Kandi Koated

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Kandi Burruss made an easy transition from being in Xscape, one of the hottest ‘90s R&B groups, to penning songs for other artists. TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Destiny’s Child's “Bills, Bills, Bills,” two singles she co-wrote, topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999. The switch to solo recording artist wasn’t as fluid; Hey Kandi…, issued in 2000, didn’t fare nearly as well, and she was dropped by her label. Ten years later, after a handful of writing gigs, some false starts for a follow-up, and a role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Burruss finally releases her second solo album. She’s in fine form, either writing or co-writing each song, and she sounds more confident vocally than ever, with her material switching easily between heartache, desire, and self-empowerment. There are several highlights, but two truly stand out: “Me and U,” a romantic number featuring Ne-Yo, cleverly interpolates OutKast’s “Elevators” and glides, while the sparse slow jam “Lucky” is her steamiest song yet. A couple barbed numbers flick off boyfriends and haters like it's nothing to her.

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