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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Atlanta

All The Songs Kandi Burruss Wrote, From XSCAPE to Ariana Grande and More

The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member probably had a hand in your favorite song.

By Sophie Vilensky

The Real Housewives of Atlanta's resident Grammy-winner, Kandi Burruss, has spent her career concocting jams we all listen to.

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For instance, did you know she co-wrote both TLC's "No Scrubs" and Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills"? Or that they both just happened to compete against each other for "Best R&B Song" at the 2000 Grammys?

But all of songs that the singer, songwriter, and producer has worked on is not a short list, and contains both famous tracks written for other artists to hits from her own solo career.

Just call them ear Kandi.

Kandi's songs for Xscape

Kandi's professional music career began when her band Xscape was signed to So So Def Recordings the early '90s. Today, the girl group — currently comprised Kandi, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, Tamika Scott, and LaTocha Bivens — has sold more than 9 million records worldwide and notched six Top 10 songs on the Billboard 100. (They've also landed a couple Bravo shows, including SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B and Xscape: Still Kickin' It).

The band's three albums (Hummin' Comin' at 'Cha, Off the Hook, and Traces of My Lipstick) were all certified platinum.

While the group has an impressive discography to dig through, here are some stand-out tracks:

"Just Kickin' It"

How's that for a debut single? “Just Kickin’ It" peaked at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 list and reached number one on the R&B charts.

"Feels So Good"

Yes, that's Kandi singing lead vocals alongside LaTocha on the lead single from 1995's Off the Hook. She also produced the track with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Jermaine Dupri.

"Can't Hang"

Kandi on the mic again! "Can't Hang" was released as a single in February 1996.

Kandi's songs for TLC

After Xscape broke up, Kandi began writing for other groups, including the iconic '90s girl group TLC. (Her future fellow RHOA cast member Drew Sidora would go on to tell TLC's story in the 2013 made-for-TV movie CrazySexyCool as member Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins.) Kandi-penned TLC tracks include "Come Get Some," "Girl Talk," and the group's iconic hit about guys who sit in the passenger side of their best friends' rides. You know the one.

"No Scrubs"

In a July 2021 interview with Glamour, Kandi opened up about her process writing the famous "No Scrubs."

"At that particular time, I used to put titles in my notepads that I felt would be great song titles or concepts. So I had 'scrubs' written in my notepad as a title I would want to use one day. I remember I was riding down the highway with a friend of mine. She was dating the brother of the guy that I was dating, and we were both talking trash about the guys," she recounted. "I started freestyling over a track that [Kevin 'She'kspere' Briggs] had given me. So it was really me joking with my friend, freestyling, and talking trash about this guy. I wrote the verse, the B section, and the hook right there. Because we were in the car, it was on an old envelope."

Kandi's songs for Destiny's Child

Kandi's work with Beyoncé and company is still rocking playlists and, according to Kandi, the superstar once gifted her a diary. Here's a peek at Kandi's work on Destiny's Child's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, when the Texas girl group was comprised of the Queen Bee, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett. (After the album, Roberson and Luckett quit and Michelle Williams joined the group.)

"Bills, Bills, Bills"

In the aforementioned Glamour interview, Kandi explained the inspiration behind "Bills, Bills, Bills," which was released as the lead single on Destiny's Child's second album and became their first number one single on Billboard's Hot 100.

"I use a lot of my past relationships as inspiration. The relationship I had been in prior to [writing the song], I took inspiration from it … though I didn't tell them that," she said. "Now, this is the really funny part: One of the girls that was in the group was dating my ex at the time. So I didn’t tell them that some of the lyrics in there were inspired by him. The part that was a clear inspiration — using my phone and pretending like he didn’t use it, driving my car and not putting any gas in it — that was real stuff that had happened to me!"

"But I won’t tell you who from the group was dating my ex," she added. (It's been widely reported that Roberson was the one who'd been dating Burruss' ex — but it's clearly all water under the bridge, as Roberson's also appeared on RHOA.)

"Bug a Boo"

In 2015, Kandi revealed that the 1999 track she co-wrote — which hit number 33 on the Hot 100 — almost wasn't released.

"When we first played the track 'Bug A Boo' to Destiny's Child, I remember, they were kinda looking like, 'Eh, I don't know about this," she told Yahoo Music at the time. "If you can remember what the track is like, it was like really fast. At the time people weren't really singing over those types of tracks. You'd look at it as something they'd rap over."

Luckily, she convinced them to make it happen.

The RHOA cast member also penned the hits "Hey Ladies," "She Can't Love You," and "So Good" on Writing.

Kandi's song with Porsha Williams (and others) from A Mother's Love

"Legs, Hips, and Body"

Kandi's song, "Legs, Hips, and Body" from her 2014 stage play A Mother's Love, went viral in 2022 after Kandi and her team used the song in a TikTok video filmed backstage at an XSCAPE concert in May.

"So it was so random. I just posted it up on a Thursday, I guess," she told HuffPost. "Then by Saturday morning, my friends were calling me like, ‘Girl, you going viral.’ I was like, ‘Oh, please don’t let it be something bad.’”

She later showcased the song, which was performed in the show and on the original cast recording by Kandi with RHOA-alum Porsha Williams, ex-Danity Kane member D. Woods, and Funky Dineva, on her YouTube channel in a behind-the-scenes video of dancers learning choreography to it.

Kandi's song for RHOA's Kim Zolciak

"Tardy for the Party"

Tardy for the Party - The Music Video

Fans of RHOA know that Kandi is partially to thank for making "Tardy for the Party" a hit.

According to a 2009 interview with RHOA alum Kim Zolciak, "Kandi changed the melody and turned the song into a dance anthem."

The mom of three also worked on "The Ring Didn't Mean a Thing" with her then-costar.

