Dru Hill Welcomes New Member On InDRUpendence Day

'It's a dream,' Antwuan 'Tao' Simpson says of joining the group.

Sisqo, Nokio and Jazz have remained the core of Dru Hill since the group debuted in 1996, but they have had other members. After their last LP, Dru World Order, they gained — and lost — new member Scola. Two years ago another one of the founders, Woody, came back to the group for a short time only to decide that singing secular music with his high school buddies wasn’t a route he wanted to retread and he went back to gospel. In 2008, Antwuan “Tao” Simpson won a talent contest called “Dru Idol” to become the group’s fourth member, with Sisqo comparing Tao’s talent-show performance to Eminem’s freestyle showing in “8 Mile.” Sisqo, Jazz and Nokio agreed that Dru isn’t the same with just three members.

“We tried it. We actually did an extensive tour,” Nokio said about continuing as a trio. “We could do it if it came down to it and we ain’t have a choice, but you get kinda used to having that extra person singing harmony. It’s something you can’t just get from being on the track.

“Our harmony is so intricate that in order to keep the integrity of what’s going on the record and still perform for the fans, it’s almost impossible to do with just three people,” Sisqo explained. “Most of the time you have to have that three-part harmony structure while the other person is singing lead. Sometimes our harmony is so intricate, we might have to stop singing lead to make sure the integrity of the harmony is there. … We didn’t feel it was right to cheat the people out of that.”

“It’s a great addition Tao brings to the group,” Jazz offered. “His register is a little higher than normally what’s been presented in the Dru Hill sound. It’s just hot, man. This record is crazy.”

“People have been accepting me in the group. You get your haters here and there, but for the most part, it’s a dream,” Tao said.

The group’s InDRUpendence Day is set for release this spring, prededed by the single “Love M.D.”

“The sound for InDRUpendence Day is … the foundation of it is what you’re used to from us. It’s the harmonies, the melodies … we’re singing about relationships,” Nokio said. “As businessmen and writers and producers, we made sure we tried to incorporate what’s going on now without becoming what’s going on right now. We look for the different spin or the different aspect of relationships. Everything that people are used to from us are ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’ But that’s not reality all the time — not that you break up all the time, but you go through stuff.”

The group’s reality show “Platinum House” premieres May 20 on Centric.

“The reality show is basically about us starting over and coming back together and hashing out some of the things people may have been thinking over the years,” Nokio explained. “Just getting ready to come back out here do what we do. It was really waking up 5 in the morning, camera in your face, all day long. From day to day we didn’t know what was going to happen. It wasn’t scripted.”

“Life goes on and we just filmed it,” Sisqo said.

Are you excited to hear new music from Dru Hill? Will you watch their “Platinum House” show? Let us know in the comments!