Pussycat Dolls - 'Out Of This Club (ft. R. Kelly)' As the Pussycat Dolls ready their sophomore effort ‘Doll Domination’ for a September 16th release, ‘Out Of This Club’ from the LP has surfaced. Put simply, the R. Kelly assissted cut doesn’t really move me. I can’t say I’m a fan of this ‘mushy, uninspired’ type of track. Very run-of-the-mill, I must say.
It’s also worth asking: Correct me if I’m wrong, but why does this sound like a Nicole and R. Kelly collabo? Not the business…

Hit or Miss?

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The UK’s premier girl group the Sugababes are back with brand new single ‘Girls’. A spin on the Ernie K. Doe classic of the same name, this version will serve as the first release from the ladies as yet untitled new LP. Granted the stellar nature of their last album ‘Change’, I must say I’m a little underwhelmed by this – though it does appear to have grower potential. Here’s hoping the their other new material hits the mark.

Hit or Miss?

Continuing along her journey to recovery, Pop star Britney Spears features in the latest promotional ads for this years MTV Video Music Awards along with host, the UK’s own Russell Brand. Check out the vids below:

Not really the spectacle many were anticipating. All the same, it’s good to see Britney getting back to normal. Real good.

What do you think of the commercials?
Peep Kanye West’s new hilarious Olympic inspired video for ‘Champion’ from his most recent LP ‘Graduation’:

I’m really liking how Kanye is switching things up with the clips which have accompanied the singles/releases from his ‘Graduation’ LP (namely ‘Flashing Lights’ etc). Good stuff.

What do you think of the video?

Jay-Z - 'Jockin' Jay-Z' With Jay-Z currently hard at work on his forthcoming LP ‘The Blueprint 3’, the studio version of ‘Jockin’ Jay-Z’ (a cut from the album) has surfaced. Some of you may remember, Jay recently performed the Kanye West produced track at a show in New York’s Madison Squared Garden. Having heard the song (which samples Run DMC) in its entirety, I must say I’m liking this one a lot. Definitely has me anticipating what Jay will be serving up with the album more wholesomely.

Hit or Miss?

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Lil' Kim Looking...(Yet Again){Original photo source // Spottted over at Sandra Rose}
Pint sized rapper Lil’ Kim let it all hang out- quite literally – this past weekend at Sweden’s Way Out West festival.

I like Kim just as much as the next person, but no, no, no…just no. The saddest part is, it really seems like she believes she’s looking the hotness here…but no. Hell no.
Where on earth is that new album of hers, anyway?

What do you think of the pic?
That Grape Juice Interviews Michelle Williams (Part 2)Michelle Williams sat down with That Grape Juice during her recent promotional visit to the UK. The 28 year old star spoke very candidly about a number of things including the push back of her forthcoming LP ‘Unexpected’, her love for That Grape Juice as well as offering a surprising response to those age-old Destiny’s Child reunion rumors. Enjoy! For those of you who missed Part 1 of our interview with Michelle back in May, click here to read.


Sam: Hey Michelle

Michelle: It’s so good to see you!!!…

Sam: It’s great to see you too…

Michelle: I am on That Grape Juice everyday, keeping up with everything. I’m trying to figure out…did you have the story up there about my engagement the other day?

Sam: I did…

Michelle: Did you add you add some of your own little….

Sam: No (laughs)…I just added my own comments on…

Michelle: I was gonna say (laughs!!!)…Ok, Ok (laughs).

Sam: How are you today, Michelle?

Michelle: I’m doing good now that I see you. My publicist from the United States flew in and surprised me too. I’m so happy, happy, happy, happy.

Sam: How are you enjoying the UK so far?

Michelle: You know I love it! I just could not wait to get here. I’ve been telling everyone that I was coming, but the trip kept getting pushed back. The fans were cussing me out, saying “hurry up and get your butt over here”. So I’m like ‘Ok, I’m finally here’ (laughs).

Sam: You’re finally here…. That’s fantastic. This will kind of serve as a Part 2 to the interview you did with us back in May…

Michelle: Ok, sounds good…I knew you’d have more questions…

Sam: Yeah, definitely. What have you been up to since you spoke with That Grape Juice last?

Michelle: Wow. More promotion, rehearsals, doing shows. Had I done my video (for ‘We Break The Dawn’) at that time?…

Sam: I think it’d been filmed, but it hadn’t premiered yet…
That Grape Juice Interviews Michelle Williams (Part 2)
Michelle: Oh yeah, it hadn’t premiered. So the video is out. I’m working on the next one, now that the next single is coming out. Trying to get this album out; as you know it’s been pushed back, which I’m pissed about. Sony say they need more time, so I’m going to hold them to that and we’ll get it cracking.

