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Kandi Burruss' Best Throwback: When XSCAPE Met Ryan Gosling & Justin Timberlake
The RHOA cast member's group was invited to The All New Mickey Mouse Club and answered a few fun questions.
Back in the day, Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, LaTocha Scott-Bivens, and Tamika Scott made a stop on the '90s version of The Mickey Mouse Club — you know, The All New version that launched the careers of superstars like Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez.
Well, it also used to welcome A-listers as weekly guests during its run, one of those A-list guests just so happened to be XSCAPE.
The moment between the girl group, Ryan, and Justin is pretty adorable. It features the young lads trying to guess why the foursome decided to call themselves Xscape. The boys' theories are pretty outlandish, to say the least, from the teens' alleged escape from a burning oil refinery to their supposed daring escape from terrorists.
However, Kandi eventually shed some light on why they really landed on that name. "We wanted to do our own thing. We don't want to do everything that everybody else was doing already," The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Kandi explained during the episode.
What happened to XSCAPE?
XSCAPE released their first album, Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha in 1992. They released two more albums (Off The Hook and Traces of My Lipstick) before they broke up acrimoniously after their 1998 album.
Most of the band got back together in early 2000, but Kandi declined and signed over her rights to the name XSCAPE to allow the others to continue recording. Tiny, LaTocha, and Tamika ultimately contributed to two movie soundtracks in 2000 and 2001 and then went back on hiatus.
The group, sans Kandi, quietly got back together released one single, "What's Up," in 2005 before disbanding again.
What happened to Kandi Burruss after XSCAPE's initial break-up?
Kandi launched a solo career as well as a very successful songwriting career, penning the Grammy-winning TLC track "No Scrubs" among others. Her songwriting work was pivotal to successful albums by Destiny's Child, P!nk, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Mya, Blu Cantrell, Boyz II Men, and two other Real Housewives.
She joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta in Season 2, which began airing in 2009. She's since launched two successful restaurants with her husband, Todd Tucker, worked on several theatrical productions — earning a Tony nomination — and launched several product lines.
Kandi Burruss' Later History with Justin Timberlake
Kandi spoke about working with Justin, not only on MMC but also later during his *NSYNC days. Kandi and frequent collaborator Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs co-wrote and produced "It Makes Me Ill" for *NSYNC's 2000 No Strings Attached album.
It was really fun working with them," she recalled in the video at the top of this page. "I really enjoyed it, and I'm glad I had the opportunity. It's so funny to see where we started and where we are now."
Kandi Burruss and XSCAPE Today
In 2017, members of the group found out about a forthcoming unauthorized biopic of the group, and didn't like the idea of others profiting off their work. To combat it, Tiny has said, they had to work as a team.
The group reunited in June 2017 for a performance at the BET Awards and the Essence Fest and, at the latter, announced that they’d filmed their reunion and its preparation for the Bravo series XSCAPE: Still Kickin’ It. The limited series was released in November 2017, after which the group went on a 30-city tour together.
After the tour, though Kandi opted out of recording new music with the group, and Tiny, LaTocha, and Tamika opted to move forward under the moniker XSCAP3. They released an EP titled Here for It in 2018.
That appearance led to the deal with Bravo to film SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B, which chronicled their journey to pull together a joint live performance with SWV and aired in 2023. After filming, XSCAPE won the Lady of Soul Award at the Soul Train Music Awards 2022 in November.
However, the anticipated joint tour fell apart — as did XSCAPE. Though she denies being out of the band, LaTocha was listed on the band's site as a "past member" after the show, and was not a part of the XSCAPE tour after the Soul Train awards.
This story was originally published on May 31, 2017. It was updated August 10, 2023.