Kandi's writing credit on an *NSYNC song

"It Makes Me Ill"

Kandi and frequent collaborator Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs co-wrote and produced "It Makes Me Ill" for *NSYNC's 2000 No Strings Attached album.  

Kandi's credit on an Ariana Grande hit

"break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored"

In 2019, Ariana Grande's "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" hit the charts, thanks in part to its interpolation of "It Makes Me Ill." Thus, Kandi received a writing credit on the track.

"I thought it was so dope. I would’ve never thought anybody would have sampled 'It Makes Me Ill' after all these years," Kandi told Billboard after the song was released.

Kandi's credit on an Ed Sheeran song

"Shape of You"

Because Ed Sheeran sampled "No Scrubs" in his hit 2017 song, Kandi received credit as a writer.

"I didn't technically have to rewrite anything. His sampling gave me a new copyright, and I always say 'No Scrubs' is the gift that keeps on giving. To be a part of the song 'Shape of You,' which went on to be one of the biggest songs that be a part of something like that is amazing to me. It refreshed everything I’ve done. In the ’90s and early 2000s, I was doing a lot of writing for so many people—to still have songs come out with my name on it in the 2010s, it's crazy!" she told Glamour in the above interview.

Kandi's credit on an Avicii track


Another song to feature an interpolation of the TLC hit "No Scrubs" was this track by Swedish DJ Avicii, earning Kandi a writing credit.

Kandi's songs for P!nk

"There You Go"

P!nk, Kandi, and She'kspere were the masterminds behind the lead single from the singer's 2000 debut album Can't Take Me Home. The three co-wrote the lyrics, while Kandi produced the vocals. It peaked at number seven on the Hot 100.

Kandi's also credited on "Hell wit Ya" on that album.

Kandi's song for Usher

"Pop Ya Collar"

Kandi and She'kspere also co-wrote a song with Usher for his album All About U, which was ultimately shelved. The song was released on the international edition of his later album 8701.

Kandi's song for Mariah Carey

"X Girlfriend"

Kandi and She'kspere also co-wrote this song with Mariah Carey for the latter's 1999 album, Rainbow.

Kandi's song with Alicia Keys

"Jane Doe"

Kandi wrote, produced, and appeared on the track "Jane Doe" from Keys' first studio album, Songs in A Minor.

Kandi's song for Whitney Houston

"Tell Me No"

Kandi also collaborated with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and two other writers to create a song for Whitney Houston's fifth studio album, Just Whitney.

Kandi's song for Mya

"How You Gonna Tell Me"

Kandi worked with R&B artist Mya (of 2002-edition "Lady Marmalade" fame) on her second studio album, Fear of Flying. She and She'kspere collaborated on the song "How You Gonna Tell Me," in which Mya tries to stop her friend from giving unwarranted advice.

"I added my thoughts lyrically and conceptually," Mya, who co-wrote the song, wrote in an old website bio. "I wanted the song to be about people preaching to me what they don't practice. About how these specific people speak to me on the way I should live and my reaction to them and their twisted lives."

Kandi's songs with Boyz II Men

Kandi + Boyz II Men = a early aughts dream come true. She helped write helped write two songs for iconic for the album Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya alongside She'kspere and then-band members (and the album's namesakes!) Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary.

"Beautiful Women"

The song, which opens with a Spanish-inspired guitar and a little heavy breathing, was also produced by She'kspere.

"Good Guy"

The second track to which Kandi contributed, "Good Guy," embodies the complaints of the now-hackneyed "good guy": "It doesn't pay to be the good guy / You callin' me late nights / Tellin' me how he won't act right / Stayin' with him but he makes you cry."

Kandi's song for Blu Cantrell

"Make Me Wanna Scream"

Kandi co-wrote the single "Make Me Wanna Scream" off Blu Cantrell's second (and final) studio album, Bittersweet. The album was nominated for a Best R&B Album Grammy.

Other songs by Kandi

Want to hear more of Kandi's work? Check out Skillz' "Crew Deep" (featuring guest vocals by Kandi and Missy Elliott), "Can't Trust Thots" by Wash Ft. French Montana, "I'm Right Here" by Samantha Mumba, "Miss P." by Cherish, "U and Dat" by E-40 (featuring guest vocals by Kandi and a rap track by T-Pain), "Unnecessary Trouble" by Demitria McKinney, and "Dance with Me" by Le Youth and Dominique Young Unique.

Kandi's songs for herself

Kandi, who has also performed as Kandi Girl, released two solo albums, 2000's Hey Kandi... and 2010's Kandi Koated, with a third, 2006's Can't Rain Forever, shelved. All her work is worth listening to — whether or not you've caught up on RHOA. Here's a peek at some of her tracks.

"Don't Think I'm Not"

"Don't Think I'm Not," the lead single from Hey Kandi, reached number 24 on the Hot 100 chart.

"Cheatin On Me"

The second single from Hey Kandi, which recounts Kandi's discovery she's being cheated on, spawned plenty of remixes — including one with 50 Cent.

"I Wish I Never"

In 2009, Kandi joined forces with rapper Rasheeda to form Peachcandy. The duo put out an EP with this track.

"Fly Above"

Almost a decade after her first solo singles were released, Kandi came out with a new EP and album, Fly Above EP and Kandi Coated.

In a review for Allmusic, Andy Kellman awarded the album four out of five stars. "She’s in fine form, either writing or co-writing each song, and she sounds more confident vocally than ever, with her material switching easily between heartache, desire, and self-empowerment," he wrote.

With a 2023 Tony Award nomination and Emmy Award nominationd, what's next for this multi-hyphenate Housewife? In the words of her husband Todd Tucker, "EGOT."

RELATED: Kandi Just Joked the RHOA Ladies Don't "Want to Admit" This to Her

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