Bio

DRU HILL is a member of Sisqo. DRU HILL released Two albums from 1996 till 1998. The first album DRU HILL released in the nineties is 'Dru Hill' on ISLAND Records. Other albums that DRU HILL recorded are 'Enter The Dru', From 1996 till 2003 DRU HILL released also ten singles. The first single DRU HILL released in the nineties is 'Tell Me' on Records. Other released tracks are 'You Are Everything (1999 / )', 'Beauty (1999 / )', 'Wild Wild West (1999 / )', 'How Deep Is Your Love (1998 / )'.

All four original members of Dru Hill were natives of Baltimore. Mark Andrews and James Green met each other in middle school, and both later became acquaintances of Tamir Ruffin when all three began pursuing careers in the music industry. Ruffin, nicknamed "Nokio" (an alternate spelling of Nokia, the phone corporation) enlisted Andrews and Green (whose respective nicknames of "Sisqó" and "Woody" came from their early years) to form a singing group. The trio added Larry "Jazz" Anthony, an opera student, to complete their lineup. The group was named "Dru Hill" after Druid Hill Park, a section of Baltimore.

The quartet made a name for itself by getting jobs at a local fudge factory, where they sang to entertain guests while making the candy. Most of their early repitoire was made up of gospel music, as Woody came from a strict Christian family. After the group switched to R&B, Woody's mother pulled him out of the act until the other three convinced her to allow him to remain.

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 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 went on to sell over 500,000 copies, attaining gold status. 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 and gentlemen-like Boyz II Men and the self-proclaimed "bad boys of R&B", Jodeci. Dru Hill received a lot of criticism from a number of people, including the members of Jodeci, for what was perceived was a direct rip-off of Jodeci's vocal and visual stylings, particularly frontman Sisqó's K-Ci Hailey-esque lead vocals. Other major influences for the group included Stevie Wonder and 1980s boy band New Edition.

While Dru Hill's early work relied upon the talents of songwriters/producers such as DaryL Simmons and Keith Sweat, the members, particularly Nokio and Woody, did some of the writing on their first album, including the single "Five Steps". Nokio also did some co-production, and would become the group's main producer by 1998.

Although all four members took turns singing lead, Sisqó made the biggest impression on audiences with his dynamic dancing style, David Ruffin-style emoting, and bleached-blond hair. The Sisqó-led "In My Bed" was the band's first Top 5 pop hit and first #1 R&B hit, and Jazz took the lead on the third single "Never Make a Promise", another #1 R&B hit. The 1997 "Never Make a Promise" music video starred Michelle Thomas as Jazz's girlfriend, and was noted for its message against child molestation.

Between their first and second albums, Dru Hill contributed "We're Not Making Love No More", a #2 R&B 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 instrumental in writing and producing for new University artist Mya, whose first two singles "It's All About Me" and "Movin' On", where co-written by Sisqó, who also performs on "It's All About Me".

Dru Hill's second Top 5 pop hit came in the form of 1998's "How Deep is Your Love", a hip hop styled track which was included on the soundtrack to the Chris Tucker film Rush Hour, set the tone for the group's second LP, Enter the Dru. Enter the Dru, released on October 27. 1998, featured more of the group's songwriting and production than Dru Hill, and also featured a harder, more upbeat nature on many of its tracks. The now-standard Dru Hill ballads were still in place, including the R&B Top 5 single "These are the Times", which was co-written and co-produced by Babyface.

The steady stream of hit records, collaborations, and soundtrack appearances had made Dru Hill staples of urban radio and household names among R&B listeners. The Enter the Dru LP sold over two million copies, and paved the way for more success. The members of Dru Hill performed at Nelson Mandela's 80th birthday celebration in 1998, were the stars of their own two-hour special on BET in early 1999, and recorded a version of "Enchantment Passing Through" for the soundtrack to the Broadway play Aida the same year. A number of similar groups, including Jagged Edge, Next, Ideal, and Profyle, surfaced during this period, and were all based upon Dru Hill's balance of Boyz II Men's smoothness and Jodeci's grittiness.

