Black Music Month Spotlight: Kandi Burruss
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 10, 2013.
Everyone knows that Kandi Burruss is a hitmaker. Being able to purchase her first home at 19 years old, it’s clear that this woman has been thinking business for a long time. Despite what some of her Real Houswives’ cast mates and even former group members would have us believe about her, Kandi has more than proven she’s not one to sleep on. In addition to writing bangers, she was also the first African American woman to be named songwriter of the year by the prestigious American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) in 2000. Her accolades are numerous but we’re sure that you really don’t know ’bout Kandi like you should. So in an effort to be informed, check out the hits Kandi’s made over the years. We’re sure there will be some surprises.
No Scrubs- TLC
Best to get the one you know out of the way. No doubt, Kandi is still collecting royalties for her Grammy Award winning song, “No Scrubs.” I’m sure we all remember how monumental this song was. “No Scrubs,” co written by Chilli, T-Boz, Debra Killings, Kandu and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, was the first song to receive that amount airplay. It was the first song to peak at 140 million audience impressions. Spending 15 weeks at the top, the song still holds the record for longest run on the Rhythmic Top 40.
The Writing’s On The Wall Destiny’s Child
If you love Destiny’s Child’s second album The Writing’s On The Wall, then you love Kandi Burruss. She wrote and produced several of the best songs on the hit album including, my favorite, “So Good,” “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Bug-A-Boo,” “She Can’t Love You” and “Hey Ladies. In a sit down interview, B Scott asked Kandi if she felt like, with hits like “No Scrubs” and “Bills, Bills, Bills,” that she contributed to the “girl power,” “women’s empowerment” movement in music. Kandi said she can’t take all the credit but she definitely had a hand in it.
There You Go- Pink
Remember when Pink was singing urban music? Before she made the switch to a more alternative sound, Pink collaborated with Kandi Burruss and Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs to write the song and Briggs to produce it. The song, which served as Pink’s debut, was a major hit in both the US and abroad. The song was number 2 on Billboard’s Pop charts.
It Makes Me Ill- N’Sync
Kandi not only wrote the lyrics for this song along with long time partner Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs, she also served as a vocal arranger and producer for the song. The song was featured on N’Sync’s hit album No Strings Attached.
Jane Doe- Alicia Keys
If you remember Alicia Keys’ debut album you may have heard Alicia shout out Kandi on the “Jane Doe” track. “Kan-dee collabo…” Kandi wrote the song with Keys and then sang background on the track.
Tell Me No- Whitney Houston
Kandi teamed up with Babyface, Holly Lamar and Annie Roboff to write this heroic rock-and-roll anthem for the diva’s fifth studio album, Just Whitney which was released in 2002. Babyface would produce the song.
Solo Star- Solange
Unfortunately, this is probably one of Kandi’s least successful songs. “Solo Star” was the title track for Solange’s debut album, released in 2002. The album underperformed, only selling 112, 000 copies and dropped off the charts after a while. In her defense, this album was released before Solange was really able to explore the musical style.
Good Guy- Boyz II Men
2000 was a great year for Kandi. In addition to releasing “No Scrubs” and “Bills, Bills, Bills” she also wrote “Good Guy” for Boyz II Men’s LP Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya. The album was named after the group members because this was the first album where they had the most creative control.
How You Gonna Tell Me- Mya
Kandi picked up the pen once again for Mya’s Fear of Flying album. If you’ve forgotten what the song was about, it’s about a woman who’s always ready and willing to give advice though she has no experience in these various areas. Mya wrote this song along with Kandi and Briggs. Kandi and Briggs also shared producers credits for this track.
X Girlfriend- Mariah Carey
In 1999, the year before Kandi started penning mega hits, she worked with Mariah Carey for her Rainbow album. She, along with Mariah Carey and Briggs, wrote the song X Girlfriend. Kandi and Carey also produced the track together.
Best Man- Faith Evans
Talk about controversy. Though this song was clearly written for The Best Man soundtrack, people speculated, based on the suggestive lyrics, that Faith was singing about her husband Biggie and the alleged affair she had with Tupac.
4,5,6 – Sole
If you remember this hit, it’s no surprise that Kandi wrote this song. After all, she sang the chorus and background vocals. In this one, Sole and Kandi warn their men that whenever they get horny, instead of dipping out they should just come home and let their women take care of them.
If you’re like me, you probably don’t remember N-Toon at all. But I’m bringing your attention to the fact that Kandi wrote this song because Lloyd is the lead singer of this group. Also if you decide to watch the video you’ll notice that Sammie makes an appearance in the video alongside young Lloyd.
Pop Ya Collar – Usher
Did you have the 8701 album? It was no Confessions but there were a couple of gems on the album including “Pop Ya Collar.” This uptempo, confidence boosting track was penned and vocally produced by Kandi as well. The song has an interesting history. First it appeared on his third studio album All About U. Later, it was re-released on 8701.