Music, News, Poll, Rumor, Tribute

VOTE: Which Group Would Make The Best Verzuz Battle With TLC?

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Verzuz has quickly become one of the most powerful quarantine-friendly entertainment platforms going. Ever since March 2020, music artists have been having a blast taking part in Verzuz challenges, set up by Timbaland and Swizz Beats. In this online series on Instagram, two artists engage in a face off with a selection of their biggest hits for a friendly competition with each other.

In the past, the series has featured some memorable battles, kicking off with The-Dream vs Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo vs Johnta Austin, Ryan Tedder vs Benny Blanco, Scott Storch vs Mannie Fresh, T-Pain vs Lil’ Jon, Erykah Badu vs Jill Scott, Nelly vs Ludacris, Bounty Killer vs Beenie Man, 112 vs Jagged Edge, and most notably the Babyface vs Teddy Riley battle, which was infamously overwhelmed with technical difficulties and over performing on Teddy’s side. Once they rescheduled and ironed out the kinks, the show later ran smoothly, much to the delight of the fans.

The Verzuz Instagram highlighted a comment Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins made this week on a post regarding a TLC Verzuz battle with the girl groups SWV and Xscape, which she co-signed and it went viral on the blogs. Since then, thousands of fans have shown their approval to the suggestion. “Text us at (718) 866 -1775 and tell us“, Verzuz stated on the post.

View this post on Instagram

👀 Text us at (718) 866-1775 and tell us #VERZUZ

A post shared by Verzuz (@verzuztv) on

The suggestion was actually presented to her last month on her 50th birthday (April 26), by her brother Carnoy “Koko” Watkins. He suggested that TLC should do a Verzuz battle with Destiny’s Child, although Tionne initially protested and said there are other groups besides them.

That would be fun“, T-Boz said. “It would have to be in a ‘nice and love’ way, a friendly competition.” The Spice Girls could also be considered, as a battle between the two biggest-selling girl groups in the world would be an iconic moment.

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TLC in 1999 (Photo: Ron Davis)

Girl groups aside, TLC could even battle a male group. With the strength of their solid catalog, they have the capabilities the battle against boy and girl groups. Candidates like Boyz II Men and BBD, who were also considered to be their competition at the peak of their careers.

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Lelee of SWV comments on the Verzuz

Not only is being part of a Verzuz battle great for the culture, it will also give the featured artists a major boost in their music sales and streams. Jill Scott and Erykah Badu saw their streams triple after their battle on May 9, whilst Babyface saw his Instagram followers rocket from a modest 420k to 1.1 million, after his rescheduled battle with Teddy Riley on April 20. This is now known as the Verzuz effect.

A lot of people call it battles — we’re battling enough in the world today“, Swizz Beats said about the Verzuz series. “Let’s flip it around by celebrating each other with these amazing songs that changed the world“.

Who do you think TLC should do a Verzuz battle with? Vote below!

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Anniversary, Announcement, News, Tribute

Left Eye’s Solo Album ‘Supernova’ Confirmed To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

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Ever since the debut solo album by the ‘L’ of TLC, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, was denied a US release by Arista Records back in 2001, fans all over the world have been craving it’s presence in the digital era — the album, ‘Supernova‘ was only released in Japan and Europe, and still til this day has not been made available on any streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play.

Over the years fans of the album began finding creative ways to get the album the justice that it deserved. Last year, Jordan Cooper, who runs the popular Left Eye fanpage/site The Eye is Right, began a petition to help the album achieve justice with a full release to digital platforms. The petition gained a lot of interest and it later became clear that the album was not owned by Sony as previously thought.

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Things began to look brigher for ‘Supernova’ this week. Lisa’s sister, Reigndrop Lopes, joined a live chat on Instagram with Shekinah Anderson to celebrate the life of Left Eye on her Birthday — she would have turned 49 on this day (May 27). During the chat Reigndrop told fans that she had acquired the rights to the full ‘Supernova’ album!

