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Xscape, Jodeci and The Fugees: Why Some of our Favorite Groups Can’t Stay Together

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Xscape member Tamika Scott responded to the chatter surrounding the group’s recent appearance on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”

As we previously reported, the four-person group seemed to be on completely different pages in regards to putting out new music as a collective. As it stands, Kandi Burruss will be heading to Broadway instead of making a new Xscape album, and the other members Tamika, her sister LaTocha, as well Tameka “Tiny” Cottle Harris will create new material without her.

Shortly after Xscape’s Bravo appearance, a lot of folks on social media shared their disappointment about the group not being more unified. But Tamika Scott said everyone needs to be patient.

“Me and the girls visited ‘Watch What Happens Live with @bravandy’ this past Sunday, and we got a lot of slack from the interview,” she wrote. “We, Xscape, as a group are definitely working hard to give our fans an ultimate night to remember [with] our performance [at] our “Great Xscape Tour” with all four original members. As dysfunctional as we look behind the scenes, we are working as mature young women to rebuild our friendship and working relationships. Yes, things take time and we are making sure to give it just that. Nothing happens overnight. To our real fans that believe in us, thank you. To the judgmental few of you, keep your pointless penny thoughts to yourselves.”

Xscape’s last album was 1998’s “Traces of My Lipstick” and then rumors of a bitter breakup began to surface. But perhaps the first time fans heard many of the details was on the TV One show “Unsung.”

During that episode, the group accused each other of spreading lies, wanting to go solo and other things. But despite all of that, some may wonder why groups of the past can’t stay together, even though they still have huge fan bases and stand to make a lot of money.

On the R&B side, some of the groups that have beefed and split include En Vogue, Brownstone and Jodeci. A few of the rap groups who’ve broken up because of infighting include The Fugees, The Pharcyde, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth and even A Tribe Called Quest — who seemed to be rap’s most unified collective.  

Many times, at least according to the artists who’ve spoken on the topic, breakups are often caused because one person in the group starts getting more attention than the other. Like in the case of Busta Rhymes and his former group Leaders of the New School.

The New York foursome broke up on an episode of “Yo! MTV Raps” in 1993 after member Charlie Brown chose to express his unhappiness right on camera. “Just lounging, getting to know myself and what my capabilities are and what I’m gonna do in life,” he said.

The awkward interview was right around the time that Busta was appearing on a lot of other people’s songs as a solo artist and started to become the breakout star of his group. 

“The cameras is rolling and we’re looking at each other like, what the f— this n—a talkin’ about,” said Busta years later. “We’re stepping to Brown beefing like ‘What is this?’ [And he’s like,] ‘I don’t wanna be in the group no more.'”

Last year, a few months after the R&B group Next appeared in an “Unsung” episode, member Terry “T Low” Brown blamed youth for their breakup and not realizing how fleeting success was.

“I don’t think we all appreciated each other,” he said. “We were young, came in this industry, made a lot of money, sold a lot of records. I think we took that for granted.”

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But sometimes, money and success aren’t at the root of the split. It could be attached to far deeper reasons that stem from a true friendship between group members.

That’s what happened when the soul duo Floetry broke up because singer Marsha Ambrosius said she couldn’t sit by and watch her partner Natalie Stewart’s abusive relationship.

In a 2016 interview with Ebony, Ambrosius said that she used to keep quiet about the abuse to maintain Stewart’s privacy, but she couldn’t do it anymore.

“But I couldn’t, because if the other person is in a very damaging, abusive relationship and you’re the best friend that’s watching all of this unfold before your eyes [it’s hard] … I can’t see you die,” Ambrosius explained. “I don’t want to be here for that and it’s unfair for me to see you go through this.”

Little Brother, the popular rap group from North Carolina surely broke hearts when they parted ways years ago. According to group member Rapper Big Pooh, once success and age crept in, their goals started to shift.  

“When you’re starting, everyone got a goal ‘Like, we want to make it,’” he explained. “So we’re hungry, we’re broke, we want to make it and when you start making it a little bit and start eating a little bit, goals change and that comes with getting older. And the problem is, when you don’t really have proper communication as the goals change [more problems occur].”

In regards to Xscape, it’s hard to figure out whether they’ll be able to fully get along and record new music together. For one thing, their reunion was an afterthought. 

It wasn’t a planned reunion,” Burruss told People in a new interview. “What happened was a network was going to do an unauthorized movie about us, and of course I’m not going to let somebody just take my legacy. So I called my group members and we were all able to have a conversation to start trying to get our story told the right way.”

Buruss also said that she didn’t go forward with the reunion until Tamika Scott apologized for saying that she slept with their boss at the time Jermaine Dupri and his father Michael Mauldin.

“I was like, I need a public apology,” she explained. “She’s going to have to say to the world that the stuff that she said about me was a lie. And so in doing that — we did it on the radio — and the radio disc jockey, he’s like, ‘Oh, Xscape is back.’ I was like, ‘Xscape is not back.’”

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