Sisqo Becomes Dragon

Singer leaves Dru Hill sound behind for new album.

Having spent a mere two weeks recording his latest LP, Sisqó spent more time contemplating the album's title than he did in the vocal booth. The Baltimore native has flipped the script on that title; originally slated to be called Return of the Dragon (see "Sisqó Will Return In June"), the album, which has been pushed back a week to June 19, will now be simply Return of Dragon.

"A lot of people ask why did I take out the 'the,' and it's mainly because 'Dragon' is more than just a logo, it's more than just a symbol," Sisqó said. "A lot of times on the last album I described the Dragon as the energy. But this album I honestly believe it's the music. Don't get me wrong. I'm not crazy or anything, but I'm so into my music, I assume the role of Dragon and that's why I said 'Return of Dragon.' It's the whole persona. It's the music as well as myself and the energy all conglomerated together."

The 23-year-old said his metamorphosis put him in a zone and aided in his speedy recording process. "I didn't prepare or meditate or nothing. I just went and did music and at the end of the day I got Dragon," he said. "I've gotten better. I know what I have to do when I go into the studio. It wasn't that far off from the last album, [which] we did in like three weeks, so [it] just shows my growth and development as an artist."

Sisqó hoped his proclaimed acute studio dexterity would rub off on Return of Dragon's producers, like One Up Entertainment, who laid the track for "Dance for Me," slated to be the second single.

"With the new album, I tried my best to stay as far away from all the big-name producers, as I usually do," Sisqó said. "A lot of times when you work with them they get all the credit for a sound a lot of times [you both] create. I figure working with new and upcoming producers, with the exception of Teddy Riley and Warren Campbell, that I would be able to showcase my musical talents as well as bring up some new cats."

The sounds that Sisqó came up with in the lab are fast-paced, and he said they will be totally left of the music he did with Dru Hill; the singer said that holding onto the vibe of the group last time around ended up hindering his creativity. Sisqó did, however, record one cut for the new LP with Dru Hill, titled "Without You."

"With the last album, I have to apologize to the fans," Sisqó said. "I called it Unleash the Dragon, but I didn't exactly unleash the dragon. I kind of held back, mainly because I felt an obligation to the Dru Hill fans to keep a sound alive that myself, Nokio, Jazz and Woody created. The 'Thong Song' was truly the only song on my album that was Sisqó. Everything else on the album could easily be fit on any Dru Hill album."

Not the case with Return of Dragon, he said. "My favorite song on the album is 'Infatuated,' mainly because [it has a different chord structure] from anything I've ever heard my entire life. I like to think of my album as one big smart joke. If you're not paying attention you might not get it, but if you listen to it approximately three times you'll get it."

The first single from the album will be "Can I Live," which Sisqó chose because he felt "it was the counterbalance to the double-edge sword which was the 'Thong Song.' "

Sisqó said that despite the benefits he reaped from the blockbuster ode to bootylicious chicks, such as his album going quadruple platinum and subsequent endorsement and movie deals — Sisqó will star in the upcoming "Winter Dance" with Cuba Gooding Jr. — the success of "Thong Song" had its drawbacks.

"You had some people in the 'hood saying that I sold out and you had [critics] saying 'Oh he's a one-hit wonder.' 'Thong Song' was not the extent of my talent but only a weapon in my arsenal."

Track listing for Return of Dragon, according to Def Jam:

  • "Intro"

  • "Not Afraid"

  • "Infatuated"

  • "Can I Live" (featuring the Dragon Family)

  • "Without You" (featuring Dru Hill)

  • "Homewrecker"

  • "Last Night"

  • "Close Your Eyes Interlude"

  • "Close Your Eyes"

  • "Dance for Me"

  • "Off the Corner" (featuring the Associates)

  • "Dream" (featuring Chinky of LovHer)