Artist Salute Mixes

Events

EVENT: FDJ Presents Dru Hill Live In Concert Plus Nivea At KOKOs, London

EVENT: FDJ Presents Dru Hill Live In Concert Plus Nivea At KOKOs, London

Founded in Baltimore, Maryland, and active since 1992, Dru Hill recorded seven Top 40 hits, and is best known for the R&B #1 hits “In My Bed”, “Never Make a Promise”, and “How Deep Is Your Love”. Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin was the group’s founder; his bandmates included lead singer Mark “Sisqó” Andrews, Larry “Jazz” Anthony, and James “Woody Rock” Green.

Signing to Island Records through Haqq Islam’s University Records imprint, the group released two successful albums, Dru Hill and Enter the Dru, before separating for a period from late 1999 to 2002, during which time Sisqó and Woody released solo albums. While Woody’s Soul Music LP was a moderate success in the gospel music industry, Sisqó’s debut album, Unleash the Dragon, and its hit single, “Thong Song”, were major pop successes, and established Sisqó as a household name outside of Dru Hill. Sisqó’s second album, Return of Dragon, did not sell as well. In 2002, by then part of the Def Soul record label, the group reunited and added fifth member Rufus “Scola” Waller to the lineup for their third album, Dru World Order, whose underperformance led to the group being dropped from Def Soul. In 2009, the group signed to Kedar Entertainment Group and released their fourth album, InDRUpendence Day, the following year, with new member Tao taking the place of the again departed Woody.

Dru Hill’s big break came in 1996, when manager Haqq Islam arranged for them to perform at the Impact Convention in May. The group was signed to Island Records’s “Island Black” division shortly afterward through a production deal with Islam’s University Music, and immediately began recording their debut album. The self-titled Dru Hill was released on November 19, 1996, and eventually was certified gold. The group’s first single, “Tell Me”, was featured on the soundtrack to the Whoopi Goldberg film Eddie, and was a Top 5 R&B hit in the United States.

Stylistically, Dru Hill was the middle-ground between the smooth, gentlemen-like Boyz II Men Solo (group) and the self-proclaimed “bad boys of R&B”, Jodeci. Dru Hill received a lot of criticism, especially from the members of Jodeci, for what was perceived was a direct appropriation of Jodeci’s style, particularly in frontman Sisqó’s K-Ci Hailey-esque lead vocals. Other major influences for the group included Stevie Wonder and 1980s boy band New Edition.

Both the group themselves and songwriters/producers such as Daryl Simmons, Eric “Nealante” Phillips and Keith Sweat wrote the songs for the Dru Hill album, Nokio also did some co-production, and would become the group’s main producer by 1998.

All four members took turns singing lead, with Sisqó making the biggest impression on audiences with his dancing style, David Ruffin-styled emoting, and bleached-blond hair. The Sisqó-led and the album’s second single, “In My Bed”, was the group’s first Top 5 pop hit and first #1 R&B hit. Jazz took the lead on the third single, “Never Make a Promise”, which became a second #1 R&B hit. “Never Make a Promise”‘s music video starred Michelle Thomas as Jazz’s girlfriend, and was noted for its message against child molestation.

The album’s fourth and final single, “5 Steps”, which the group wrote themselves, was released on December 9, 1997.

Soundtracks, protégés, and controversy
Between their first and second albums, Dru Hill contributed “We’re Not Making Love No More”, a #2 R&B and #13 Pop hit, to the Soul Food soundtrack. “We’re Not Making Love No More” was written and produced by star producer Babyface. Dru Hill and rapper Foxy Brown recorded “Big Bad Mama”, a remake of Carl Carlton’s 1981 hit “She’s a Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)”, which was the main single for the soundtrack to the 1998 Bill Bellamy film Def Jam’s How to Be a Player. The group was also instrumental in writing and producing for new University artist Mýa, whose first two singles “It’s All About Me” and “Movin’ On”, were co-written by Sisqó, who also performs guest vocals on “It’s All About Me”.

In 1997, Dru Hill filed a lawsuit against Island Records, seeking a release from its contract, after an Island employee hit the group’s manager, Keith Ingram, over the head with a pool cue. It was discovered that the employee in question had a criminal record. At an October 1997 deposition hearing, Eric Kronfeld, president and chief operating officer of Island’s parent company PolyGram, was asked why he had hired such an individual. His response was that if he were not to hire African-Americans with criminal records, then “there would be virtually no African-Americans employees in our society or in our industry.”

