Kandi Burruss says she clashed with Boyz II Men over song credit, Wanya Morris responds
Burruss said she's "never felt more disrespected"
Kandi Burruss says an experience in the studio with Boyz II Men left her less than happy about her credit on a song. She went on to say that she’s “never felt more disrespected.”
Burruss may be better known now as a real housewife, but she’s also a member of Xscape for which she wrote several songs. She has also written big hits for other artists, including “No Scrubs” for TLC and “Bills, Bills, Bills” for Destiny’s Child.
During her years as a songwriter, Burruss also worked with the platinum-selling Boyz II Men, but had little good to say about it.
Per Madame Noire, while on an Instagram Live this week, the singer-songwriter spoke to legendary musician Eddie Levert and his daughter about the most memorable times she’s had as a singer/songwriter. In response to their question about who was the most difficult person she’s worked with, Burruss referenced the Grammy-winning group.
“I hate to do it, I hate to do it,” Burruss said, but then 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.”
“We fell out after that. 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.”
While Burruss didn’t specify the issue, other than to say “it wasn’t about the singing,” Wanya Morris, a member of Boyz II Men, responded to her comments by explaining the situation in detail. He said she and the group clashed over songwriting credits for a track they all worked on.
“We’ve been taught you write [a song] and you split [songwriting credits] down the middle that way there’s no discrepancies,” Morris said on his own Instagram Live. “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.”
In music industry parlance, ‘splits’ are the percentage of songwriting credits that each writer is given on an individual song. If the song is a top seller, how much of a split they get can make a big difference in terms of royalties.
The song that was most likely the point of contention is “Beautiful Women” — the only one in Burruss’ discography that she is listed as a co-writer with Boyz II Men. It was on their 2000 album Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, which only went gold in the United States.
There were just two singles released from that album and it’s largely considered a disappointment coming after the group’s record-setting run with “End of the Road” and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey.
“Now we’re from the old school,” Morris continued. “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?”
Morris said that Burruss, who wrote the song’s hook along with producer Kevin ‘She’kspere’ Briggs, became harder to work with after the group “made a little bit of a stink,” as he described it. He did acknowledge that most musicians nowadays work the way Burruss suggested at the time.
Despite the contention, Burruss and Boys II Men did work together again. But Morris says for him personally, he could “take her or leave her.” He did admit he watches her on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, saying that she often shares some valid opinions on the popular reality show.
But, he added, ” [Kandi] can’t get on here and sing better than Jayna Brown (a contestant on season 11 of America’s Got Talent). She can’t get on here and sing better than Liamani [Segura] (a self-taught 12-year-old singer)… but I respect her opinion and I respect what she says.”
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