Nokio the N-Tity
|Birth name||Tamir Ruffin|
|Origin||Baltimore, Maryland U.S.|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, music producer, dancer, rapper|
|Instruments||Singing, piano, guitar|
|Labels||Dru Hill, LLC/Kedar Entertainment, Murder Inc.|
|Associated acts||Dru Hill|
Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, rapper. He is best known as the founder of R&B group Dru Hill, serving as in-house producer and songwriter for the act. He is also the lead singer of the Rock band Black Angel Down.
His bandmates are Larry "Jazz" Anthony, Mark "Sisqó" Andrews, and the recently added Antwuan "Tao" Simpson. Former members are James "Woody Rock" Green who left the group for the second time and Rufus "Scola" Waller who became a solo artist again . The stage name "Nokio" is an acronym for "Nasty On Keys In Octave".
Nokio has also served as producer for DMX ("What These Bitches Want", 1999), Capone-N-Noreaga ("Y'all Don't Wanna", 2000), Kurupt ("We Can Freak it (Out)" - East Coast Remix, 1998), and Torrey Carter (The Life I Live, 2000). He was an A&R director for the Def Soul record label, and helped to discover and develop acts such as the teenage R&B/pop group 3rd Storee. Nokio currently works for Atlantic Records as an A&R for R&B singer Trey Songz.
In early 2008, the original quartet version of Dru Hill began touring alongside fellow 1990s R&B acts Tony! Toni! Toné!, Bell Biv DeVoe, and their former producer Keith Sweat. On March 6, the group appeared on WERQ, a Baltimore radio station, to promote their reunion. In the midst of their interview, however, Woody announced he was quitting the group again to dedicate himself to his gospel ministry. A YouTube video shows Sisqó walking out on the interview as a result, and Woody, Nokio, and Jazz fighting, although the authenticity of the conflict has been called into question. Nokio is also working with a rock band called Black Angel Down. Snippets of some of Black Angel Down's songs were put on Dru Hill's fourth album InDRUpendence Day.
with Dru Hill
- Dru Hill (1996)
- Enter the Dru (1998)
- Dru World Order (2002)
- D.R.U. (Unreleased) (2005)
- InDRUpendence Day (2010)
- Christmas In Baltimore (2017)
- The 2nd Coming (TBA)