At the top of their success, the Dru Hill hit machine began to crumble. While all four members continued to contribute equally to the group's music, the press had by this point singled Sisqó out as a de-facto solo act, and regarded the other three members as sidemen. 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, but not the group. Many uninformed pop fans thought Sisqó was "Dru Hill" by himself, as both the song and its video prominently featured Sisqó alongside Smith, but relegated the other three members to the background.

During the "Wild Wild West" video shoot in March 1999, Woody quit the group and walked off the set, 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 just Sisqó, Jazz, and Nokio, who performs a rap with Def Jam artist Ja Rule. Then, Def Jam artist Case was 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, all four members--Woody included--signed new contracts with Def Jam's R&B imprint Def Soul in the summer of 1999, creating what was termed the "Dru World Order" project. Between November 1999 and November 2000, each member would release a solo album that defined their personal style: Sisqó a pop album, Jazz a traditional R&B/soul album, Nokio a hip hop album, and Woody his gospel album. All four members would then reunite and record Dru World Order, a new Dru Hill album to be released in November 2000.

The project started out as planned: Sisqó released his debut Unleash the Dragon LP, and had a minor hit with "Got to Get It". His second single, a playful novelty record entitled "Thong Song", became a overwhelming pop sensation, and was practically omnipresent during the spring of 2000. While the members of Dru Hill made periodic appearances with Sisqo during the "Thong Song" period, the Dru World Order project schedule was continually pushed back, and, by November 2000, none of the other solo albums had been released.

Woody sought a release from the label for his solo deal, and would finally release his solo LP, Soul Music, on Kirk Franklin's Gospocentric Records in May 2002. The fully-completed Jazz solo LP, on the other hand, was never released, although some of its songs turned up on movie soundtracks and promotional Def Jam mixtapes. Nokio never finished his solo album, but did outside production work for DMX's 1999 and Capone-N-Noreaga.

Dru Hill appeared together on the 2000 remix of Kelly Price's "Love Sets You Free", and after the pop-mania surrounding Sisqó's "Thong Song" died down after the summer of 2000, began immediate plans to record the Dru World Order album. A song called "Without Me" was recorded as the lead single. However, the time the group had spent apart created tension and conflict among the members. Sisqó walked out of a November 2000 photo shoot with the band for VIBE magazine, and the group broke apart completely shortly afterward.

Dru World Order was placed on hold, and Sisqó began work on a second solo LP. "Without You" would up as an album track on the Sisqó's June 2001 LP Return of Dragon, which failed to find an audience. By the end of the year, plans were under way to reassemble Dru Hill.

Woody was responsive to the idea of re-joining the group, but Jazz decided not to rejoin the group. Dru Hill therefore enlisted Baltimore associate Rufus Waller, who performed under the name "Ruscola", as its new fourth member. During the recording of Dru World Order, Jazz re-thought his decision and returned to the group, making it a quintet.

Dru World Order was finally issued on November 26, 2002, exactly two years after its original planned release date. Nearly all of the album's tracks were produced by Nokio, who was spotlighted on the tracks "She Said" and "Men Always Regret", with producers such as Brian Michael Cox and Kwame also making contributions. Most of the album's songs featured a conscious effort to balance the group dynamics, with Sisqó, Jazz, Woody, and Scola frequently all sharing leads on the same song, including the lead single "I Should Be...". Although "I Should Be..." was a Top 30 pop hit and a Top 10 R&B hit, its follow-up "I Love You" failed to make a strong impression, and Dru World Order became the slowest Dru Hill album to reach gold selling status.

During the same year, Dru Hill appeared on LL Cool J's song "Unconditional Love" from his 10 LP; the chorus, led by Jazz, was borrowed from The Spinners' 1974 soul standard "Sadie". The group also performed live on Stevie Wonder's BET Walk of Fame Celebration, with Woody, Scola, Jazz, and Sisqó taking turns leading on Wonder's 1974 single "Livin' In the City"

Dru Hill is a member of: Sisqo
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