Pamela Long of hit ’90s R&B trio, Total, is speaking out on her journey within the group alongside Kima Raynor and Keisha Spivey Epps, as well as her relationship with Bad Boy Records founder, Diddy.
In a recent interview with Hip Hop News Uncensored, when asked about her experience with the label, the New Jersey native felt “it would be wrong to speak on [it],” similar to how it would be wrong for someone else to speak on her behalf. Yet, she did mention, “At the end of the day, we can all get caught up with things. It can happen to anybody.”
The “What About Us?” singer continued, “You just got to be real careful because when it comes to power, that’s one thing I’m like, you got to be ever so careful ’cause that thing can turn. You can come in it with such an innocent heart and next thing, it’s like ‘How did I get caught up in this?'”
The original name of Total was Total Opposite, courtesy of Spivey. “If you look at us, we were all completely opposite of one another, so the name stuck,” recalled Long. She reflected, “I was a knucklehead—15 years old—the first time I ever went to the studio in my life; a family friend took me.” The 43-year-old had seen Raynor and Spivey in passing at the studio, and initially declined on joining their group. However, she was later convinced and “the rest is history.”
It was Diddy, though, who shortened it ahead of them signing on with Bad Boy. Total surprised Puffy with an impromptu performance in an elevator at the famous Hit Factory studio.
“We were giving him everything we had […] we’re performing all in his face,” expressed Long. However, the mogul seemed “uninterested.” Long later learned that it was simply a facade. “[At] 5 a.m. the next morning, he called our manager Kathy Dukes and said, ‘Don’t take those girls anywhere, I want to sign them.’”
Most recently, Long can be seen on BET’s hit reality show, The Encore. Watch her full interview below.