While on Instagram Live earlier this week, singer and songwriter Kandi Burruss spoke with Eddie Levert of the O’Jays and his daughter about some of her most memorable moments while working in the studio over the years. After mentioning the highlights, she recalled an experience with Boyz II Men leaving her feeling extremely “disrespected,” and now Wanya Morris, one of the group’s members, has responded.
“I hate to do it, I hate to do it,” Kandi said after Levert pressed her a bit to come clean about who was the most difficult group or person she’s collaborated with in the studio. Spilling the tea, she continued, “Ain’t no love lost, I mean this is 100 years later so it doesn’t even matter. But yeah, I had a bad experience in the studio with Boyz II Men.”
“It was bad — it wasn’t about the singing at all,” she clarified. After nodding her head yes when Levert asked if it was because of the attitudes the group had, she continued, “We fell out after that [session in the studio]. It was an issue. I don’t think I’ve ever been disrespected like that before in a studio in my life. It was crazy, really. But at the end of the day that was a long time ago. Clearly, you know, we’ve moved past that or whatever.”
“It was kind of weird for me because we were friends prior,” she said of her standing with the group before all of them worked in the studio. “Well, some of us were cool — I didn’t know everybody but I knew a few of them. We had hung out different times prior to being in the studio working together so it was kind of unexpected to me that working together would have that result. It wasn’t a good situation.”
More recently, Morris decided to comment on what Kandi had to say and shared his own recollection of what happened between her and the group during that infamous session in the studio. According to him, the disagreement stemmed from different rules of trade regarding who would be given credit (and royalties) for different parts of the song as they went through the songwriting process.
“We’ve been taught you write [a song] and you split [songwriting credits] down the middle that way there’s no discrepancies,” Morris said of how he and the Boyz II Men crew were taught the songwriting process should go. Speaking on how things went differently with Kandi at that time, he confusingly continued, “We finish the song, and once we finish the song she started talking about splits. Now the song wasn’t actually finished but she started talking about splits.”
“Now we’re from the old school,” Morris explained, giving more context to the process he and the boys were used to. “We’re from the ‘Aye, you write a lyric, I’ll write a lyric’ — it’s really about just building this whole thing together. She started talking about splits and we sat there and we were like ‘Splits?’ First of all we didn’t even finish sing the song yet. We didn’t finish writing the song yet. Why would we talk about splits?”
Mimicking what Kandi supposedly said at that time, he recalled her saying, “‘I mean well because I came up with the hook and the hook is the major part of the song.'” Basically, Morris then claimed that he and the rest of the Boyz II Men crew had been in the music business long enough at that point to know how crediting worked as it related to songwriting — even though he admitted Kandi’s method is the industry standard way of working now.
“We made a little bit of a stink,” he said of how things went down with Kandi during that session. “And it wasn’t anything crazy like ‘Who do you think you are?’ It’s just like ‘That’s not how we work.’ From that point, it became a little bit harder to work with her.”
Towards the end of the clips down below, Morris threw Kandi some shady jabs. Despite noting that the group ended up working with her again after that blow-up in the studio — and describing her as “a cool person” overall — Morris also said, “To me personally, I could take her or leave her.”
He also mentioned that he watches her on TV and knows she often has valid things to say as one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. According to The Jasmine Brand, he shadily added during his Instagram Live, “[Kandi] can’t get on here and sing better than Jayna Brown (a singer from season 11 of America’s Got Talent). She can’t get on here and sing better than Liamani [Segura] (a famous self-taught 12-year-old singer)… but I respect her opinion and I respect what she says.”
From what it sounds like, Kandi was just trying to assert her worth as a songwriter in the studio and secure her bag. Do you think she’ll respond to what Morris had to say?