98 Degrees Explain The History Of “The Hardest Thing”: Pop School

Robbie Daw | April 18, 2013 8:10 am

Class is in session, and now it’s time to sit up straight and get an education! And in the case of Pop School, it’s artists who are teaching you a lesson on their classic hits. Start taking notes!

We recently sat down to talk to reunited boy-band-turned-man-band 98 Degrees about their new single “Microphone,” upcoming LP 2.0 (their first studio album in 13 years, out May 7) and, of course, their Package Tour with fellow vocal group icons New Kids On The Block and Boyz II Men. But try as we might, sometimes we find it hard to let go of the past.

Case in point: iconic pop singles from our youth — the ones that dominated the radio airwaves and the daily TRL countdown when we were just young, starry-eyed and very, very impressionable. One such gem is 98 Degrees’ “The Hardest Thing,” their second single off 1998 sophomore album 98 Degrees And Rising. One the group’s biggest hits, “The Hardest Thing” eventually found its way into the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, and still to this day has us conjuring up images from its boxing-themed video, wherein the shirtless, pumped-up gents throw some hooks, jump rope and croon against the dazzling lights of Sin City.

Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons gave us their take on what it was like to shoot the Wayne Isham-directed clip for “The Hardest Thing.” No stranger to working with biggest male vocal groups at the time, Isham also lensed such videos as Backstreet Boys‘ “I Want It That Way,” *NSYNC‘s “Bye Bye Bye” and, of course, 98 Degrees’ “Because Of You” and “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche).”

“He really helped define our visual image through those videos,” Drew told us about working with Isham. “He really helped shape how we were visually perceived.”

Watch 98 Degrees give a history lesson on “The Hardest Thing” above, and let us know below if you have any special memories of the guys and their music!