Sam: Cracking indeed. That was actually part of my next question

It was recently announced that the album had been pushed back till October time, why exactly was this?

Michelle: They (Sony) said they needed more time. I was like “I wish you guys would have told me that three months ago”, you know what I’m saying?

Sam: Uh huh…as you highlighted in your MySpace blog…

Michelle: Yeah…I mean what I say, I don’t hold my tongue. August was such a good time. October is like…it’s not an October album. I mean half the damn songs are on the internet. It’s very disappointing. Like I said, I’m not discouraged; this is definitely a blessing in disguise. I did not record the album for my health…

Sam: (laughs!)

Michelle: I know God has my back and I will not be embarrassed. Na-Uh…

Sam: Amen!

Do you feel any added pressure with the album having been pushed back?

Michelle: Well, at this point, not anymore. Everybody knows what the songs are about…

I want it (the album) to sell and I want it to do well. I just hope the pushback doesn’t affect that.

Sam: The majority aren’t always in loop about what goes on behind the scenes, the ‘oh she needs to change her label and management’ is something that is thrown about quite a bit, with both yourself and Kelly, you know what I mean?

Michelle: Uhmmm

Sam: What’s your response to such comments?

Michelle: You know what? I am a grown woman and there are decisions that will have to be made. I do know that for my career to progress, I just have to be in constant communication with my management and label and if we don’t see eye-to-eye, then…(long pause)…

Sam: dot dot dot?

Sam & Michelle: (laughs)

Sam: Ok, so we’ve seen the video for your awesome single ‘We Break The Dawn’, which if I’m correct was directed by a British director?…

Michelle: Yes! Phil Griffin. I got to call him too and let him know I’m here…

Sam…power ballad ‘The Greatest’, which I must say I like most (out of the material heard thus far) is the next single, along with ‘Hello Heartbreak’. Can we expect a video for either of the two anytime soon?

Michelle: (Tells Sam, however wishes it remains a surprise for the fans). Sam knows the surprise.

Sam: (laughs) You’ve been in the industry for so long and achieved so much with Destiny’s Child, as well as on a solo tip too; does it frustrate you when people, sometimes, underestimate you?

Michelle: It does, but it just makes me work harder. Like Lil’ Wayne says, ‘don’t get too comfortable’. Of course, I’m tired of having to prove myself, but it’s to be expected. It’s ok that a lot of people don’t know what I can do; that’s when I’m able to shock them and floor them, doing my best.

Sam: As I think I detailed in the last interview, a lot of people, from an objective perspective, really loved the ‘Do You Know’ performance from the Destiny Fulfilled & Lovin’ It concert…

Michelle: Yeah (laughs)

Sam: I remember everyone just going crazy. With it being a ballad people , expectedly, weren’t going to stand up. However by the end – that long note – everyone was up, just in awe. Great performance.

Michelle: Awww. Thank you. Thank you.

Sam: No worries. Ok, the UK music scene is thriving now, more so than ever; If you could collaborate with any UK artist or producer, who would it be?

Michelle: UK artist? There’d be a couple. Amy Winehouse. I love Estelle. Who else do you think?

Sam: Taio Cruz?
That Grape Juice Interviews Michelle Williams (Part 2)
Michelle: I’ve yet to hear of him, I’ll have to check him out.

Sam: Yup, there’s a first time for everything. He’s real good.

Though you’ve probably been asked this question time and time again, scratch that, I know, you’ve been asked this question over and over (laughs):

Will there be a Destiny’s Child reunion anytime soon? I ask as there has been mounting murmurings about a 2009 comeback…

Michelle: I…I wouldn’t say 2009, I wouldn’t even say 2010. I’m just being honest, unless there has been some kind of conversation I haven’t been involved in. I mean, we haven’t talked ‘business’ in a couple of years, so I really don’t know…I have no idea.

Sam: Never say never?

Michelle: Never say never. I’ve learned that. It hasn’t been ruled in, but it hasn’t necessarily been ruled out.

Sam: Just to clarify, when the group parted ways, was it more of a hiatus or was it a split?

Michelle: It was a split, it was a ‘we’re done’. Even our publicist was like ‘when are we going to have this conversation, ladies?’ We were kinda hesitant to have ‘the’ conversation. That’s why she (our publicist) flew to Barcelona (where the announcement was made). She was like ‘y’all got to make this decision… this announcement’. We kinda knew recording the Destiny’s Fulfilled album, but we were all still in denial, still touring like everything was cool…and it was. We were like ‘we seriously have to announce this?’ She was like ‘who is going to make this announcement?’ Me and Bey(once) both looked at Kelly like ‘I guess you’re going to have to say it as I’m not saying nothing’ (laughs).

