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Sisqo  


There 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."

Sisqo 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."

While 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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