are two types of musicians in hip hop, those who
smile and sing upbeat songs like Will Smith, and
those who wouldn't dare smile and sing with anger.
Sisqo falls in the upbeat category but you rarely
see him smile, he has an appeal to 'both worlds'
of hip hop and even pop. Not only that, he's touring
with *NSYNC in support of their new album, sure
to raise eyebrows from his peers. He backs up the
decision though by saying "These are my boys.
I have a lot of respect for them.. because you know
why? They got people who would never listen to their
music or never listen to a group like 'N Sync and
got them to listen and like the music and that's
why I respect them." What's more, he's managed
close relations with the gansta side too, having
toured with DMX on the Cash Money Ruff Ryders tour
as a guest.
Sisqo (It is reported his name, Sisqo, means "sweet,
yet strong"), who's real name is Mark Althavan
Andrews, was born November 9, 1978, in Baltimore,
Maryland. While he may not seem the most imposing
R&B artist at only 5'5", Sisqo does admit
to a criminal past that included an arrest. He explains
"The whole thug thing was something from my
youth. It isn't about being or not being a thug.
It's about being real. I think that is how street
respect is earned. Unfortunately for me, the immediate
clique I was in you had to do something derogatory
to gain the respect." When pressed to explain
what exactly derogatory means Sisqo conceded "If
you came into our neighborhood and we didn't know
you, we'd jump you. And my job was to be the first
one to hit the guy. I liked that, because if I was
the first one to hit him the next day everyone would
be talking about it." Though a part of life
in the inner city, he certainly has matured as he
regrets his actions, saying "It was bullsh**.
It was stupid. I did all that just to make people
think I was tough."
has also run into troubles in the recording industry.
Similar to the problems his touring partners *NSYNC
experienced, Sisqo and the band he co-founded, Dru
Hill, had to go to court to get out of their recording
contract. In this case though, there was charges
of violence, where Dru Hill claimed that an Island
employee allegedly hit Dru Hill's manager with a
pool cue, setting the suit in motion. Compounding
Island's problems was an executive at Polygram,
Eric Kronfeld, who's racist remarks virtually lost
any chance Polygram had of winning the case. Kronfeld
was asked why he hired the individual who alledgedly
hit their manager with a criminal record, and he
responded by saying that if he didn't hire African-Americans
with criminal records, "then there would be
virtually no African-American employees in our society
or in our industry."
Sisqo enjoyed success with Dru Hill, he seems to
be gaining more prominence as a solo artist thanks
to the megahit Thong Song. The origins of the song
came from a friend Sisqo says "I was sitting
in my house with a couple of my doggs, and one was
telling me about a date he had with a girl who was
wearing a thong, and he sang: Thong, tha, thong
tha, THONG". The song became a virtual anthem
for Y2K's Spring Break. Enlisting the help of dozens
of booty-ful women, Sisqo shot a video in Miami
that had enormous pop success. We don't doubt that
Sisqo got naked with at least a few of those bikini
wearing women, as the single artist admits he is
single and that he is a playa. Sisqo's uncensored
remix version of the video features near nude women
which he hopes is enough to satisfy everyone. While
he did record a video with Mya, he denies rumors
that the two were an item. Sisqo may be at a crossroads
with Dru Hill seeing that his solo success with
Unleash The Dragon seems to be dwarfing that of
the band, one wonders if the egos involved in this
group won't clash if the other Dru Hill bandmates
who plan solo releases of their own don't garner
near the success as he does.
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