Sam: Interesting. I ask, because a lot of people seemed to think that, as with the ‘Survivor’ album, you all were breaking away to do your own thing again (with the intent of getting back together), just that, this time, you guys didn’t want to keep being asked individually, like with Beyonce ‘are you going to get back with Destiny’s Child’, same with Kelly and yourself. That’s why there was confusion as to what the real situation was. I’m glad you cleared that up, though.

Michelle: No worries.

Sam: Have you met up with any of the ladies recently?

Michelle: Yes! Me and Kelly were out in Miami this past weekend for my birthday…

Sam: Happy Belated Birthday

Michelle: Aww…thank you. We hung out, we were on the beach, we ate good food. We had such a good time; I think I’m going to see her again this weekend.

Sam: That’s awesome. So, ‘Unexpected’; describe the album with one word other than ‘unexpected’?

Michelle: Dope. Unexpected dope. You know what? I’m proud to say that I have one of the hottest album’s coming out this year, (an album) that can stand alongside the other great music coming out this year. I’m gThat Grape Juice Interviews Michelle Williams (Part 2)lad that Michelle could come out with all the other great material coming out this year. This year really is a great year for music. Whitney, John Legend…everybody’s coming out!

Sam: Rounding up, album release date?

Michelle: September 29th in the UK…

Sam: We’re getting it first here in the UK?

Michelle: Yes! It will be released October 7th back home in the States.

Sam: Will you be doing any shows over here?

Michelle: I will be! My publicist is here, as is my project manager. Everyone is working on my schedule. We’re just trying to get it popping. Sony say they want more performances, so here we are!

Sam: Will you be back anytime soon?

Michelle: Probably within the next few weeks

Sam: Lastly, the MOBO Awards (Music of Black Origin Awards) are coming up soon here in the UK. Are you familiar with the show?

Michelle: Yes. Most definitely.

Sam: What does “MOBO Music” mean to you?

Michelle: It means everything. It is life. I think black music has shaped this world.

Sam: Michelle Williams, thank you very much for your time…

Michelle: Thank you, sweetie.


Your thoughts on the interview?
More Beyonce Fashion Rocks Promo Check out another shot from Beyonce’s feature in Fashion Rocks 2008 magazine. The 26 year old songstress looks pretty good decked out in this Armani set.

Is it me or does this pic look like it was lifted right off the set of the ‘Suga Mama’ video?

What do you think of the pic?
Many of our UK visitors will likely be familiar with Taio Cruz’s current smash ‘She’s Like A Star’ – after all it does seem to come on the radio/TV every five minutes here. Anyway, in what is somewhat of a first for the UK Urban scene, an official remix for such a track has surfaced featuring home-grown heavyweights the Sugababes as well as US rapper Busta Rhymes. A great spin on an already great track. Check it out:

For those unfamiliar with Taio or some of the other great acts the UK has on the come-up, do be sure to stay tuned as I’ll be hitting you up with a mega-post of sorts in the very near future. In the meanwhile…

Hit or Miss?

Rihanna's Essence FeatureRihanna appears in the September issue of Essence magazine. Say what you will about her (which I sure do lol…), there’s no denying Ms. Fenty is looking on-point right here. Great shoot.

Rihanna's Essence Feature Rihanna's Essence Feature Rihanna's Essence Feature
Rihanna's Essence Feature Rihanna's Essence Feature

What do you think of the pics?
Isaac Hayes Dead At 65 This weekend really has been a sad one; soul legend, Isaac Hayes passed away today at the age of 65:

(CNN) — Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film “Shaft,” has died, sheriff’s officials in Memphis, Tennessee, reported Sunday.

Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff’s department said.

No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement.

Hayes won a third Grammy for pop instrumental performance with the title track to his 1972 “Black Moses” album.

From the late 1990s through 2006, Hayes provided the voice of “Chef” for Comedy Central’s raunchy animated series “South Park,” as well as numerous songs. {Source}

Our thoughts go out to his family.

Rest In Peace

This week’s From The Vault is Christina Aguilera’s 2002 ‘coming out’ (of sorts) ‘Dirrty’. Having long been labelled a teeny Pop star in the vein of the Britney’s and Nsync’s, Christina broke the mould with this edgy, heavily Urban and provocative song/video. Within the clip’s 4+minutes running time, Christina managed to forever dispel any notion of her being ‘just another Pop act’; ‘Dirrty’ saw the birth of the envelope pushing Christina of today:

I remember having to pick up my jaw from the floor when watching this for the first time. I guess ‘shock value’ needs to be employed at times to make people sit up and listen; and listen they did. Christina’s ‘Stripped’ LP, which featured ‘Dirrty’, stands as her second best selling album to date, having sold over 9 million copies world wide.

Your thoughts?