A host of stars came out to celebrate with Jermaine Dupri at the opening of his new nightclub, Studio 72, in Atlanta last night. Celebs in attendance included Usher and wife Tameka Foster, Nelly, Monica and T-Boz. As expected Dupri’s girlfriend, Janet Jackson (who was looking on-point), accompanied the hit-maker to the event.

What do you think of the pics?

Soulja Boy stopped by BET’s 106 & Park earlier this week to perform his smash hit ‘Crank That’. I liked the performance, though he must be one of the first rapper’s I’ve seen use a backing track…it’s all good though. Though some of our international visitors may not know who he is, they will do soon. ‘Crank That’ as well the dance that goes along with it have taken the US by storm; where the song currently sits at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is still rising.

What do you think of the performance?

Since the much hyped finale of ‘Making The Band 4’ this past Sunday, many have been looking for the ballad version of the group’s song ‘I Want You Exclusive’ – which was performed during the live telecast. You can listen to the track below. I’m definitely liking this one; it’d be good if they recorded this version in the studio.

What do you think of the song?

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Judging by these pics (and these), the video for Jennifer Lopez’s comeback single ‘Do It Well’ looks like it’s gonna be interesting. I really think she’s redeemed herself with this song, so here’s hoping the video does it justice. Be on the lookout for it in the weeks ahead. {Spotted at Crunk N’ Disorderly}

What do you think of the pics?
Though Amerie’s third album, ‘Because I Love It’ has been a moderate success over here in Europe – spawning two UK top 10 singles, the CD’s US release seems to be in jeopardy. Following a number of push-backs, the CD was re-scheduled for Stateside release in ‘Summer 2007 ‘, yet it’s status now reads ‘TBD’ (to be decided). Sources are claiming that the ‘One Thing’ singer will soon be (or may have already been) dropped by her US label.
I felt the album was very solid and it’s a shame that her US label don’t know what to with it. Label aside, the American market doesn’t seem to warm to Amerie (just like Kelis). Still, things continue to be on the up for her across the pond in Europe; both ‘Take Control’ and ‘Gotta Work’ did well on the charts and she is prepping the release of her third single ‘Crush’ (the album’s best track IMO).

Why can’t Amerie crack the US market?
Singer Keyshia Cole graces the cover of Sister 2 Sister magazine’s October issue. Though I’d say she’s looking good, something feels a little off with the shot – can’t think what it is though…

What do you think of the cover?
Upon hearing the snippet of Alicia Keys’ new single ‘No One’ last week, I was kinda sceptical about the track as well as the direction of her forthcoming album ‘As I Am’. However, having listened to the track in it’s entirety, I’m definitely liking it more. This soulful mid-tempo isn’t far removed from the sound she has channeled on her past efforts and is sure to please fans and critics alike. Alicia’s third studio album ‘As I Am’ hits stores November 13th.


Hit or Miss?

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Don’t usually do this, but I thought to take a minute to wish Michael Jackson a Happy Birthday. The undisputed King of Pop turned 49 today. I’m just hoping he hurries up and drops that new album of his to remind the imitators, and the world at large, of who really sits at the top.
R&B star Chris Brown features in the October issue of VIBE magazine. In the interview, Brown (attempts) to explain his way with the ladies:

“I’ve had girlfriends, but it’s different. Not jump-offs! Like, you don’t be like, ‘That’s my girl,’ but you know when you hang with her, it’s like … friends with benefits. If I’m singling out one girl, think about all the other girls who are falling in love with me in that club. What they gon’ think? So it’s like, I have a relationship with every girl. It’s like every girl is my girlfriend.”

Having tried to make sense of what he said, the only thing I did understand was that it sounded like nonsense. I’m not too sure Chris knew what he meant either lol. With all this talk of ‘friends with benefits’, it’s hard to think that the boy only just turned 18. SMH…

In other Chris Brown news, a video for the remix of his current single ‘Wall to Wall’ featuring Jadakiss premiered last night:

Though the song has grown on me a little, it’s still sub-par as – is this video. I don’t know why his label are beating a dead horse; the song is bonafide flop – peaking at #79 on the Billboard Hot 100.

What do you think of his comments / video?

It turns out Akon’s ‘apology’ in his current single ‘Sorry, Blame It Me’ isn’t as personal as he would have us believe. Check out the report via TMZ:

Akon, hip-hop singer and amateur concertgoer tosser, is singing a new tune — “Sorry, Blame It On Me” — where he offers apologies for his recent troublesome events — including lewd dancing at a club in Trinidad with a 14-year-old pastor’s daughter, and causing Verizon to dump their sponsorship of Gwen Stefani’s tour, reportedly because of Akon’s shenanigans. Someone’s had a busy summer!

TMZ inside sources reveal that Akon did not pen the song. Say what?! It seems DJ and producer Clinton Sparks actually wrote the entire ballad — even though his credit is listed as co-writer and producer. Sparks will fly!

This leaves many wondering if Akon’s apology is more of a publicity stunt to capitalize on his bad decisions. An insincere apology? From a man who allegedly practices polygamy? Say it ain’t so!

I can’t say I’m surprised by this…

Your thoughts?

*I’ll be leaving later LA today 🙁 so updates may be a bit slower than usual. Be sure to keep it locked on That Grape Juice though, as there are some great things in the works upon my return to the UK. The interviews with Jagged Edge and Johnta Austin will DEFINITELY be up before the week is out*

After establishing herself as a successful song-writer, Solange Knowles has signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with EMI Records. Having already co-penned hits for her sister Beyonce (‘Get Me Bodied’, ‘Upgrade U’ etc), the deal will see Solange earn a nice percentage of rights to any song she (co)writes. She will also receive more writing opportunties for other artists. The youngest of the Knowles clan is currently in the studio recording her sophomore album ‘Solange & The Hadley Street Dreams’. {Source}
Though Solange has mainly written in-house for Music World artists i.e. Beyonce, Kelly Rowland etc, this is definitely a good look for her. Hate on them all you want, but you can’t deny the Knowles’ work ethic – everyone’s doing their thing. I know Matthew ain’t standing for no freeloading LeToya Jackson’s in his family lol.

Your thoughts?

The video for Common’s latest single ‘Drivin’ Me Wild’ premiered today on MTV’s TRL. I’ve been feeling this track for a while now and I’m glad it got the single treatment. It definitely serves as one of the Chi-Town rapper’s best video’s yet. The UK’s own Lily Allen features in the song and video also. Damon Dash makes a brief cameo too.

What do you think of the video?