’90s R&B groups SWV and Xscape next up in Verzuz battle

They date from an era when “you had to know how to sing,” says one fan.

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SWV (Sisters With Voices) burst onto the scene in 1992 with their debut album “It’s About Time.”

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SWV and Xscape — two of the 1990s' most successful R&B groups — are slated for the next Verzuz battle at 7 p.m. Saturday via Instagram, the Triller app, and the Fite TV app.

New York-born trio SWV (Sisters With Voices) — Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons — burst onto the scene in 1992 with their debut, triple-platinum RIAA-certified album “It’s About Time,” which includes standout hits “Anything,” “I’m So Into You,” “Weak” and “Right Here/Human Nature,” among others.  Other hits include “You’re the One,” “Use Your Heart” and “Rain.”

In 2017, the trio, which has sold about 25 million records, was the recipient of the Soul Train Awards’ Lady of Soul Award. 

Atlanta-based Xscape consists of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott, Tameka “Tiny” Harris and Kandi Burruss, who is widely known for being a cast member of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and for her recurring role on Showtime’s “The Chi.”

The group made its debut in 1993 with “Hummin’ Comin’ at ’Cha,” a platinum-selling album featuring “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding” and “Tonight.” The album peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Follow-up “Off the Hook” went platinum with standout tracks “Who Can I Run To” and “Feel So Good” — RIAA-certified gold singles. 

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Xscape is one of the 1990s most successful R&B groups.

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Kendra G, the co-host of the WGCI-FM (107.5) morning show, says SWV and Xscape were the soundtrack of her high school years. 

“I’m a R&B girl at heart even though I host a show at a hip-hop station,” said Kendra, who said her favorite Verzuz battle to date was Brandy vs. Monica.  “The cool thing is — not knowing I’d be working in media for over 20 years — I’ve met members of both groups, so it’s like: ‘Wow! You guys were singing the songs I was singing when I was getting over heartbreaks, and I can say I actually know you guys.’  This was a time when you had to be talented; you had to know how to sing — the music industry has changed drastically.”

And Kendra G said the fans of the artists involved are the true winners of Verzuz battles. 

“We get to enjoy songs and classics that we’ll never forget,” said Kendra. “We’re the winners because we get to watch.”

Acts have not been announced for upcoming Verzuz battles including a Mother’s Day edition, a “rematch” of previous contestants scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, and a “Ladies Night” edition.

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