The girl group Xscape, formerly known as XSCAP3, was founded in 1991 by Tamera Coggins-Wynn, Kandi Burruss, sisters Tamika and LaTocha Scott, and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle. Xscape became a quartet in 1992 following the departure of Tamera, and soon signed to Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label after being discovered by the musician.
The group temporarily downsized and began calling itself XSCAP3 due to Kandi taking an hiatus in early February 2018 to focus on her Broadway career.
After signing to So So Def label, Xscape debuted with a performance at Jermaine’s birthday party in 1992. Their debut album, “Hummin’ Comin’ at ‘Cha”, debuted in October of the following year, and peaked at number three on the Top R&B Albums chart in the US. Within one year, the successful project had spawned two top ten singles (“Understanding” and “Just Kickin’ It”) and was already certified platinum.
In 1994, Xscape was the opening act for R. Kelly and Salt-N-Pepa’s Very Necessary 12 Play Tour. They also contributed music to the soundtracks of the movies “The Mask” and “Panther”. In 1995, their second studio album “Off the Hook” did impressive numbers with singles “Who Can I Run To” and “Feels So Good” peaking at #8 and #32 respectively on the US Hot 100 chart.
Over the next few years, the Xscape girls collaborated with a number of artists such as Mariah Carey and Da Brat, also contributing their talents to the soundtracks of “Soul Food” and “Love Jones”. In 1998, they released their third studio album, “Traces of My Lipstick”, which sold over a million copies in the US alone.
Following the release of the successful album, LaTocha left the group to pursue a solo career, although she would later reform with Tiny and Tamika. Meantime, Tiny, Tamika and LaTocha asked Kandi to rejoin, but when she declined, she was asked to sign over her rights to the Xscape name. Once Kandi signed her rights away, the group went on another hiatus which would last five years.
Although one would think that fans would eagerly anticipate Xscape’s return, when they added Kiesha Miles to the group and recorded their fourth album, “Unchained” in 2005, a lack of promotion from the record label meant that the project never saw the light of day. Meanwhile, their comeback single, “What’s Up”, was barely heard outside of Atlanta. The group broke up shortly afterwards.
At the 2017 BET Awards, the four original group members reunited and performed together for the first time in almost two decades. They also performed at Chene Park in Detroit and the Essence Festival in New Orleans, and shortly afterwards announcing a reunion tour with dozens of dates, which would feature singers Tamar Braxton and Monica. To further promote their return to music, Xscape appeared together on “The Wendy Williams Show” in September 2017, in which they performed some of their most beloved singles.
However, there seemed to be problems behind closed doors, as just two months later Kandi announced that she would not be making new music with the group at this time. Although Xscape released new singles, Kandi preferred to focus on her Broadway career, which led to Tiny, LaTocha and Tamika rebranding themselves as XSCAP3.
The three signed to a talent agency, and created a recording label in early 2018, also recording original songs that would be included in their debut EP, “Here for It”. The group won the Lady Of Soul award at the 2022 Soul Train Awards, but during the same year, LaTocha distanced herself from her bandmates after an issue between Rocky Bivens (her husband and manager) and a promoter.
Since then, LaTocha has been working on her gospel music endeavors, while Kandi, Tiny and Tamika perform as Xscape. There have been more than a few hints of bad blood between LaTocha and her former bandmates; however, we have yet to hear the whole story. In July 2023, Tamika shared during a conversation with Kandi that she had taken out a temporary protective order against her sister and Rocky.
The singer-songwriter Kandi Burruss was born in College Park, Georgia, in May 1976. Her father, Titus Burrus Jr., was a reverend, whereas her mother Joyce is believed to have been a housewife. Kandi had an older brother named Patrick who died in a car crash in 1991, when he was just 23 years old.
Kandi matriculated from Tri-Cities High School in 1994. During her time at the performing arts high school, Kandi met Tamika and LaTocha, who at the time was performing with a group called Precise. The three began singing together, and recruited Tamera Coggins, but who left shortly afterwards and was replaced by Tiny.
Kandi’s pursuit of a solo career was successful, as in 1999 alone she co-wrote three major hits: Pink’s debut single “There You Go”, “No Scrubs” for TLC, and “Bills, Bills, Bills” for Destiny’s Child. A year later, she released her debut solo album, “Hey Kandi…”, which had the successful lead single “Don’t Think I’m Not”. She also made history as the first African-American woman to win the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Songwriter of the Year award.
Although Kandi and Tamika go way back, in 2007 there was a feud between the bandmates as Tamika claimed that Kandi had broken up Xscape by sleeping with Jermaine Dupri and his father, Michael Mauldin. Kandi would later admit that although she and Jermaine were involved, she never slept with Michael; the singer also maintains to this day that her adventure with Jermaine had nothing to do with the group breaking up. A decade later, Tamika apologized to Kandi during their 2017 concert in Detroit’s Chene Park.
Kandi, who is reportedly a member of the Church of Holiness, has three children: Riley Burruss, who was born in August 2002 while the singer was in a relationship with record label head Russell “Block” Spencer, and Ace and Blaze Tucker, whom she welcomed to the world with husband Todd Tucker in January 2016 and November 2019 respectively.
The singer met Todd, a former line producer for “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, while filming for the reality show. After three years of dating, the couple married in a lavish ceremony in April 2014. Kandi and Todd currently live in Atlanta with their blended family (Todd has an older daughter named Kaela).
Tameka “Tiny” Cottle
Singer-songwriter Tameka “Tiny” Cottle was born in July 1975 in College Park, Georgia, and earned her original nickname due to her small stature of 4ft 11ins (150cms). Tiny is mixed-race, as her father Charles Pope was African-American and her mother Diane is white. Tiny’s passion for music is clearly hereditary, as her father and uncle formed popular R&B group The Tams in 1960.
