Kandi Burruss is a well-sought-after business woman in the music industry, but she recalls that during the early days of her career as a member of Xscape, she didn’t have the best deal and financial support. Burruss recently recounted some of the financial mishaps Xscape experienced during their years as a group.
“It wasn’t a lot of money for the first deal,” Burruss told Shannon Sharpe In a resurfaced interview on Club Shay Shay. “We were just going along with whatever we were told to do as far as our managers or the people who were in place to tell us because we didn’t really know. Tiny and I were underage when we signed the deal. So our mommas had to co-sign on the dotted line with us.”
Xscape was discovered by Jermaine Dupri, who signed the group to the So So Def label. Members Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, LaTocha Scott and Tamika Scott released their debut album “Hummin Comin at Cha” in 1993. The album was certified platinum in 1994. The group released its second album, “Off the Hook,” in 1995 and their final album, “Traces of My Lipstick,” in 1998. All of the group’s albums were certified platinum and have sold more than nine million records. The group disbanded in 1998 and reunited in 2017. Since then, they have participated in a Bravo reality show, “SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B.” Three of the original members, Tamika Scott, Cottle and Burruss, currently perform as a trio. LaTocha Scott is releasing a gospel album.
A Reality Check
Burruss recalled that when Xscape was touring to promote their first deal, they expected more money than they received.
“I remember we didn’t really make that much money after our first album, but we felt like we were doing shows every weekend,” Burruss said in a resurfaced interview with Shannon Sharpe. “We were on a tour, and we were doing separate shows on weekends outside of the ones we were doing on the tour. So we’re like, ‘Where the money at?’ And it wasn’t that much money. For weeks and weeks of touring, we only probably had like $30,000 a piece.”
In addition, the group had to learn a hard lesson: know who is on your team.
The group says an accountant on their team mishandled their money and then, disappeared.
“When we were sitting down with the accountant I remember he was saying, ‘This is for miscellaneous,’ ” Burruss recounted. “And it was like 100-something thousands of dollars … Then come to find out, it was two accountants that were partners and one of them disappeared. So I guess he disappeared with our money.”
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Too often performers, especially those who tour, don’t understand or fully appreciate that every single cost/expense they incur while on tour is deducted from any profits. That means all costs associated with marketing and advertising, facilities, management fees, costumes, hair, makeup, cleaning, food, lodging, transportation for everyone working for thems and anyone else working to create the production, and all of their family members, friends, and associates hanging around. Those costs quickly add up.