Xscape (group)

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Xscape
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop
Years active 1991–2000
Labels So So Def/Columbia/SME Records (1992-1998)
Associated acts Bow Wow
Past members LaTocha Scott
Tamika Scott
Tameka "Tiny" Cottle
Kandi Burruss
Kiesha Miles
Tamera Coggins-Wynn

Xscape was a female American R&B quartet which began as a quintet. The group had 6 top 10 hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1990s including "Just Kicking it", "Understanding," "Who Can I Run To", "Keep On, Keepin' On", "The Arms of the One Who Loves You", and "My Little Secret". The original lineup of the group consisted of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott, Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, and Tamera Coggins, though Coggins departed the group before their debut album was released.

Background[edit]

LaTocha and Tamika Scott's father, Rev. Randolf Scott, was part of the R&B group Scott Three during the early '70s. The sisters were trained to sing by their father at an early age. They sang in church and competed in talent shows around the area while growing up. In the early '90s, they met Xscape's other three members, Kandi Burruss, Tamera Coggins-Wynn, and Tameka "Tiny" Cottle at the magnet performing arts high school, Tri-Cities, in East Point, Georgia, a city outside of Atlanta. Cottle's father, Charles Pope, and her uncle, Joseph Pope (1933–1996), were members of the R&B group, The Tams.

Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha (1992-1994)[edit]

After Coggins left the group in 1991, Xscape became a quartet. They were later discovered by Jermaine Dupri while singing at an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. festival in Atlanta. Dupri immediately signed the group to his up and coming So So Def label. He debuted the quartet at his birthday party in 1991. The group released their debut album, Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha, on October 12, 1993.[1] The album peaked at number seventeen the U.S. Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B Albums chart. It was a critical and commercial success, certified platinum within a year, and launched two top 10 singles. The debut single, "Just Kickin' It", and second single, "Understanding", both entered the top 10 of the official Hot 100 and became platinum and gold certified number-one hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The follow-up singles, "Love on My Mind" and "Tonight", did not achieve the same success.

In 1994, the group appeared on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 where they appeared at a benefit booked by Steve Sanders. The group later appeared on The Mask soundtrack.

At the conclusion of Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha, the group appeared on "Freedom (Theme from Panther)" for the movie of the same name, and the film's soundtrack in 1995.

Off the Hook (1995-1998)[edit]

After much success, Xscape released their second studio album, Off the Hook, in 1995. The lead single, "Feels So Good", reached #31 of the US Hot 100, while "Who Can I Run To" peaked at #8. The follow-up singles, "Do You Want To" and "Can't Hang", the latter featuring rapper MC Lyte, were released as a double A-side single. It went only as high as number 50 on the Hot 100, but peaked at #9 on the "Hot R&B/Hip Hop" charts. The album eventually went platinum.

In 1996, the group was featured on MC Lyte's single "Keep On Keepin' On", which appeared on the Sunset Park soundtrack. The single reached number 10 on the Hot 100,becoming MC Lyte's best single on the pop charts and #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.

In 1997, the group's popularity was growing and their songs appeared on the soundtracks to the films Love Jones and Soul Food.

Traces of My Lipstick (1998-2001)[edit]

Main article: Traces of My Lipstick

In early 1998, Xscape was featured on the Keith Sweat produced single, a cover of Atlantic Starr's "Am I Dreamin'", by R&B new-comer group Ol' Skool. The single was a success in North America, peaking at #31 on the "Hot 100", and was later featured on Xscape's third album Traces of My Lipstick.

Traces of My Lipstick debuted at #28 on the Billboard 200 and at #6 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop album chart; over a million copies were sold in the U.S. The album featured the top 10 hit "The Arms of the One Who Loves You", which reached #7 on the Hot 100 chart, and "My Little Secret", which reached #9. Although there no official third single was released, "Softest Place on Earth" reached #28 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

After Traces of My Lipstick, LaTocha Scott initially left the group to pursue a solo career. The ladies soon regrouped and made appearances on the Big Momma's House and Hardball soundtracks, before going on another hiatus until 2005.

Unchained (2005-present)[edit]

After a five-year hiatus, sisters LaTocha Scott and Tamika Scott reunited with Tameka "Tiny" Cottle and new member Kiesha Miles to record a fourth album, Unchained. The new single, "What's Up", was released on a mixtape and later got some airplay in hometown Atlanta.[2] However, the album was not released due to lack of promotion from the record label.