Reigndrop is very aware that fans really want this spiritual masterpiece available on all streaming platforms, so she promised to make that happen. She said that she has the rights to do whatever she wants with it. However, she said that she didn’t just want to put it out there, she wanted to do it right and release it at the right time.

In another live chat on Instagram, this time inviting fans to join her for a joint live chat, she further confirmed details about her plans for ‘Supernova’ when she spoke to Jordan, who asked her some specific questions about the release. She will indeed release the album in it’s original form to digital platforms, which will please the fans of the original album.

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In the absence of the album, fans have been making the most of the only other Left Eye album online, 2009’s ‘Eye Legacy‘, released by Mass Appeal, which remixed the majority of the tracks on ‘Supernova’. Fanpage Ultimate TLC as well as The Eye is Right used the album as a basis for a streaming party on Left Eye’s birthday this year.

Reigndrop also revealed that she is still working on a script for the upcoming Left Eye biopicwhich she will be executive producing. She will also be in charge of casting the actors who will need to fit all the criteria to fit the role of playing Lisa in the movie. Reigndrop says the biopic will go into more depth of Lisa’s childhood and upbringing to help fans know how she became the woman we all grew to know and love.

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Reigndrop is also still working on a book of memoirs about her sister. She wants the book to include the insights of people that have known Lisa. The book with Hype Williams, based on Lisa’s book ‘Open‘ — the original idea to feature an exclusive photo shoot she did with him is also still in the works, which Reigndrop will be a part of.

Are you excited about ‘Supernova’ being made available to streaming platforms?

Anniversary, History, Interview, Review

25 Years Of “Freedom”: The Top R&B Divas Of The 90’s Unite To Create Epic Black Girl Magic

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In fall of 1995, more than 60 female musicians traveled to Capitol Records in Los Angeles, where they recorded both the vocals and the visuals to the ground-breaking single, “Freedom“, on the same day. The single was the title track to the Mario Van Peebles directed movie, ‘Panther‘, based on the Black Panther Party.

Women’s publication Zora gave us a well documented account of events of how this historic masterpiece came together. The song was originally recorded by the singer Joi for her debut album, produced by Dallas Austin. It was later picked up, reconceptualized, and released as ‘Panther’s official theme song.

Former label executive Ed Ecksein says having a record featuring all women sent a message about the film before it even hit theaters. “The power behind the organization was women. The backbone behind the organization was women,” he says. “So we needed to do something similar on the soundtrack as we did for the BMU record (Black Men United).”

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The actual day of the track’s recording required ultimate levels of coordination and an understanding of how and why to stagger artists’ arrivals and recording schedules to avoid overlaps. There were camera crews, food service, hair and makeup, but no egos in sight.

Even with stars like Queen Latifah, Vanessa Williams, MC Lyte, Mary J Blige, Aaliyah, Brownstone, Salt-N-Pepa, Patra, XScape, and En Vogue in the house, A&R Sam Sapp remembers this remarkable tidbit: “Everyone was in the same room, and there was no VIP area.”

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TLC were determined to be a part of this amazing project but were unable to be there at the same time as the other artists, so they recorded their parts at a later date and were edited into the final mix.

In order to work around Left Eye‘s probation-related travel restrictions Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins says the trio recorded vocals in a local Atlanta studio and filmed the video from the conference room at LaFace Records.

“It was the most amazing thing to have my fist pumped and have on this hat that had a Black ballplayer and a ball on the front and represent,” she says. “It made you feel so proud to be Black. It was an awesome thing to be a part of.”

The record was also a game changer in that both an R&B and a rap version were featured on the soundtrack. Sapp says artists were freestyling to the instrumental while waiting to record, and they commissioned the “Dallas’ Dirty Half Dozen Mix” on the spot.

The “Freedom” single was a top charter on the ‘Panther’ soundtrack, peaking at #10 on Billboard’s R&B Singles Chart and snagging the #45 spot on the Hot 100.

While there may not be as many Black women artists today, they are still making their mark in music. For the first time in history, four Black female soloists recently occupied the Hot 100’s top two slots (Doja Cat‘s “Say So” remix with Nicki Minaj took the top spot, with Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce‘s “Savage” remix at the second spot).