Kronfield’s remarks set off a wave of controversy when word of them reached the media in November. The Reverend Jesse Jackson became personally involved, publicly stating that PolyGram, based in the Netherlands, had “a pattern of race and sex exclusion.” Jackson met with PolyGram chairman Alain Levy and several other executives, who issued a public apology for Kronfield’s statement, and replaced Kronfield as president with Motown Records’ chairman Clarence Avant. By the end of the month, Dru Hill had settled with Island Records, with the agreement that they would remain on the label.

Enter the Dru
Dru Hill’s third Top 20 pop hit came in the form of 1998’s “How Deep Is Your Love” (Pop #3), a hip hop styled track which was included on the soundtrack to the Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker film Rush Hour. The single “This Is What We Do”, featuring a guest rap from Method Man, set the tone for the group’s second album, Enter the Dru. The album featured several other mid-tempo tracks in the vein of “How Deep Is Your Love”, as well as the R&B Top 5 single “These are the Times” (Pop #21), co-written and co-produced by Babyface, and featuring guitar work from Atlanta-based session guitarist and former Earth Wind & Fire member Dick Smith

Enter the Dru eventually sold two million copies by 1999. That year, Dru Hill recorded a version of “Enchantment Passing Through” for the soundtrack to the Broadway musical Aida, which was also featured on Sisqo’s album Unleash the Dragon.

The Dru World Order project
Among the press and the public, Sisqó was singled out as a de facto solo act, and the other three members were regarded as sidemen. The singer was even erroneously referred to (presumably by mistake) as Dru Hill by confused fans, most notably on MTV’s Spring Break 1999. When Dru Hill made a high-profile guest appearance on Will Smith’s #1 pop hit “Wild Wild West”, the lead single from the soundtrack to Smith’s 1999 film of the same name, it made a star out of Sisqó alone. Both the song and its video prominently featured Sisqó alongside Smith, with the other three members relegated to the background.

During the “Wild Wild West” video shoot in April 1999, Woody quit the group, feeling a need to return to his gospel music roots. At first, Island decided to keep Dru Hill a trio, and shot a video for a hip-hop-styled remix of Enter the Dru’s “You are Everything” with only Sisqó, Jazz, and Nokio, who performs a rap with Def Jam artist Ja Rule. Def Jam artist Case was subsequently enlisted to sing backgrounds on a remix of “Beauty” from Enter the Dru, whose video was shot but not released.

After Island merged with Def Jam to become The Island Def Jam Music Group in mid-1999, all four members, Woody included, signed new contracts with Def Jam’s R&B imprint Def Soul, creating what was termed the “Dru World Order” project. Between November 1999 and November 2000, each member would release a solo album: Sisqó a pop album, Jazz a traditional R&B/soul album, Nokio a hip hop album, and Woody a gospel album. All four members reunited with a fifth member named Scola and recorded their third album Dru World Order, which was released in November 2002.

Sisqó released his debut Unleash the Dragon LP, and had a minor hit with his first single, “Got to Get It” featuring Make It Hot. His second single, a playful novelty record entitled “Thong Song”, became a major hit during the spring of 2000, and his third, “Incomplete”, became a number-one hit during the summer. As a result, the Dru World Order project schedule was continually pushed back, and, by November 2000, none of the other solo albums had been released.

In the early fall of 2000, Def Soul had Dru Hill re-enter the studio to record the Dru World Order album, and the song “Without Me” was chosen as the lead single. However, the time the group had spent apart created tension and conflict: Sisqó walked out of a November 2000 Dru Hill photo shoot for Vibe magazine, and the group broke apart completely shortly afterward.

Dru World Order was placed on indefinite hold, and Sisqó began work on a second solo LP, Return of Dragon. “Without You” was issued as an album track on Return of Dragon, which performed below expectations after its June 2001 release. By the end of the year, Sisqó and Nokio had begun plans to reassemble Dru Hill, enlisting Baltimore associate Rufus Waller, who performed under the name “Scola”, as a fifth member.

Woody eventually arranged a solo deal with Kirk Franklin’s Gospocentric Records, which released his gospel album, titled Soul Music, on April 9, 2002. Scola wrote the songs “My Homie” and “No Matter What” for Woody’s album, and sings backgrounds on several tracks.

Dru World Order
Dru World Order was released on November 26, 2002, two years after its original planned release date. Nearly all of the album’s tracks were produced by Nokio, who sung lead on the tracks “She Said” and “Men Always Regret”. Producers such as Bryan Michael Cox, Eric “Nealante” Phillips and Kwamé also made contributions. Most of the album’s tracks featured Sisqó, Jazz, Woody, and Scola sharing the leads, including the lead single “I Should Be…”. “I Should Be…” was a Top 30 pop hit and a Top 10 R&B hit.

