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Kandi Burruss' Past XSCAPE Feud with LaTocha Scott-Bivens, Explained
The tension between Kandi Burruss and LaTocha Scott-Bivens began decades ago — but the exact reason for the feud depends on who you ask.
XSCAPE members Kandi Burruss and LaTocha Scott-Bivens shed light on what started a years-long feud between the two women in a new episode of the Bravo limited series SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B — but it's complicated.
“I’m not happy in this group and I’m emotionally drained,” LaTocha told her husband, Rocky Biven, after an unsuccessful meeting between LaTocha, her sister Tamika Scott — who she sparred with in the show’s premiere episode — Kandi, and Tameka “Tiny” Harris.
“When it comes to you and Kandi, I mean honestly speaking, you guys have just never been on the same page,” Rocky responded.
The four women formed the successful R&B group as teenagers in the early 1990s after they were discovered at a birthday party by music producer Jermaine Dupri. XSCAPE released three multi-platinum albums and earned fame with Billboard hits like “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding,” and “Who Can I Run To.”
But after releasing their third album Traces of My Lipstick in 1998, the group split up and the women went their separate ways for years before reuniting in 2017 to perform at the BET Awards.
LaTocha's Side of the Feud
According to LaTocha, the tension with Kandi began because Kandi “had issues with [her] singing” lead on more of the group’s tracks.
“She was a young woman, you know, trying to make her way and there were times when I would sing a song and she would just have a fit: ‘Oh, why is she singing all the lead? Are you trying to set her up for a solo project?’ and Jermaine would be like ‘No,’ and so I think that developed a resentment. I really do,” LaTocha said.
It was the same assertion LaTocha made in 2017 during a heated fight between the pair on Bravo’s XSCAPE: Still Kickin’ It, which followed the women as they prepared for the BET Awards performance and a reunion tour.
“You would get angry, Kandi, when I would have to sing a lot of songs and you made that very clear,” she said at the time.
Kandi's Side of the Feud
But, according to Kandi, there may have been other dynamics at play. In XSCAPE: Still Kickin’ It, Kandi said she noticed a division among the group after LaTocha’s then-boyfriend, Rocky, took over as the group’s manager.
“I’m not saying that he didn’t try his best but he had never managed before and it’s clear to say he had favoritism in the girl,” she said.
According to Kandi, LaTocha “separated herself and decided to pretty much do her own thing” after starting the romance.
“Rocky and I used to be really, really cool then when he 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,” Kandi told a friend as they shared a meal in 2017 in the series.
LaTocha has denied the claim, saying the problem was never with the group’s management.
“The problem was with the four girls of XSCAPE because there was always turbulence even before he walked into the picture,” she said in 2017.
Kandi also believed that at the time the group was preparing to make their third album, LaTocha was already focused on launching her own solo career.
“If you want to know what my problem was, it was because you set up our third album to get your solo deal,” Kandi told LaTocha on XSCAPE: Still Kickin’ It. “We went into it knowing you were going solo. There’s no problem with that, but don’t use us to set it up.”
“I didn’t use you, my boys used me to set me up, “ LaTocha replied, later telling the cameras that she had been “caught between a rock and a hard place” trying to please both the producers and group members.
After the group disbanded, LaTocha attempted to start her own solo career, but after recording several songs the album never materialized.
“I know back in the day, in 1998, I said I wanted to do a solo project. I think everybody was happy for me, except for Kandi. She was just like, 'You’re not coming back,’” LaTocha recalled in SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B. “For some reason, my project got shelved and then within that same timeframe, Kandi got signed and her album came out. It was a little odd, the timing of it all.”
Kandi wasn’t aware that LaTocha felt she may have been responsible for derailing her career until after the episode on SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B aired and later took to Twitter to publicly refute the implication to publicly refute the implication.
"God’s favor ain’t fair!” she wrote. “How did my album have anything to do with her album not coming out?…. I was on Columbia records & she was on SosoDef. Please ask Jermaine why your album didn’t come out & stop blaming me.”
