Dru-Hill-Playa-Supergroup-VIBE-2018
Ross Multimedia Group

Dru Hill Adds R&B Veterans Playa To Group, Announce New Album: Exclusive

The nayhoos are about to be off the charts. 

R&B mainstays Dru Hill are extending its roster in a major way with the addition of fellow soul group Playa just in time for their forthcoming album, The Second Coming.

Jawann “Smoke” Peacock and Benjamin “Black” Bush have joined the group on the heels of the departure of Larry “Jazz” Anthony. The group, still sharing the stage name of Dru Hill will now be comprised of Smoke, Black,  Tamir "Nokio” Ruffin, Mark “Sisqo” Andrews and Antwuan “Tao” Simpson as Jazz focuses on his career as a solo artist.

Playa came into fruition in the early 90s with the help of Jodeci's Devante Swing. The late producer Static Major was also apart of the group, who worked closely with Timbaland to release their stand out track, "Cheers 2 U." The song spent 17 weeks on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts in 1998.

In a statement to VIBE, the group shared their excitement of what's to come along with their long-standing brotherhood.

“While Jazz is working on solo endeavors, it only made sense to come together with our brothers,” they said. “Not many people know this, but we met way back in 1998 when we all played the Ladies Night Out tour and Playa was a trio. We’ve been family ever since. When we stepped on that stage with Dru Hill for the first time this year, it was instant magic. We knew right away that this was where we all belonged.”

When it comes to their newfound union, Smoke explained how they plan to blend their unique flavor of R&B and soul.

"We are bringing our churchy, soulful vocals— which is the foundation of Playa’s legacy— and adding them to the legacy of Dru Hill," Smoke tells VIBE. "I feel like we bring a whole other concept of harmonies and melodies to the table. And not only that, we’re writers, producers, and arrangers. The vocals that Aaliyah came within the 90s, the overall feel of Drake’s Take Care album, we were a big part of making that happen and we’re only going to keep innovating with Dru Hill on this next project. For me, The Second Coming is definitely the resurrection of real R&B. Fans should get ready because as of this fall, R&B is no longer dead."

Their first performance as the supergroup will kick off Saturday (Aug. 11) at the AFRAM Festival in Baltimore which will also feature Ella Mai and Jacquees. It's also the first time ever Dru Hill will perform in Druid Hill Park, where they famously got their name.

READ MORE: 20 Years Later: A Definitive Ranking Of Dru Hill’s Soulful Debut Album

R&B supergroups have been a winning formula for the genre. Some notable supergroups include LSG comprised of the late Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, and New Edition's Johnny Gill. There's also the infamous TGT which included Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank. The elusive Lucy Pearl that featured Raphael Saadiq, A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad and former EnVouge songstress Dawn Robinson kept the trend fresh.

The Second Coming will be released under their own label, Dru Hill Entertainment this fall. The project is produced by Grammy-winning writer and producer Troy Taylor of Songbook Entertainment. Known for his work with Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, and B2K, he helped curate the career of Trey Songz and most recently, R&B newcomer Kevin Ross.

Dru Hill's previous release under their label was the critically acclaimed holiday EP, Christmas in Baltimore in 2017.

With R&B more defiant than ever, the supergroup is bound to bring all the nayhoos we've been craving.

READ MORE: Aaliyah Week: An Ode To Static Major, The Pen Behind Aaliyah’s Self-Titled Album

From the Web

More on Vibe

David Becker

Suge Knight Reportedly Signed Over His Life Rights To Ray J

Suge Knight may be locked behind the G-Wall, but the former hip-hop mogul is attempting to keep the cash flow flowing.

Monday (Oct. 21), TMZ reported that Suge Knight has signed over his life rights to Ray J, with the hopes that the reality television star will create some lucrative deals for the Death Row CEO.

According to the report, a Suge Knight and Death Row Records documentary is in the works, as well as a Tupac album. There are even talks of reviving Death Row Records.

The former CEO was sentenced to 28 years in prison last October after pleading no contest to a charge of voluntary manslaughter for a January of 2015 incident in which he struck and killed 55-year-old Terry Carter and injured Cle "Bones" Sloan in a hit-and-run.

Ray J recently inked a $1 million deal in the cannabis industry and has major investments in the headphones and scooter industries as well.

Continue Reading
Paras Griffin

Youngboy NBA Snatches His First No. 1 Album On 'Billboard 200' With 'Al Youngboy 2'

Baton Rouge's Youngboy NBA's heart-driven songs about pain, confusion, violence, and the imperativeness of getting his hands on some cash money has garnered the young king his first No. 1 album on 'Billboard 200, ' thanks to Al Youngboy 2.

AI YoungBoy 2--led by singles "Carter Son," "Self Control" and "Slime Mentality-- " is the 12th chart entry on the 'Billboard 200' for the North Baton Rouge MC, who has visited the with 2018’s Until Death Call My Name. The first installment of Al Youngboy debuted at No. 24 back in 2017.

AI YoungBoy 2 is the 20-year-old rapper’s first album after being released from prison in August.

Coming in at No. 2 is Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding climbs one rung with 99,000 equivalent album units (though down 8%). Summer Walker’s Over It falls from No. 2 to No 3 with 78,000 units, and DaBaby’s former leader Kirk is steady at No. 4 with 55,000 units down.

Lil Tjay’s debut album True 2 Myself settles No. 5 with 45,000 equivalent album units earned. The 17-track project features the top 30-charting Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs hit “F.N.”

Wale’s sixth studio album, Wow… That’s Crazy, lands at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 with 38,000 equivalent album units moved.

Continue Reading
Rich Fury

Kanye West Confirms Release Date For 'Jesus Is King'

Kanye West has confirmed a release date for his long-awaited album, Jesus Is King.

Mr. West took to Twitter early Monday morning (Oct. 21) to share the news.

"'JESUS IS KING' OCT 25th," the Chicago native tweeted along with a photo of a blue vinyl record that sports the title of the LP.

“JESUS IS KING” OCT 25th pic.twitter.com/Ug4ghlQYk7

— ye (@kanyewest) October 21, 2019

After missing the Sept. 27 birthday for Jesus is King, Ye has continued to promote the project through his Sunday Service events.

According to Ye's Pastor Adam Tyson, the College Dropout rapper almost quit rap.

"One time, he told me that he wasn't going to rap," Tyson said (check the 23:30 mark). "I said, 'Why not?' He said, 'That's the devil's music.' I said, 'Hey, man. Rap is a genre. You can rap for God.' I think he was already thinking about it a little bit, but I definitely said, 'Hey, bro. I think you need to use your talents that God's given you and use that platform for God.'"

However, Mr. West has had a change of heart, and it looks like Jesus is King will drop the same day as the IMAX film.

Continue Reading

Top Stories