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There's just too much negativity out there, and it's nice that bands like Dru Hill realize it and concentrate on things like life and love. Dru Hill is part of the smooth jazz/R&B phenomenon of the mid-'90's. The pop charts are teeming with acts like this, getting away from the harshness of true hip-hop and rap.

Dru Hill is so named for Druid Hill Park in Baltimore in a further attempt to "put Baltimore on the map," apparently a different map than those Rand McNally ones. Meeting in high school, the four members of Dru Hill became something of a local attraction singing at Baltimore Harbor's Fudgery as they, well, made fudge. They've got tricky pseudonyms like any self-respecting street-savvy light hip-hop group would. Jazz, nee Larry Anthony Jr., is the second tenor, and you guessed it, the jazz fan. Woody, nee James Green, is the man behind the melodies. Nokio, nee Tamir Ruffin, handles the production, and as an added bonus, his name is an acronym for "Nasty On Key In Octave." Sisqo, nee Mark Andrews, is also part of the clan. They've mastered the melodic four-part harmony and have a rabid following. They are all in their late teens, so their potential is vast.

Dru Hill performs soul-driven R&B that hearkens back to those vaunted '70s, a time when R&B was king. They've already had a day named after them in their native Baltimore, so who knows what they might achieve in their lives? More records, undoubtedly, will follow, but one wonders why they didn't like their given names.

This Biography was written by Scott Wilson


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