Tiny began dating rapper T.I. in 2001. Together, they share two sons and a daughter: King, who was born in August 2004; Major, born in May 2008, and Heiress, who completed the family in March 2016. Before welcoming Major to the world, T.I. and Tiny suffered the heartbreaking stillbirth of their first daughter in 2007.
However, both musicians also have children from previous relationships. Tiny’s first daughter, Zonnique, was born in March 1996 from a previous relationship. Meanwhile, T.I. already had two sons (Messiah, born in February 2000, and Domani in March 2001) and a daughter named Deyjah (born in June 2001). Due to Domani and Deyjah being born when Tiny and T.I. were already dating, there’s speculation that the rapper was seeing several women at once, despite Tiny being the “official” girlfriend.
Tiny and T.I. married in 2010, and premiered their VH1 reality show, “The Family Hustle”, in December of the following year. “The Family Hustle” chronicled the lives of both musicians and their large brood. Despite their ups and downs, the couple shocked the world when news outlets reported in December 2016 that Tiny had filed for divorce, but months later, she halted the divorce proceedings, and reconciled with her husband.
In 2021, the music artists were blindsided by numerous sexual assault allegations after over 30 women accused Tiny, T.I., and their associates of “forced drugging, kidnapping, rape, and intimidation” in California, Georgia, and other states. The alleged incidents span from 2005 to 2018.
LaTocha Scott was born in October 1973, in Atlanta, Georgia. Her mother, Gloria McFarlin, was a schoolteacher, while her father Randolf Scott was a reverend. Aged six, LaTocha began singing at local talent shows, churches, and weddings; five years later, she and her sister Tamika had already recorded their first song together.
The singer married music manager Rocky Bivens in 1995, a few years after finding success with Xscape. LaTocha and Rocky brought their son Jamon to the world in August 1997. LaTocha’s first work as a solo artist was in 1998, when she contributed to the “NFL Jamz” album with the song “Promise”. She would later release the single “Liar Liar”, a part of “The Best Man” soundtrack.
LaTocha began taking her solo career more seriously in the early 2000s, linking up with former manager Michael Mauldin and signing a recording contract with Sony Urban. Due to internal issues, her debut solo album with Sony was never released, and she parted ways with the label in 2001.
Even so, LaTocha continued to work on her debut album, “Solo Flight 404”, and released it despite a lack of label backing. She also ventured into the world of acting, with a role in the 2005 comedy “Fair Game”. The musician then went quiet for the next few years, releasing her next single “Bad Timing” in 2012, and starring in season two of “R&B Divas: Atlanta” the following year.
As mentioned, it’s an open secret that there’s always been tension between LaTocha and Kandi, however, the exact reasons depend on who you ask. In an April 2023 episode of the limited series “SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B”, LaTocha told her husband Rocky that she felt ‘emotionally drained’ in the group, to which he replied: ‘You guys [LaTocha and Kandi] have just never been on the same page.’
LaTocha claims that the tension with Kandi began when the latter had issues with her singing most of the leads on the group’s tracks. According to the musician, Kandi would ask Jermaine if he was trying to set LaTocha up for a solo project. LaTocha has maintained the same story since 2017, when she told Kandi prior to their reunion tour: ‘You would get angry when I would have to sing a lot of songs and you made that very clear.’
Meanwhile, Kandi says that she noticed a division among the group when Rocky – who, at the time, was already dating LaTocha – took over as the manager. Kandi previously pointed out that Rocky had no experience in managing artists prior to his time with Xscape, adding: ‘When he [Rocky] started talking to Tocha, she didn’t want to share a dressing room with us anymore, she didn’t want to pray with us no more before the shows.’
Naturally, LaTocha denies Kandi’s version of events.
LaTocha’s younger sister Tamika was born in November 1975, and began performing alongside her sister at small events when she was just four years old. Shortly before the disbandment of Xscape in 2005, the singer made her first TV appearance in an episode of Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns”. Three years later, she released a new single, “Greatest Gift”, for the director’s movie “Daddy’s Little Girls”.
Local Atlanta artist Tamika Scott from 90s group Xscape was filmed attacking her sister and former group member LaTocha Scott over stolen money. The two have been feuding over the last 5 months but things reached a fever point between the two R&B divas last night. pic.twitter.com/XbcvP16z7W
— 𝑃̸𝑟̸𝑖̸𝑒̸𝑠̸𝑡̸ (@HesTheOG) March 14, 2023
In 2013, Tamika guest-starred in season two of “R&B Divas: Atlanta”. As the quietest group member, she failed to make headlines until 2017, when she had an on-stage wardrobe malfunction which went viral. Around the same time, the singer revealed during an explosive interview with Andy Cohen, that in 1993, producers threatened to kick her out of the group when she became pregnant unless she had an abortion. Tamika refused and gave birth to her first daughter, Oshun, in March 1994.
March 2019 saw the musician release her first solo single since reuniting with Xscape. The song, “Tonite”, was on her YouTube and SoundCloud accounts, but failed to chart. In the same year, she released another single, “Almost Over”, and joined Season 2 of Shaun Cairo’s series “Conframa”.
Tamika gave birth to her second daughter, Taniyah, in 1999, who’s followed in her mother’s footsteps by releasing music under the moniker Young Niyah. Taniyah and Oshun’s father is Tamika’s first husband Darius Byas; in 2004, she married bodyguard Darnell Winston, with whom she shares a daughter named Princess Armani.
Such is the history of an all-girl group, complete with professional and personal disagreements, perhaps regarded as ‘normal’ in such a mix!