Solo careers[edit]

Tamika Scott[edit]

Tamika Scott (born November 20, 1975) was a mezzo-soprano of the group, generally singing the middle harmonies, or the bottom harmonies when Kandi sang lead. After Xscape, she released the single "Day & Night" in Japan in 2003. She also appeared in the 2004 Tyler Perry play Meet the Browns, originating the role of Millet Jennet Baptiste-Brown. Tamika has written for several soundtracks including a song on Jim Carrey's "The Mask", and Keanu Reeves's movie "Hardball". She also has written, produced, and arranged four songs for and is featured as a solo artist performing "Greatest Gift" for two Tyler Perry movies, Daddy's Little Girls and "Why Did I Get Married?". Tamika wrote three songs for Perry's stage play "What's Done in the Dark", and wrote and co-produced Yolanda Adams's "Step Aside," which was also featured on Tamela Mann's album The Master Plan. Tamika has written songs for artists such as Adams, Mann, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild, Jaheim, Xscape, and LeToya Luckett. On December 18, 2010, she performed in a musical play, Christmas in the Hood. In 2011 she starred in BET's "Strangers In My House" alongside of Vivica Fox and Clifton Powell. She is currently touring with the gospel stage play "Shh Please Dont Tell."

LaTocha Scott[edit]

Main article: LaTocha Scott

LaTocha Scott (born October 2, 1973) was a mezzo-soprano in the group, but generally sang the highest harmonies when she wasn't leading. After the first Xscape disbanding, she recorded a solo album titled Solo Flight 404, featuring "One Night Stand", her duet with artist J-Shin. She also appears on "Liar, Liar" from the soundtrack of The Best Man, Cha Cha's "Dear Diary", and Trick Daddy's single "Thug Holiday".[3] LaTocha recently released a new single in 2012 entitled 'Bad Timing'. Scott was a member of the second season of TVOne's R&B Divas: Atlanta along with Faith Evans, Syleena Johnson, Nicci Gilbert, Monifah Carter, Angie Stone, and Keke Wyatt. She was not a part of the third season of the show, nor was there any mention of her previous involvement. She is currently working on an as-yet-untitled solo album.

Kandi Burruss[edit]

Main article: Kandi Burruss

Kandi Burruss (born May 17, 1976) was the group's contralto, singing the lower harmonies. She was also known for her whistle register, as sung in "Understanding" and "My Little Secret."

Since her Xscape days, she has co-written songs for artists such as Mariah Carey, Faith Evans, Pink, Whitney Houston, and Alicia Keys. She has also written songs for the groups TLC, Destiny's Child, RichGirl, 'N Sync, and Boyz II Men. She is also responsible for discovering the male R&B quartet Jagged Edge. In 1999, she appeared on Solé's debut album and was in a video for the single, titled "4, 5, 6". In 2000, Columbia Records released her solo debut, Hey Kandi, which featured the hit song "Don't Think I'm Not".

In 1999, Burruss teamed with bandmate Tameka "Tiny" Cottle to score the international number one hit "No Scrubs" for TLC.[4] That same year, Burruss wrote another song, "Bills, Bills, Bills".[5] Kandi would go on to work with Pink by co-writing her debut single "There You Go".[5]

In 2003, Burruss sang backup on "Wide Open" for LSG's final album LSG2. In 2006, she released "I Need", featuring Eightball & MJG from an unreleased solo album on UpFront Records. She is also featured on E-40's hit "U and Dat" and performs under the name Kandi Girl. In 2007, she formed a duo, Peach Candy, with Atlanta female rapper Rasheeda[6][7]

Since 2009, Burruss has been a cast member of the hit Bravo reality show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, currently in its seventh season. During her first season on the show she recorded material for her latest album Kandi Koated, featuring tracks "Fly Above" and "Leave U". The album was released in December of 2010.

Tameka "Tiny" Cottle[edit]

Main article: Tameka Cottle

Tameka Cottle (born July 14, 1975) was the only soprano in the group, usually singing the melody or highest harmonies.

She is best known for co-writing TLC's 1999 hit "No Scrubs" with Burruss, with her singing vocals on the chorus of the song. She was also sang the chorus of Lil' Kim's "I Know You See Me", Lil Bow Wow's "Let's Get Down", and on 8Ball & MJG's "Things We Used to Do."

Although Cottle is still in the music business (Pretty Hustle), she has also branched out into television. She starred in the BET reality show Tiny & Toya, which followed Cottle and her friendship with Antonia "Toya" Johnson Carter, the ex-wife of rap artist Lil’ Wayne. In 2011, she and husband T.I. began appearing in the reality series T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle. and started appearing in its spin-off, Tiny and Shekinah's Weave Trip, in October of 2014.

Discography[edit]

Further information: Xscape discography