R&B group Dru Hill has reshuffled its membership with the addition of fellow soul group Playa they prepare to release 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, according to Vibe. Dru Hill will now be comprised of Smoke, Black, Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin, Mark “Sisqo” Andrews and Antwuan “Tao” Simpson.
Jazz, meanwhile, will reportedly pursue a career as a solo artist.
Playa broke onto the scene in the 90s through Jodeci’s Devante Swing. The late producer Static Major was also a part of the group, who worked closely with Timbaland to release their biggest hit, Cheers 2 U.
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.”
Their first performance with the new lineup was on Sunday (Aug. 12) at the AFRAM Festival in Baltimore, which also included Ella Mai and Jacquees. It’s also the first time ever Dru Hill performed in Druid Hill Park, where they got their name.
The Second Coming will be released under their own label, Dru Hill Entertainment this fall, Vibe reports. 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.
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