Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Dragon Re-emerges

I don’t know if you know this, but it is summer. Come 80-degree weather, my playlists change. They become more fun, brighter, and also more goofy. Such was the case when I was scrolling through my iPod to find the 2000 hit “Thong Song.” I punched the center button, and was taken back to “those finer things in life.” I found myself singing ALL the lyrics with all the enthusiasm as my 11-year-old self did eight years ago. I began to wonder where this silver-headed Casanova, Sisqó, had been for nearly a decade. After some in-depth (wikipedia) readings on the subject, I discovered quite a bit about Mr. Mark Althavan Andrews (including his name!).

Before his solo career, he was the lead singer in the R&B group, Dru Hill. In 1999, the group broke up, each going to pursue a solo path. Sisqó was the only member to achieve any kind of success. His debut, Unleash the Dragon, had only moderate popularity until the drop of the second single, and inspiration for this article, “Thong Song.”

Chances are that you are familiar with the track, so I will not describe it in any further detail than the most quintessential MTV (Real World/Road Rules/Spring Break – Cancun-era) song that could ever be penned. Riding on the coattails of its predecessor, “Incomplete” helped propel Unleash the Dragon to sell four million copies.

After a failed attempt to reunite Dru Hill, Sisqó decided to pursue not only another album, but also a film and television career. Sisqó’s Shakedown premiered on MTV. It was a short-lived dance competition program that he hosted. In “film” he acted in “Get Over It,” a movie about a breakup and “Snow Dogs” a comedy with Cuba Gooding, Jr. (which I think is all that needs to be said about that).

Sisqó’s career in acting and television hosting didn’t take the climb he had hoped, so he put out another album: Return of the Dragon. Despite its unique and clever title, the album’s singles “Can I Live” and “Dance With Me” failed to perform. In light of the lack of radio play, the album eventually reached platinum by the massive amounts of people wanting another “Thong Song.” What these masses don’t realize is that magic like that is a once in a lifetime shot, and Sisqó nailed it. So well in fact, that people, including myself, can’t let it go.

It is a good thing, at least for Mr. Andrews, that we can’t let it go, because of late he cometed on the CMT show Gone Country, which had non-country artists compete for a country recording contract. (Damn you, Julio Iglesias, Jr. for winning!). But, even though he didn’t win, we can take solace in the fact that later this year, he is releasing the final part of the trilogy! The to-be released album, Last Dragon, has already delivered a single with a video to go along with it. “Who’s Ur Daddy,” which features the new artist E-money, is a poignant tale of Sisqó’s desire to impregnate a certain lady. His desire for conception, but his lack of triumph can be envisioned at 1:33, where the video shows a man failing to complete a handstand. However, Sisqó’s determination, confidence, and his goal-oriented personality bring him to victory come the end of the single when the video takes on a Photo Booth “Glow” quality. To me this represents Sisqó’s “glow” of being a new father.

Reflecting on this artist’s work and his various hair stylings, which include, according to, “a bleached blonde Caesar, a platinum-colored Caesar (colored with silver spray-paint), blonde cornrows, a neonred dyed Caesar, and a bleached blonde Mohawk,” I can’t help but be consumed by the fervor of eventually Mark Althavan Andrews jumping out of my iPod video.

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