Dru Hill

*Being on a reality show can make or broke you – literally – but the platinum selling R&B group Dru Hill has taken on the challenge in an attempt to repair “the brotherhood” that once made four young guys from Baltimore a house-hold name.

The group – Nokio, Jazz, Sisqo and new comer Tao (also from Baltimore, replacing Woody) – appears on multi-platinum singer/songwriter/producer Keith Sweat’s reality show on CENTRIC TV, “Keith Sweat’s Platinum House,” every Monday at 8:00 p.m.

The reality show premiered Monday June 28, 2010 with Nokio and Sisqo boxing off the tension and frustrations with each other. In up-coming series member Jazz works through his demons of resentment from the group break up. Through it all Keith Sweat pushing them to complete an album, “InDRUpendence Day,” and complete the Platinum House boot-camp.

When I asked the guys what they got from the reality show experience that helped them in dealing with being in a group, Jazz said, aside from an album, “A fresh start.” He said he learned to forgive and forget – to start fresh.

Nokio pointed out, “One of the things I took away from the show is a sense of feeling that I had to listen a little bit more…I learned to hear.”

The idea for a reality show came about when the group was touring with Keith Sweat.

“People know our accomplishments, but…not as a person,” Nokio added. “He (Keith) let us be free with the show…there was no script.”

Dru Hill recorded so far three albums, “InDRUpendence Day” will be their fourth record group project. Today the multi-platinum selling act has seven Top 40 hits with “In My Bed,” “Never Make a Promise,” and “How Deep is Your Love” reaching #1.

“Keith Sweat’s Platinum House” airs weekly on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on CENTRIC TV (formerly BET J). For more information on the show log onto www.centrictv.com and for more on Dru Hill log onto www.DruHillOnline.com.

ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards bring together the best songwriters/producers


Jimmy Jam (center) presents the Songwriters of the Year Award to Tricky Stewart and The Dream


*The 2010 ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards recently held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills brought together the best in songwriters and producers for an evening to honor them, as well as Dr. Dre with the Founder’s Award and Janelle Monae’ with the Vanguard Award. The guest list was the who’s who in the songwriting business which included Ne-Yo (Songwriter of the Year- tied with The Dream and Tricky); T.I. (performed); Eminem (performed); Big Boi (performed); The Dream/Nate Walka/Christopher Henderson/Tricky Stewart (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song – “Blame It”); Gucci Mane (performed); JD protégé  Dondria (performed), and Jermaine Dupri (Song of the Decade – “We Belong Together”).

Some songwriters were riding high on the success of one hit record, such as Nate Walka, co-writer on the Jamie Foxx hit “Blame It on the Alcohol.” On the red carpet Walka pointed out, “This was my first major placement. I wasn’t even a songwriter. I feel everybody can relate to it.” He went on to explain what he did following the success of the song, “Man, I was able to buy my mom a car…me and my mom been in the trenches, its’ been really hard, know what I mean. I give credit to God, things that shouldn’t have happen, happened…God is good, He has a plain.”

I had a chance to talk to Kawan “KP” Prather who produced/wrote John Legend’s hit “Green Light.” As a songwriter/producer KP said he has worked on the albums of Usher, T.I. and Young Blood, in fact it was on Young Bloods’ CD that his first song was placed.

Others that walked the red carpet to talk to the media included singer Janelle Monae, Brian Kennedy (won for Jennifer Hudson’s “If This Isn’t Love”); Flo Rider (won for “Right Round” featuring Ke$ha); The Dream (nominated for his Rockin’ “That Thang,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Fabolous’ “Throw it in the Bag”, Usher’s “Trading Places” and won for “Blame It”), Erika Shevon Lockhard  (won for Twista’s “Wetter”), and Johnny “Smurf” Smith (won for Musiq Soulchild’s “IFULEVE.”

Established in 1914 ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is the first and leading U.S. performing rights organization (PRO) handling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works. It is also the only PRO owned and governed by its writers and publisher members.

For a complete list of winners of the 2010 ASCAP R&S Awards or for more information the PRO log onto www.ascap.com.