news conference before the verdict was rendered that they were leaning toward guilty. “My opinion leans towards that it is him with the girl in the video,” said juror #65.

Things might have also gone differently had evidence of Kelly’s marriage to a then-15-year-old Aaliyah or the criminal sexual conduct lawsuits against him been part of the case, the seated jurors said, but that was not what they were given to consider.

“I didn’t even know about that,” juror #23 said. “But as jurors, we have to act within the confines of the law and what is legally presented.”

“It’s all just speculation,” juror #21 said. “Who knows what we would have found [otherwise]?”

I’m still shocked as hell over the verdict; not so much because I think he is guilty (or innocent either, for that matter), but because the Prosecution IMO – and as I’m sure many who followed the trial will agree – argued a very compelling case. I guess time will tell what the effects, if any, there will be on Kelly’s career post-all of this.

Your thoughts?

Kelly Rowland performed at the Hilfiger Sessions in Berlin, Germany a month or so ago. Check out her performances below:
Like This (w/ Wyclef)


Dilemma

Bootylicious

Work

She nailed it! I really enjoyed the ‘Like This’ performance.

What do you think of the performances?

The much anticipated video for the Pussycat Dolls new single ‘When I Grow Up’ premiered just a few short hours ago on MTV. I’m most definitely feeling this one; the video captures the essence of the song pretty well. The dance break was the business also. Tidbit: The Britney Spears cameo was axed, according to reports; however no reason was given as to why.

What do you think of the video?

Breaking
R. Kelly: Not Guilty On All Charges

CHICAGO (AP) — Singer R. Kelly has been found not guilty on the first 7 of 14 counts at a child pornography trial. The jury deliberated less than a day.

Kelly was charged with 14 counts of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl, who prosecutors say was as young as 13. If convicted, he faces a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of 15 years. He would also have to register as a sex offender in Illinois.

The jury — nine men and three women — was given the case Thursday.

The key question for the jurors was whether they believe it was Kelly in the video, as prosecutors contend. Kelly’s attorneys say it wasn’t him. {Source}

Your thoughts?

The Pussycat Dolls performed their new single ‘When I Grow Up’ on So You Think You Can Dance yesterday. Check out the performance below:

They nailed it. I’m guessing they’ve been listening to a lot of people’s crtiques as it was evident that someone other than Nicole’s mic was turned on. Good stuff.

Do forget to keep it locked on That Grape Juice for the premiere of the ‘When I Grow Up’ music video later today.

What do you think of the performance?

Eminem Eyes Comeback During a recent call to his own radio station Shade45, Eminem confirmed that he is working on a new album, the first since 2004’s ‘Encore’.
Though a release frame was not specified, the news comes after months of speculation about whether the Grammy award winning star was set to return to the spotlight. During his hiatus, the rapper re-married ex-wife Kim, only to divorce her three months later. {Source}

To be honest I can’t say I ever jumped on the Eminem bandwagon what seems like all those years ago. Upon hearing of his plans of coming back, I’m kinda left wondering…

Is Eminem even relevant anymore?

Your thoughts?

With Missy Elliott set to release her recently re-titled LP ‘Block Party’ on August 26th, the set’s lead single ‘Best Best’ has surfaced. Produced by Danja, the mid-tempo cut is typical Missy in that it’s pretty much unlike anything out at present. Though I’m not entirely sold on this whimsical just yet, the song does sound like a grower.


Hit or Miss?
 

{Link Removed As Requested}

Continuing along the promo trail for her latest effort ‘The Declaration’, R&B star Ashanti stopped by MTV’s TRL to perform her current single ‘The Way That I Love You’:

Good stuff.

Reminder: That Grape Juice will be interviewing Ashanti within the coming week. You can submit questions for her by clicking here.

What do you think of the performance?

*Had to bump this one…*
Your Top 5 Songs Of The Moment?You know the deal; That Grape Juice, once again, wants to see what you all are listening to. Which 5 tracks have you got on constant rotation at the moment? Remember, it doesn’t have to be limited to R&B or Hip-Hop; could be something new, Old Skool, even something you made yourself LOL. Drop a comment in the comments section. Mine are – in no particular order:

1) I Decided (Part) (Freemasons Mix) – Solange
2) Since You’ve Been Gone – Day26
3) I Ain’t Trippin’ – Cherish
4) Trading Places – Usher
5) Should Have (Now I Know) – Beyonce

What are your ‘Top 5 Songs Of The Moment’?
With the Pussycat Dolls video for their storming new single ‘When I Grow Up’ set to premiere any day now, Extra revealed this preview of the highly anticipated vid. Though not seen in the clip, Pop superstar Britney Spears is set to make a cameo:

Looks pretty good. The Nicole ‘Star of The Group’ concept is starting to jarr me ever so slightly, though (peep what the other chicks are wearing compared to her). I’m reserving judgement on that front until I hear more of their new material. I mean they’ve got to give Melody (the dark-er skinned member) something to sing, right?

What do you think of the preview?

Lil' Wayne Set For Year's Highest Debut; 900k Amid all the talk about music no longer selling, rapper Lil’ Wayne’s much anticipated LP ‘Tha Carter III’ looks set to break the first week sales records of this year – as well as that of the last few years also:

“The excessive leaks and bootlegging of Lil Wayne’s new album haven’t prevented it from being a hot seller: The rapper’s “Tha Carter III” sold 423,000 copies in its first day of release, according to Billboard magazine. With such sales, Lil Wayne is on pace to sell about 900,000 copies of the CD in its first week and post the best sales debut of the year”. {Source}

That really is an amazing feat. It goes to show that Wayne’s undeniable presence in the industry, most especially within the last few years, is not going unrewarded.

Any thoughts?

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