3LW Working Overtime Before Macking

Adrienne Bailon, Naturi Naughton and Kiely Williams will launch clothing line, appear on UPN.

The acronym "3LW" stands for "3 Little Women," though it could just as easily refer to "3 Lovely Workaholics," as they have no less than three extracurricular projects on their plate before releasing their second album — not the least of which is sure to cause quite a fuss.

Adrienne Bailon, Naturi Naughton and Kiely Williams will launch a clothing line called F.U.S.S. (for "Funky Urban Sassy Style") in Spring 2003. Although the brand is still in its formative stages, it promises to be just as alluring as the young ladies involved in its creation.

In September, the girls said that they'll serve as hosts for a week of programming on the UPN Network during sweeps week, introducing shows and providing some between-show banter. They added that there's talk of them starring in their own sitcom. Think Moesha in triplicate, perhaps.

Then there's their musical tangents. In addition to providing backing vocals on Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's new single, "Get Up and Get It" (see "3LW Lend Harmony To Bone Thugs' New Single"), the ladies have lent a hand to labelmates Best Man, singing back-up on "Hold Me Down," which will appear on the latter's as-yet-untitled album expected to drop this fall, according to an Epic spokesperson.

All this before 3LW release their new album, A Girl Can Mack, scheduled for a September 24 release. Best Man reciprocate in kind, appearing on one of the album's tracks, "Ain't No Maybe," which the girls said might be the follow-up to their current single, "I Do (Wanna Get Close to You)" (see "3LW Out To Show A Girl Can Mack."). A label spokesperson, however, said that a second single has yet to be officially chosen.

The new LP demonstrates maturation from 2000's self-titled debut, not only musically by emphasizing a hip-hop slant and flaunting a widespread vocal range, but thematically.

"The last album we were talking about boys cheating on us, and this album we're talking about us cheating on boys," Williams explained, somewhat jokingly. "Which is cool because that happens in life, and it's all about real life and showing stuff that actually happens."

Contrary to Williams' statement and the connotation harbored by most when acknowledging 3LW's album title, "macking" isn't exclusively about being a playa, though the girls do some of that too. For proof, just check out the tentatively titled track "Yes, I Took Your Boyfriend," which may appear on the album. ("We over-recorded," Bailon confessed, referring to the approximately 22 songs they tracked with producers such as Beau Dozier, son of Lamont Dozier of the legendary production team Dozier/Holland/Dozier; John John, who also worked on 3LW's debut; and Steve Russell, of R&B group Troop fame as well as knob-twiddler for B2K, among others.)

"I think that a lot of people, they took the word 'mack' and kinda twisted it and made it into what they think it's gonna be," Williams said. "And that's cool, 'cause we want it to be a title that everyone can use for whatever part of their life they're in. But it's not all about macking boys — I mean, you can do that if you're like me, but naw ..." she joked. "It's really just about macking your education, macking your life, macking your career, macking anything.

"Taking control of your life, it's definitely something we had to do for the ladies," she continued. "We had to show them that women have been macking and standing up for themselves for years, and it's just gonna come back. Now we have to move it on to the younger generation, just tell them to take control of your life, handle your business."

And as a group on the verge of having another successful album to complement its debut, business seems to be doing just fine for 3LW.