From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
ESG are a band from the South Bronx, New York, USA. The band originally consisted of sisters Maria Scroggins (congas, vocals), Renee Scroggins (guitar, vocals), and Valerie Scroggins (drums), and friend Leroy Glover (bass). A later incarnation of the band consisted of Deborah Scroggins, Maria Scroggins (congas, vocals), Renee Scroggins (guitar, vocals), and Valerie Scroggins (drums).
An art-funk ensemble from the South Bronx, ESG was formed by sisters Renee, Valerie, and Marie Scroggins, all of whom handle vocals and percussion, and friend Leroy Glover (bass). ESG's music is centered around the sisters' complex polyrhythms, with atmosphere supplied by bass and pop-flavored guitar. During their first incarnation, the group signed with 99 Records and issued a debut self-titled EP in 1981 that featured three live and three studio songs, the latter produced by the legendary Martin Hannett (Joy Division, etc.). 1982's ESG Says Dance to the Beat of the Moody EP continued in a similar vein, as did their first full-length album, 1983's Come Away With ESG. ESG disbanded shortly thereafter, but unexpectedly re-formed in the early '90s, heralding their comeback with a self-titled 1991 compilation of previously released material. The group's work had become popular among hip-hop artists searching for samples, with such acts as TLC, the Wu-Tang Clan, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Dee [J-Dilla] on his Donuts re-mix album and indie rockers like Unrest and Liars all making use of ESG beats; the group addressed this issue on the 1992 12" EP Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills. ESG Live! appeared in 1995, featuring both old and new material.
Valerie Scroggins' Indictment
On May 9, 2007, ESG drummer Valerie Scroggins was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges of taking more than $13,000 in workers' compensation payments. Scroggins, a bus driver for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York), told them that she suffered a shoulder injury last September. In November, Scroggins went on tour with ESG, where an MTA investigator filmed her playing "drums for an hour or more and on every song the band played, doing things very similar to actions she told her employers she could not perform," according to the Brooklyn DA's press release. Scroggins asserts that her injury is legitimate and that she could not safely drive a bus.