XSCAPE Feud in the Later Years
After releasing the solo album Hey Kandi in 2000, Kandi went on to co-write the successful TLC song “No Scrubs” with Tiny, launched a series of business ventures including Kandi Koated Entertainment, and earned a role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Kandi’s husband, Todd Tucker, suggested in SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B that her success after leaving the group may have contributed to the tension that exists with LaTocha today.
“She can’t get past who you’ve become and who she didn’t become,” he said.
For years, Kandi has insisted, however, that the two women were out of sorts with each other from the group’s beginning.
“To me, I feel like you and I have never been on the same page, ever,” she told LaTocha in 2017. “I mean, when we first met I remember saying to your sister one time, 'I don’t think your sister likes me.'”
LaTocha said she wasn’t aware that Kandi felt that way.
Today, the tension between the women is still high. When Kandi sat down with the DonJuan Clark, the general manager of her Kandi Koated Entertainment, to catch up on a recent episode, she said she believed LaTocha might be using the group to get her own fame.
“That’s her problem. Whenever she thinks she’s about to blow up without us or she may not need us then she starts treating us more like s--t.” she said. “And she likes to keep us in limbo. She doesn’t totally like to just let us go because we’re like a safety net.”
Kandi was referencing LaTocha’s solo gospel record deal, which she officially signed while filming SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B.
“Rocky has been trying to get her a solo forever. This is nothing new. Now that the spotlight is back on her and the group, they are trying to use the spotlight to help her solo endeavor,” Kandi claimed.
For LaTocha, however, the solo deal has been “a long time coming” and will allow her to return to her gospel roots.
“You know how you want something and then you work and work and work and all of a sudden it comes into fruition. It’s just a dream come true. It’s tangible,” she told Rocky as she signed the deal.
LaTocha’s vision toward the future has only added to the tension, particularly as she missed rehearsals for XSCAPE’s upcoming show with SWV.
“She’s definitely treating us like f---in’ Diana Ross and we The Supremes. No, no, no, better yet, she’s Gladys Knight and we the Pips,”a frustrated Kandi said in one rehearsal. “What the f--- is happening right now?”
As the women prepared for the upcoming concert, they discovered another bombshell. While talking with a promoter, they obtained texts that allegedly showed LaTocha’s husband, Rocky, was getting his own kickbacks for their performances.
“Basically Rocky was working with the promoter for Tocha to get us on board to agree to do that promoter’s shows and in turn he was giving Rocky a kickback or an extra fee on top of whatever he was paying us,” Kandi explained.
LaTocha seemed thrown by the accusation — which Rocky has firmly denied — saying they made “no sense whatsoever.”
“At the end of the day you believe that these are the screenshots from my husband to the guy?” she asked her fellow group members.
During the meeting, LaTocha called her husband and placed him on speaker phone as he denied the allegations.
“Hey, listen, ya’ll can do all this back and for about what [the promoter] said he sent me, but I ain’t take s--t from him and I ain’t got that to hide,” he said.
Rocky later doubled down on the claims when he was confronted by producers.
“What I’m sayin’ is I don’t have to get kickbacks. I don’t get kickbacks. If somebody payin’ me, they owe me, that means I did the deal,” he said. “So, this ain’t stealin’.”
LaTocha’s refusal to accept the accusations against her husband didn’t sit well with Kandi.
“I mean, I get it it’s your man, I understand we all supposed to support our man, we love our man and whatever, but sometimes we have to acknowledge when things don’t be right,” Kandi told her before LaTocha stood up and left the meeting.
As the one-night concert event with SWV neared, the tension between LaTocha and the other XSCAPE members remained at an all-time high. Although the group pulled together to perform an amazing show, it doesn’t look like they’ll be performing again together anytime soon.
The Wikipedia page for XSCAPE no longer lists LaTocha as a member and Kandi, Tiny and Tamika are touring the country without her as LaTocha focuses on her own solo gospel album
The album, Stay With Me, was released March 3, according to an Instagram post from LaTosha’s account.