Dru Hill Wow NYC Crowd, Ready Fans For Dru World Order

Group unveils new tracks, additional member at mini-concert.

NEW YORK — “Hulk Hogan was here and I missed him?” Dru Hill’s
disappointed Woody asked groupmate Nokio Wednesday, while the group prepared
for a mini-concert at the World, owned by the Hulkster’s employers WWE.

“Kurt Angle was here too,” Dru’s newest member Scola chimed in, only adding
to Woody’s gloom over not seeing his grappling heroes. “I thought he was my
size, but he’s big as hell.”

While the guys were downstairs getting their faces airbrushed on their jean
suits and laying out their red leather outfits, some of the Baltimore
collective’s friends and peers were filtering into the venue, all anxious to
see the group Dru the damn thang.

“I’m coming out here to support my people, Dru Hill, and see them do their
thing,” video director Little X (Usher, Mystikal) said. “I have no
expectations. I have a clean slate. I’m ready to be blown away.” Eve and DJ
Clue were among the others who came out to support the group.

In addition to seeing one of Dru’s first performances in four years, people
also turned out for the release of Def Jam’s charity LP Red Star Sounds,
Vol. 2,
featuring tracks by many of the label’s artists, including Dru
Hill.

“Rehearsals have been just us in there tightening up everything,” Nokio said,
still sitting in the World’s backstage area with his harmonizing brethren.
“We’ve done a couple of shows thus far and we’ve had a chance to see what
we’ve been doing right and see stuff we wanna tighten up.”

“If you’ve ever seen the movie ’The Five Deadly Venoms,’ how they had to go
away and train and come back, it was similar to that.” Sisqó elaborated.

Last month, the group described its new LP, Dru World Order (see “Dru
Hill Getting Ready To Make Girls Scream Again”
) as anything but a
comeback effort. “This a continuation; it’s the evolution of a band,” Nokio
insisted.

To evolve, Dru felt they had to go back their essence, with the album’s first
single “I Should Be.”

” ’I Should Be’ ain’t our best record that we got, it was like the one that
was going to raise the bar for everything coming after that, whether it be us
or anybody else,” Nokio explained of the release. “It was just that classic Dru
Hill sound that you love.”

“We’ve been gone for a minute, three or four years, and it’s basically a
double meaning,” Sisqó added. “[We’re] telling any girl that’s with some
dude that ain’t really treating her like she deserve to be treated, he don’t
love her. She need to come to the Dragon. ’Come to Nok. Come to Jazz. Come to
Wood. Come to Sco.’ That’s on one side. Then on the other side, it’s kind of
like we stepping in on the R&B group tip, saying, ’We should be your
boyfriends, we the ones that you should come to.’ ”

Dru had no problem attracting the ladies as they came onstage, opening with
the uptempo “On Me” from Dru World Order. There was talk of N.O.R.E.,
who guests on the song, making a surprise appearance, but he was nowhere to
be seen. Besides, with a fifth member added to the group, there wasn’t too
much room.

“It’s cool to have a new element onstage, mainly because it gives all of our
fans something fresh to look at, even though they glad to see us,” Sisqó
determined earlier in the night. “Vocally, it’s amazing. Sometimes we’re
singing onstage and we get confused whether we’re singing or they’re playing
back a recording or something. It’s given us a lot more stage presence.”

“I’m going to be honest, man; I feel like I’m right where I belong,” said
Scola, who’s been friends with everyone in Dru for years. “I’ve been doing
[music] for a minute. I had certain deals, and the game is political. Things
ain’t go the way they supposed to, but I think it’s definitely meant for me
to be here.”

Woody is equally elated to be down. One of the group’s founders, he left to
pursue a career in gospel, but decided to come back to the fold.

“Basically, to be in Dru Hill is a gift,” Woody said. “But at the same time,
I wanted to give back to the creator for giving me the opportunity to record
the music with Dru Hill. That’s what I feel like my gospel project was, just
me giving back saying ’Thank you, God, for giving me the opportunity and the
voice to record and be a recording artist.’

“With that said, I’m now moving back with the formula,” he continued.
“Sometimes you gotta come back to basics, come back to what made you who you
are. Dru Hill is definitely what made me, as well as all of us sitting here.
We just want everyone to know that we all acknowledge that this is the basis
of everything we’ve done in our careers.”

Before ending their set with “I Should Be,” Dru dug into their catalog for
star-making songs like the remix of “Sleeping in My Bed,” and the night’s
most rousing performance, the sleeper hit “Beauty.”

Besides doing much of the producing themselves on Dru World Order, due
November 26, the group hit the studio with the likes of Warryn Campbell, the
Neptunes, and Kwame, the man who made it cool to wear polka dots back in the
day.

Dru Hill embark on a tour of small venues February 5.

For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.