Many of you will recognize Nicole Scherzinger as the lead (and only) singer from the Pussycat Dolls. Having put the group the hiatus, Scherzinger is set to release her first solo album ‘Her Name Is Nicole’ this September. The above pic is taken from the set of the album’s first single ‘Whatever You Like’ – which features rapper T.I. Produced by Polow Da Don (‘Promise’, ‘Like This’ etc), the track is an uptempo club banger. Be on the look out for the song and video in the upcoming weeks.
Not sure I’m sold on the idea of Nicole as a solo artist; maybe it’s because I’m
not feeling the way Melody (the darkest member of PCD) doesn’t get her shine – the girl is talented.

Are you checking for Nicole?
{Design Credit: GoPlatinum}

That Grape Juice has teamed up with Electronic Arts (UK) for our first video games give-away. Beginning this week, two copies of a particular title will be up for grabs – all you are required to do is to answer the given question correctly for a chance to win. {Please be aware that due to technological variances, some titles will only be available in certain territories. You will be made aware of this when this is the case.} This week’s title is:

The Sims 2 / The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Funstuff (PC Double Pack)

The Sims 2 is the sequel to the biggest selling computer game of all-time. Allowing you to create, control and care for your own ‘Sims’, the game has attracted millions of players worldwide. With the release of ‘The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Funstuff’ pack, you can now dress your Sims in the latest fashion from the world-renown high-street chain.

For a chance to win the games, answer the following question:
R&B Star, Amerie – a big ‘Sims’ fan- recently released a new album. What was the album called?

a) Because of You

b) Because I Love It
c) Because of Me

Email your answer as well as your full name, age, and address to [email protected]. Please be sure to put ‘EA Comp – Week 1’ as the subject. Winners will be selected randomly from all correct answers. Competition ends Tuesday July 10th. Good luck!

Today marks the US release of two of Urban music’s most anticipated albums this year – T.I.’s ‘T.I. vs T.I.P.’ and Kelly Rowland’s ‘Ms. Kelly’.

Whose album will you be picking up this week?

An on-going feud between Michael Jackson’s long-time rep, Raymone Bain, and Fox News reporter Roger Friedman has forced Bain to reveal details of the pop superstar’s comeback. In yet another of his weekly ‘Jackson Bashings’, Friedman alledged the singer fabricated claims of a new CD and is, indeed, ill -with an addiction to pain-killers. Along with denying the allegations, Bain outlined Jackson’s immediate plans for the future. Speaking to MJStar, Bain said ‘He [Michael] is going to release several singles prior to the album being released. He’s finishing up the first 3-4 now’, later adding that the singles will be released before the end of this year. Contributors to the album are set to include Will.I.Am, Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins and Ne-Yo.
I’m hoping Michael releases his new CD this year; it’s been too long. It’ll be interesting to see how he plans on dropping up to four singles prior to the album coming out. With the rumored release date being in November, his new material should start surfacing soon.

Can Michael silence his critics by making a big comeback?

The much anticipated video for Ciara and 50 Cent’s new single ‘Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone’ premiered today. Considering the pre-hype, I found the end-product to be kinda anti-climatic. There was little to no chemistry between Ciara and 50 -with the video looking pretty standard; especially when compared to the videos for Ciara’s two last singles. Nonetheless, both the song and video have a laid-back summer vibe to it and definitely fits this time of year.

What do you think of the video?

Following numerous delays and setbacks, Mario’s third studio album ‘Go!’ was finally set to hit stores on July 31st. However, the CD has been pushed back yet again, with the new release date being August 21st. This is being largely attributed to the poor performance of the album’s lead single – ‘How Do I Breathe’. Despite steady radio play, the song and video haven’t caught on and the track currently resides at #91 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Another song, ‘Kryptonite’, has been confirmed as the next single and will likely be released ahead of the album. ‘Go!’ is set to feature productions from the likes of Timbaland, Scott Storch and JR Rotem.
‘Kryptonite’ is the best track I’ve heard from the CD so far; really, it should have been the first single. If it catches on, the album may actually have a chance of doing well.

