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XSCAPE, SWV Reveal the Hardest Part of Touring Now: ‘I Used to Be Able to Drop It Like It’s Hot!’

’90s supergroups reunite for new Bravo docuseries ”The Queens of R&B“

In the ’90s, girl groups like XSCAPE and SWV dominated the radio and charts with hits like “Just Kickin’ It” and “Weak.”

Now in their late forties and early fifties, the members of XSCAPE (Kandi Burruss Tucker, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, LaTocha Scott-Bivens and Tamika Scott) and SWV (Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” George and Leanne “LeLee” Lyons) are still kickin’ it, though their legs admittedly might be a little weaker.

TheWrap caught up with the legendary girl groups ahead of their new Bravo docuseries “SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B,” which premieres Sunday. The six-episode series will chronicle the two groups as they plan a tour, which hinges on whether they can overcome their interpersonal drama.

How is touring more difficult now than it was when you were first starting out?

Taj: I used to be able to drop it like it was hot 24 hours a day! Now I could drop it almost halfway and I struggle and gotta hold something to get back up.

Coko: I have really bad knees. My knees are weak. [The choreographer] wants us to go all the way down? I’m like, can we go halfway? [laughs]

Coko: I also forget the lyrics to my own song while performing!

Kandi: Touring is better now than it was back then. Now, you know, we’re able to sell out arenas and do big shows. Our fan base has grown since we were younger. So it’s actually better.

Tocha: We have a bigger voice at this point. We know what the lighting is gonna be. We know how we want our music to sound. We know who we want to work with us. Over the years, we’ve grown in so many different ways. That’s evolving.

SWV members Taj, Coko and LeLee (Photo by: Jordan Strauss/Bravo)

What is easier now at this point in your career? Do you have thicker skin?

LeLee: I think going on the stage and doing our job. I think that just comes naturally because we’ve been doing it for so long.

Taj: Back in the day, you get out there and have fun, but you want to party and do something else. And now we’re like, we have a job to do. Let’s do it, get outta here and go back home. Get some sleep because we’re tired now!

Tiny: I definitely have thicker skin, you know, just from doing a lot of TV. Now a lot of people have voices and you got the internet. At one time there was I was the Clapback Queen. And I had to learn, why am I even speaking to these people? Because they don’t really know me, you know what I’m saying? So I can’t give them that much consideration.

Kandi: My skin is tough! It’s tough just doing reality TV for so long. And just growing as a businesswoman, knowing more about the business, being able to speak up for myself and make things happen.

How does having a family change your career?

Taj: That takes a toll on you. The exhaustion, Lord, it comes quicker now. Because when I get home, there’s no downtime. I gotta go into mommy, wife, dog carer, housekeeper.

Lelee: Everything is a sacrifice. Every stage we get on, trust me, we’re there because we want to be there.

Coko: Now, you do your job and you have to go home because you have your family at home that’s waiting on you and dependent on you.

Is it harder now to be an artist, with social media, instant fan feedback and people putting up heavily edited/altered work?

LeLee: Back in the day, we really had to do the work. We had to show up to these radio stations. It wasn’t a phone call or the internet or Zoom. We literally had to show up and do the work and turn it out.

Taj: And if social media was around back in the ’90s, you will have not met me right now because I will probably be in jail! [laughs]

Tocha: [Now you need] thicker skin with the internet and the trolls. And then just making sure that now surrounding yourselves with positive people, a better foundation of people.

XSCAPE members LaTocha, “Tiny,” Kandi and Tamika (Photo by: Jordan Strauss/Bravo)

The Grammys just had an epic hip-hop tribute. Which groups would you want to join you in an epic R&B tribute?

LeLee: Mary J. Blige and H.E.R!

Taj: I would want all the girl groups. The ’90s had the best girl groups. En Vogue …

Coko: En Vogue! We LOVE them. En Vogue is the best.

Kandi: We definitely gotta bring out Jagged Edge, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige. En Vogue, Jade, 702!

Tiny: Boyz II Men. Yes! The original harmonizers!

SWV & XSCAPE: The Queens of R&B premieres on BRAVO Sunday, March 5 at 9:30 pm ET/PT.

Watch the trailer below: