“I haven’t spoken to Rolling Stone in 14 years,” Sisqo says jovially, by way of introduction. After releasing two albums with his group Dru Hill – 1996’s eponymous debut and 1998’s Enter the Dru – the singer became a household name for 2000’s “Thong Song,” the second single off his debut album, Unleash the Dragon. It would eventually hit Number Three on the Billboard Top 100, and it remains an indelible turn-of-the-century aural capsule, a perpetual soundtrack to our collective spring break.
Those who have long moved past the singer’s ubiquitous hit may be surprised to see Sisqo, who’s kept the celebrity machine going by appearing on numerous reality shows, mounting a comeback. After multiple splits, including a bizarre live-radio breakup minutes after reuniting (more on that later), Dru Hill seem to have reconciled their differences. Sisqo, meanwhile, is prepping the January release of solo album Last Dragon, his first in 14 years, with a pair of singles: the club-friendly “A-List” with Waka Flocka Flame and bedroom ballad “Lips.”
The affable singer discussed some of his more unusual career highlights.
Dru Hill is listed on the website of the fudge chain the Fudgery. Why?
Fudgery Fudge was a minimum-wage job that we had in Baltimore before we got into the music industry, where you make this candy and sing songs simultaneously.
You sing in the fudge store?
So if I’m a 10-year-old looking for fudge, I would walk in and see you singing?
Yeah, see I was a businessman even then because I got us all jobs at the Fudgery, and because we had to sing, we used to utilize that work time for rehearsal and we would get paid. So it was win-win.
What songs would you sing?
We would sing stuff like Stevie Wonder‘s “Isn’t She Lovely,” but throw fudge in there like, “Isn’t Fudge Lovely” just to make it seem like we were working. Instead of singing Jodeci’s “Forever My Lady,” we’d say “Forever the Fudgery.”
Why didn’t you sing “Fudgever My Lady”?
I don’t know, man. That sounds like you’re trying to take the Hershey Highway.
Is it harder to sell fudge or albums?
Dude, selling fudge is not the coolest thing in the world. If you could make that cool, and we did, it was the first lesson in show business. If you could actually sing to a girl while selling fudge in an all-white uniform, that was a challenge.
In 2002, Dru Hill released Dru World Order. In 2010, it was Indrupendence Day. What were some rejected “dru”-related puns?
That’s [fellow member] Nokio’s thing. It’s my job to take care of the stage show and Nokio takes care of the puns [laughs]. He’s the one who came up with the next album title: Sex, Dru and Rock & Roll.
It’s good to see a group bringing puns back to R&B.
Really? Bringing it back? What was the first one?
I have no idea, but it’s good to keep it alive.
You mean like there’d be a Caucasian group that sings soul called White Fudge or White Chocolate. I’d buy a White Chocolate album.
There’s a strange video of the group getting back together on the radio and then breaking up again 10 minutes later. Is that the quickest a band has broken up after reuniting?
[Laughs] You know what, it just might be. The night before, we were talking about going on the radio the following day and then that’s why everybody was blindsided when [former member] Woody decided to leave the group on the radio. We hadn’t gone to sleep that night and Nokio decided he wanted to drink 50-year-old scotch. Woody’s an intelligent, savant-type guy. You got one guy that’s still drunk and another who’s an artistic type, so it just looked weird when they started fighting. I’m glad that’s over.