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SWV’s ‘It’s About Time’ 20 Years Later: K. Michelle, Tiny Talk Group’s Influence

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On Oct. 27, 1992, three young ladies from New York City made their R&B debut with the classic album, It’s About Time, released under RCA. The girl group called themselves SWV, or Sisters With Voices, and they instantly became the trio to fall in love with. Their honeyed vocals –clearly derived from years clocked in gospel choirs- gave new life to R&B in a time when rap was becoming increasingly popular.

Leanne “Lelee” Lyons, Cheryl “Coko” Clemons, and Tamara “Taj” Johnson were the first R&B girl group of the 1990s who were capable of some serious harmonizing while proudly connecting to the youthful nature of hip-hop. Not only were these girls talented vocally but they had style — sporting backwards caps and oversized jerseys in their videos. The LP signified a shift in R&B and it wasn’t long before others picked up on the new direction the genre was headed in. It’s About Time was so popular that it went triple platinum, producing four hit singles including “Weak,” “Downtown,” “So Into You,” and “Right Here/Human Nature.”

In honor of It’s About Time reaching its 20th anniversary this weekend (October 27), The BoomBox has spoken with K. Michelle of “Love and Hip Hop” fame, and Tameka “Tiny” Harris, one-fourth of the girl group Xscape – who also debuted that year. The two ladies tell us about the impact SWV’s debut LP has had on both R&B and their own careers.

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