Are you checking for Mario’s new album?
According to industry insiders, Chris Brown’s latest single ‘Wall to Wall’ is in danger of being scrapped. The track, which is the lead single from the singer’s upcoming album ‘Exclusive’, has fared badly on the charts – peaking at #79 and currently sitting at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100. Records execs over at Jive are planning to quickly rush out a Stargate produced track – described as sounding like a ‘male Irreplaceable’ – before the album’s August 28th release.
Though, I felt ‘Wall to Wall’ was a pretty decent song, it sounded kinda generic and uninspired. Considering Chris delivered with each single from his debut CD, I expected much better. Still, there’s hope with the proposed next single.

Why do you think ‘Wall to Wall’ is flopping?
Following the release of her Spanish album earlier this year, Jennifer Lopez is prepping a new English CD – which is slated to drop in September. ‘Wrong When Your Gone’, which was written by Timbaland protegee and The Clutch member Keri Hilson, is set to feature on the currently-untitled disc. Having really liked Keri’s original version of the track, I feel J.Lo has done the song justice judging by this lengthy clip. The production on this slow jam compliments her, somewhat, limited vocal range and she rides the beat nicely. She may be onto something, if the other material on the album is as good as this.

Hit or Miss?

{Link Removed As Requested}

Grammy Award winning superstar Mariah Carey performed at the ‘One Mighty Party’ show in Disneyland Paris last night. The event was held in support of Elton John’s fight against AIDS. Despite the bad weather, the singer was said to be in very high spirits; belting out some of her big hits including ‘Dreamlover’ and ‘We Belong Together’ to an equally delighted audience.
In other Mariah Carey news, long-time collaborator Jermaine Dupri has revealed that the singer will release her new album around Thanksgiving this year. Speaking to Rap-Up TV, the producer said they’ve completed 5 or so songs together. According to many involved with the project, Mariah really brought her ‘A Game’ and the material is said to be fantastic. I’m anxious to see if she can deliver the way she did on her awesome last album ‘The Emancipation’.

Are you anticipating Mariah’s new CD?
Following Ciara’s performance at the 2007 BET Awards this week, speculation has been mounting as to what the singer was trying to convey with her robe. Similar to James Brown, at the end of her set, a robe was thrown to the ‘Promise’ singer – baring ‘#25’ across the back. Explanations ranging from her affiliation with 50 Cent (half of 50?) to her alleged romance with NFL star Reggie Bush (The Saints player #25) have been cited. However, she has revealed to MTV that the number was to poke fun at her placing at #25 on BET’s Top 25 Dancers list – below Diddy, Beyonce, Prince and Missy Elliott:

“I don’t know if you’ve seen the Top 25 Dancers countdown on BET; I acknowledged that,” she admitted, quashing the other rumors.

I couldn’t agree with her more. On the one hand, it may seem kinda egotistical on her part, but we all know the deal- she’s one of the best dancers out now in the music business. BET know they were wrong for that.
Do you think Ciara was right in doing what she did?

Amerie’s debuted her newest single ‘Gotta Work’ yesterday. Scott Franklin – who also directed the vid for her last single ‘Take Control’ -directed the video. With a simple concept and great choreography, Amerie really delivered with this one. I’m still not entirely sure about the single choice, but it’s an excellent video nonetheless.

What do you think of the video?

The 2nd single to be lifted from Kelly Rowland’s new album- ‘Ms. Kelly’- has been confirmed as ‘Comeback’. According to Middlechild Promotions, the song has already been sent out to radio stations and will indeed serve as the album’s next offering. The Scott Storch-produced track also won the AOL poll to decide the next single.
Having had the chance to listen to the album, I would have preferred ‘Work’ to be the next single. However, I can see why ‘Come Back’ was chosen; the uptempo club banger is good track with a catchy hook. As long as she brings ‘it’ with the video, then I’m all for it. ‘Ms. Kelly’ is out now in Europe and hits stores in the US on July 3rd.

What do you think of the single choice?