My Unsung Review On One Of The Best Girls Groups Of All Time – SWV

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First off let me start by saying welcome to 2017! This will officially be my first post of 2017 and I’m excited about everything this year will bring because you know I’m going to be discussing it up here! Did any of you catch Unsung on SWV? I just finished watching it and enjoyed it a lot. The show featured celebrity guest appearances such as Bell Biv Devoe and Kelly Rowland.  I must say that some things I already knew due to their reality show that they had awhile back. Unfortunately it got canceled. I hated that it did because I really enjoyed the show even if it wasn’t 100% real. SWV are one of my favorite girl groups. They had the look, the sound, and the moves. They were a triple package. I personally don’t feel they are unsung, but then again, unsung seems to have a different meaning on TV One now days. LOL. It doesn’t matter how successful you were or how successful you were not, TV One at this point is just doing music documentaries on great artists.

What I Learned About SWV Through Unsung

Lelee Lyons basically founded SWV.  All three girls were born and raised in New York and were from the streets. Lelee was inspired to pursue a singing career after seeing singer Shanice Wilson on Star Search. Lelee asked Coko about starting a singing group and then later on they scooped up Taj.

Coko has been singing since she was like three years old. Coko started singing in the church choir when she was a very small child. Coko’s mom was a traveling gospel singer.

Taj lost both of her parents at a young age and her and her brothers were split up to live with different family members.  I did not know that she lost both parents. I did see that she revealed on Unsung that she felt like music was her only hope.

SWV were going to be called TLC because of their first names (Taj, Lelee, Coko) but the name was already being taken. The girls ended up being called Sisters With Voices but they hated that name. They felt it sounded too “churchy.” In the end, people just called them SWV which was a fly name for a group.

RCA was the label that first signed SWV. It was so hard for me to believe that SWV was turned down by other record executives as dope as they were! However, RCA gave them a chance because one of the executives was blown away by their sound and look.

Their first single was Right Here, not the remix version. I also did not know this. I thought that the Right Here remix version or either Weak were their first singles. I was very young around this time so I don’t remember everything. LOL. I wish I did though.

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Coko thought their hit single Downtown was about going shopping. LOL! At least this is what Coko said on the show. Some viewers made comments saying they thought Coko was lying. I laughed when I first saw this because as a child when I first heard Knockin Da Boots By H-Town, I thought it was about some shoes! LOL!

Lelee and Coko moved in the same condominium as Jodeci. Wow. LOL. Now this I definitely did not know. I don’t think even think a lot of viewers knew this. I bet there was all kinds of conversations going on at that place. LOL. If only social media existed at that time…wow…LOL!

The Release Some Tension album did not do well because the label SWV were signed to were making some changes and cut ties with one of the executives. New people came in and took over. Rain was the biggest hit from that album. The Release Some Tension album is the one I don’t hear as much about but I’ve listened to some songs on that album and some of them are very nice. When U Cry is one song on the album I absolutely love. So in my opinion the album is not as bad as some people make it out to be. It still beats 99% of what you hear today on the radio.

The ladies have different accounts of why the group broke up. As I was watching the show I noticed each group member had different comments as to why the group disbanded. Coko was making it seems like the other girls did not communicate with her and that the label made her do things she didn’t want to do. Coko was doing most of the work for the group as far as vocals and also getting paid more. Her own mother felt she should have been getting compensated for her double work. Lelee had heard Coko was going solo and Taj basically said Coko wanted to be left alone and she was going solo and that was that. This segment of the show reminded me of the Xscape Unsung, which was very good too. Everybody is saying different things so you don’t really know who to believe. It was obvious to me that they had issues when I watched their reality show though. I remember Taj saying that Coko was “a nasty b$%$%.” They were all in tears too. I think it was more so people were in Coko’s ear just like they do with ALL these groups. They signed bad contracts and had executives take advantage of them. The music industry is very dirty.