Beyond Dru World Order
By 2005, Dru Hill had been released from their Def Soul contract and had disappeared from public view.

Def Soul released a greatest hits compilation, Dru Hill: Hits, on October 11, along with a corresponding DVD collection of the group’s music videos. Both collections included Sisqó’s biggest solo hits, “Thong Song” and “Incomplete” alongside the Dru Hill songs.

During the summer of 2007, Scola released a slow jam compilation CD entitled Scola’s Lost Treasures. He has also worked on a solo project called From EA 2 Cali, which was released in 2010.

Woody and Scola’s departure
In early 2008, the original quartet version of Dru Hill began touring alongside fellow 1990s R&B acts Tony! Toni! Toné!, Bell Biv Devoe, and their former producer Keith Sweat. On March 6, the group appeared on WERQ, a Baltimore radio station, to promote their reunion. In the midst of their interview, however, Woody announced he was quitting the group again to dedicate himself to his gospel ministry. A YouTube video shows Sisqó walking out on the interview as a result, and Woody and Nokio fighting while Jazz and the manager Kevin Peck tries to break it up.[8][9] The group held a contest in their native Baltimore for a replacement for Woody, settling upon a new singer, Antwuan “Tao” Simpson. The group never said why they did not keep Scola in the group, although it was later stated by Nokio that “five people [mess] up the money.”

InDRUpendence Day
InDRUpendence Day is Dru Hill’s fourth album, released on July 27, 2010. It features the group’s new member, Tao, who was Woody’s replacement. The album has released three singles, “Love MD”, “Remain Silent” and “Back to the Future”. It was released under the label Kedar Entertainment.

Current work
The group is currently touring the United States and working on their fifth album entitled: The Second Coming.

Nivea:
2000–2003: Music beginnings and debut album
She appeared on Mystikal’s 2000 single “Danger (Been So Long)”. Her debut solo single, “Don’t Mess with the Radio”, followed in 2001. In 2002, she released her second single in the U.S., “Don’t Mess With My Man” featuring Brian and Brandon Casey: (of R&B group Jagged Edge), which peaked at number eight on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 2002. Another single, “Runaway” (featuring Pusha T) was released in Japan that year.

Nivea’s self-titled debut album was released on December 10, 2002. The album reached the Top 100 of the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. In 2003, “Don’t Mess with My Man” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.[1] Nivea’s third U.S. single “Laundromat” featured singer R. Kelly.

2004–2005: Complicated
In 2004, she released the Lil Jon-produced single “Okay”. The music video for Okay featured the artist YoungbloodZ and Lil Jon who were also featured on the song. In May 2005 she released her second album Complicated. A second single, “Parking Lot” was released shortly before she got pregnant with her first child. Jive Records subsequently dropped promotion for the project, although she appeared on Soul Train the following year and performed “Complicated” which was originally planned to be the 3rd single. Jive gave up on The project and decided to focus on other new artists at the time.

2006–2009: Animalistic
In 2006, Nivea signed a new contract with Interscope Records and released her third album Animalistic on November 15, 2006 in Japan. The album was primarily produced by her then-husband, The-Dream. The album’s first & only single off the album was “Watch It.” Originally, Nivea was gonna release it in the US in 2007 but no label picked up on the project. Nivea was “in talks” to sign with Capitol Records but nothing came about. Nivea then proceeded to release various songs on Myspace such as “I Might” “Look Back” and “Zodiac” which had fans believing they were getting a new album, nothing came of it.

2010–present: Nivea: Undercover and Nivea Revealed
In 2010, she released a buzz single titled “Love Hurts.” Also that year, she appeared on a few mixtapes including Sir Will (“It Only Hurts Forever”) and Rasheeda (“Surprise” “Say Something Remix”). Additionally, she released another video for her remake of the Sade hit, “Stronger Than Pride.”

In September 2011, she released her first EP “Nivea: Undercover” which featured a set of acoustic covers.

Her fourth studio album, “Purple Heart” was set for a May 2012 release, however nothing was released and no info on the album had been released since summer 2011. Amazon’s website has it listed but no release date.

Nivea announced on Twitter that she will be dropping a new single titled “Loud Blunt”. It was confirmed that her fourth studio album will now be titled “Nivea Revealed”.

Tickets £25+bf http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/dru-hill-london-14-09-2014/event/1F004CB60543A6C6

admin

July 22nd, 2014

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*