As for another Black woman collective recording in the future, “Freedom” artists are passing the torch.

“It should be another song now with the new generation of artists that would show people that we’re sticking together,” T-Boz says. “I think it’s needed again, especially with the state of the world today.”

Read the full story from Zora here.

Artists featured on “Freedom”:

Aaliyah, Amel Larrieux, Brownstone, Jade, Blackgirl, SWV, Monica, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, Mary J Blige, Tanya Blount, Changing Faces, En Vogue, TLC, Felicia Adams, Joi, N’Dea Davenport, For Real, Zhane, Eshe, Queen Latifah, Billy Lawrence, Lalah Hathaway, Brigette McWilliams, Miss Jones, Me’Shell NdegéOcello, Pebbles, Patra, Chantay Savage, Sonja Marie, Xscape, Terri & Monica, Y?N-Vee, Vanessa Williams, Karyn White, Caron Wheeler, Crystal Waters, Vybe, Tracie Spencer, Brenda Russell, Sweet Sable, Raja-Nee, Pure Soul, Nefertiti, Natasha, Yo-Yo, Cindy Mizelle, Milira, Da 5 Footaz, Emage, E.V.E, Penny Ford, Jazzyfatnastees.

Announcement, News, Television, Tribute

TLC To Be Honored On New TV Music Show ‘Iconic: TLC’

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Just like the rest of us all over the world, the ladies of TLC have had the majority of their original 2020 plans put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and being forced to stay safely quarantined at home.

However, that hasn’t stopped Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas from finding creative ways to continue to work whilst remaining safe. It was revealed this week that The CW Network have co-produced a brand new television music special with iHeart Media and Critical Content which will not only feature TLC, but it will also honor the legendary girl group.

Iconic: TLC‘ premieres on Monday, June 1 at 8/7c on The CW Network and will be hosted by American Idol star Jordin Sparks. Based on the hit Korean formatImmortal Songs: Singing the Legends’, ‘Iconic: TLC’ will feature four uniquely talented genre-bending artists – country music duo LoCash, R&B/hip-hop sister duo Ceraadi, platinum-selling pop singer MAX and former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke — performing special covers of TLC’s biggest hits in their own unique style.

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The show will be remote as TLC and each of the artists will be connected by video chat to watch the at-home performances, and then T-Boz and Chilli will also choose one of these artists to collaborate with for the final performance of the show!

Music fans can hear the exclusive songs on iHeartRadio stations across the country the following day, Tuesday, June 2, and re-watch the performances and show on The CW app and CWTV.com for free.

TLC are no strangers to choosing talent on television. After a huge nationwide search for a female artist with the ‘triple threat’ — the ability to sing, dance and rap — for their 2005 UPN show ‘R U The Girl with T-Boz & Chilli’, they decided on rapper O’so Krispie to be the winner and then performed a new song, “I Bet“, at the end of the show together with her.

Meet the ‘Iconic: TLC’ performers:

LoCash

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LoCash is an American country music duo consisting of vocalists Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. Their highest-charting single is “I Know Somebody”, which topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2016.

MAX

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MAX is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He is signed to Arista and Sony RED. MAX released a Kickstarter-funded EP in 2005, and most recently his single, “Love Me Less” (feat. Quinn XCII) reached Top 20 at Top 40 Radio.

Ally Brooke

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Ally Brooke is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame on the X Factor after winning the show with her girl group Fifth Harmony. After the success of the group, Ally is now a solo artist preparing her debut album on Atlantic Records. She is currently nominated for a Daytime EMMY for her work on the theme song to Nickelodeon’s ‘The Casagrandes’.

Ceraadi

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Ceraadi are an American R&B-hip hop duo comprised of sisters Emaza Gibson and Saiyr Gibson based in Los Angeles. Their debut EP, ‘Ceraadi’s Playlist, was released in 2019 on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Their music and fashion style is described as having elements of early 1990s R&B and hip-hop, with influences including TLC, Janet Jackson, and Salt-N-Pepa.

Will you be watching to find out which artist wins the show?