After SWV, Lelee struggled the most. She had about $100 to her name and ended up taking an accounting job. She was so depressed she wanted to take her own life. Taj took a waitress type job. Coko was trying to do her solo thing but it didn’t last too long. I think Coko thought her solo career was going to really take off but unfortunately it did not. I was very impressed to hear Lelee and Taj admit that they took regular jobs after being apart of such a successful group. Both Taj and Coko got married and had kids. Lelee has two grown kids and a grandbaby.

Should There Be A Movie About SWV?

Now this is a great question! Considering that Michel’le and Toni Braxton’s movies were so successful, I would love to get a movie about SWV. Between their reality show and Unsung, they have a lot to talk about. I wonder if SWV would go through with it though. I know TLC’s movie was really good. I watched it like three times. Doing movies on 90s artists seems to be in right now so why not? LOL. The only person I feel would be against it is Coko. LOL.

If you have not seen SWV’s Unsung, check it out because it’s good! I hope to be seeing SWV a lot more in the future because this R&B female group rocks and they are so real! What did you think about SWV’s Unsung?

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6 thoughts on “My Unsung Review On One Of The Best Girls Groups Of All Time – SWV

  1. The Unsung story of SWV was great! Once again TVone has did an amazing job! Speaking of TVone do you remember Taj’s show called I Married A Baller? I knew some of their story before watching Unsung like Lelee creating the group, Pharrell’s apearance on Right Here (Human Nature Remix), Pharell’s production on Use Your Heart, “Weak” originally written for Charlie Wilson, Coko & Ishmael from Digable Planets, etc. It’s interesting that they was going to originally name their group TLC, Coko singing at an early age! Hearing Lelee’s testimony before & after SWV: Reunited TV show on being molested as a child, homelessness, almost committing suicide was sad including Taj losing both of her parents. Thank God these ladies overcame these situations! SWV’s Release Some Tension was a great, underrated album. A SWV biopic sounds great, VH-1 or Lifetime should make the film! It would’ve been cool if TVone had asked Taj about her TV appearance on Survivor: Tocantins (2009), she was 4th place on the show too 😏. Great Blog btw!

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    1. Thanks for your input Soul! I appreciate that! Yes I remember Taj’s reality show because TV ONE aired it years ago back in like 2008-2009 and I watched it then for the first time. I thought it was good! Too bad it didn’t last. I agree, we learned a lot about SWV as a whole already watching their reality show but I did find it funny that not a LOT of celebrities spoke on them. It was basically just Bell Biv Devoe and Kelly Rowland. LOL, no shade but that’s it? These girls have been around over 20 years and they could not find anymore people to speak?! Overall I enjoyed it though but yeah we could have gotten more, no lies told!

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  2. I hope you received my comment that I posted on your blog just now cuz I don’t see it anywhere unless if it takes time for our comments to appear on your blog or something.

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  3. Excellent blog as always Unique!👍 I missed the Unsung episode of SWV cuz one, my direct TV cable box stopped working and two, I had no idea that they did an Unsung for SWV up until I saw your post on Google Plus today. I was able to watch it on my computer though on TV One’s website. I thought I was the only one that felt like SWV is not Unsung and I was surprised that they did an Unsung about them. Tbh, I haven’t really learned anything new from watching Unsung cuz I knew about most of these things about SWV already from watching their reality show and multiple interviews.

    The only thing I didn’t know about SWV was that Coko started singing at nine months old how they sampled their song, I’m So into You from Peabo Bryson’s 1978 song of the same name. I also feel Unsung left out a lot of things about SWV. They neglected to mention that their biggest hit, Weak was originally written for Charlie Wilson and how Taj slept with their A&R, Kenny Ortiz back in the day. Overall, I thought that the episode was pretty good.

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    1. Hey Mark I agree with everything you said! I do feel like they revealed more on their reality show than they did on Unsung! I know they felt like the reality show wasn’t a good idea afterwards but I really enjoyed it! I hate it got cancelled. Thanks for your comment and have a great weekend!

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