Resplendent in a lime green, crushed-velvet pantsuit, Tisha Campbell arrives for a taping of MTV’s R&B show Fade to Black — and is teasingly saluted by an energetic fan. ”Tisha Campbell! Tisha Campbell is here!” cries Kid, the high- haired half of the rap duo Kid ‘N Play, who will join Campbell in promoting their new film on the show.
As Sidney, the strong-willed Good Girl who won Kid’s heart in the low- budget hit House Party (1990), Campbell displayed a shy but sassy style. Now the glossier House Party 2 finds Sidney being politicized by her feminist roommate, played by Queen Latifah. ”My character is really trying to find herself in this one,” says Campbell, 23.
The Newark-raised actress began performing professionally when she was 7, taking after her mother, who sang with Mahalia Jackson as a child. At 15, Campbell was spotted by a talent agent in an Off-Broadway production of the musical The Me Nobody Knows, and she moved on to movies. She filmed 1986’s Little Shop of Horrors in London while still a high school senior; a role in Spike Lee’s School Daze soon followed.
Her film career on track, Campbell, who is single and lives in L.A., is recording an R&B album for Capitol. But she may have trouble getting her costars to stop their heckling.
”Tisha,” says Kid, ”what’s up with that album?” ”Still on that first cut?” chimes in Play. ”I bet it’s gone double wood.” Campbell, as lighthearted as Sidney, shrugs her shoulders and smiles.