Remember these cool cats? We do! And word on the street is that they haven’t skipped a beat. Last week they performed at Valentine’s New Jack Swing Jam in St. Louis where the lineup boasted a boatload of ’90s R&B acts like Al B. Sure, SWV, Tony, Toni, Tone, Guy and of course…Dru Hill. Kenya Vaughn of The Saint Louis American had this to say about the show:
“Dru Hill appeared to have the audience in the palm of their hands from start to finish – even if time didn’t allow for them to perform more of their hits. They proved themselves to be the standout among the entire line up”.
But, duh, us peeps in Atlantic City already know that because we get to see them perform at House Of Blues Atlantic City at Showboat just about every year. Every year we get to go back to the good old days and hear a little “How Deep Is Your Love”, “In My Bed” and “Tell Me” as well as some new surprises. There’s always surprises. Something about back flips keeps coming up this year. We don’t know. But we’re excited to find out!
We caught up earlier today with the OGs of Dru Hill, Sisqo, Jazz & Nokio, about these good ol’ days, coming back to AC and what’s in store for the future. Check out the interview, below!
TAC: You guys came together when you were young teenagers. Knowing what you know now, if you could give your 13/14 year-old self advice back then, what would it be?
Nokio: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Never. No matter where you go. Don’t drink it!
TAC: Sounds good to us! When do you first remember feeling like you made it?
Sisqo: It would have to be first hearing our song [Tell Me] on the radio. I didn’t blink. The whole time the song was on, I was just kind of in shock.
Jazz: I was actually driving and the song came on. I had to pull over to the side of the road and just experience it. The only time I was used to hearing the song was practicing the song for performances or being in the studio with the record or what have you, so to hear it on the radio and not having to push the start button, I was shocked. That was the highlight of everything. That was the beginning of it all.
TAC: We love having you guys here at House Of Blues Atlantic City. You come here often and you grew up in Baltimore, not too far away. What do you like most about playing in Atlantic City? Do you have a big hometown crowd come up to see you?
Sisqo: Given the fact that we go all around the world and we’re also bi-coastal, we visit the West coast a lot over to Vegas. So when we talk about Vegas to our friends and family and even the fans we have over here on the East coast, they don’t get an opportunity to travel there as often as we do. Atlantic City is pretty much the East coast version of Vegas. Every time we go to Atlantic City it’s a big deal to not only our fans, but our friends and our family cause they live really close. And it’s always just a blast. We love staying there and when we perform the energy from our friends and our fans as well as our family just kind of takes the show up a notch. Ironically, it’s around the same time that we come every year. It’s normally the beginning of spring or in the summer time, but every time we come there, it sets the stage of the barometer for the rest of the performances for that season.
TAC: What can fans expect from your show here at House Of Blues on Friday?
Sisqo: By popular demand, we added a couple of new little bells and whistles so you can definitely expect something new along with our classic hits.
Nokio: Also Jazz will be doing a back flip so look out for that.
TAC: Your special guest for this show is Tony! Toni! Tone! You guys also toured with them back in 2008. What will sharing the stage with them be like now compared to 5 years ago?
Sisqo: We had actually started working with them last week like Nokio said. And it was like kind of hooking up with some cousins, it was awesome. Those guys are like a live band and they get up there and they start to sing their hits just like we sing our hits. The crowd really enjoys it and so do we. It’s always awesome to be a part of live music and to have those guys get up there and play as well as when we get up and sing and people not only get nostalgic, but kind of react as if the music is still fresh and new. It’s a blessing. We’re definitely looking forward to sharing the stage with real musicians just doing real music. And just basically proving that it’s still just as relevant if not more in 2013 the same way it was back when we did it in the late ‘90s/early 2000’s.
TAC: What is it about your group that you think has kept you guys always coming back together and reuniting over the years?
Nokio: At the end of the day, with us, you’ve got four very talented people. You have to take some time at times to figure out what the next thing is that you’re going to do whether it be individually or collectively. The time that we take off, we have kids and things like that, so sometimes it’s family, but we can never stay away for too long because after a while the fans are just like ‘okay, cool, we understand that you all have lives, but it’s time to make some music’. The fans never let us go away too long. They never let us spend too much time doing whatever else we’re doing without throwing up the Dru signal and saying can you make an album please?
TAC: Can each of you tell us something about another one of you that we may not know?
Sisqo: Jazz can do a back flip!
TAC: R&B has gone through some changes since we were first introduced to Dru Hill and even since some of your solo careers. What do you think of the state of R&B music today?
Sisqo: You can definitely hear the influence from some of the stuff I did as a solo artist with a lot of the R&B music that’s out today. It’s flattering and awesome because when I work on some of my new music that took people a minute to grasp back in the day, now it’s like kind of the norm. It’s like when we first came out and my hair was blonde, everyone was looking at me crazy. Now everybody’s dying their hair blonde. Music is ever growing and ever changing. The same way it seems like some of the artists have learned from us, now doing what we do, we learn from them as well. Music is alive. It’s constantly breathing, moving, changing. When something’s organic, you can never really predict exactly where it’s gonna go. You can do everything that you want to try to train a plant to grow in the direction that you want it to grow, but at the end of the day, it does what it must because it’s alive. You have to accept that in the great circle of life.
TAC: What’s next for Dru Hill?
Jazz: Dru Hill has an album out right now on iTunes called InDRUpendence Day, so if you haven’t picked that up yet, make sure you do. And as individuals within the group, we all have different solo endeavors that we’re working on, so you can look forward to new music from myself and Sisqo. Nokio has a rock band Black Angel Down and Tao is working on a solo project. So we’re kind of like The Avengers. We got our own separate movies and then we get together and break the box office.
TAC: Years down the road what do you hope that Dru Hill will be remembered for?
Jazz: Music. Real music. Real singing. A group that did everything they could to express themselves through music and never really conformed to one shape or another. Definitely an organic group and hopefully we’re respected as such years down the road. Hopefully not only our music will live on but other artists will live vicariously through our music even long after we’re gone.
Sounds like a pretty good bet to us! Check out Dru Hill and Tony! Toni! Tone! this Friday at House Of Blues at Showboat Atlantic City at 9 p.m. Get last minute tickets here! Be sure to head over to First Friday at Foundation Room after the show for even more Dru Hill & Tony! Toni! Tone!