Appearance, History, Interview, Television

T-Boz Stars In Netflix Series ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’: “Atlanta Was The Twerk Capital!”

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Hip-Hop Evolution is a hit Canadian music documentary series that originally aired on HBO Canada in 2016, which has since spawned 3 seasons on Netflix, featuring in-depth interviews with a selection of some of hip-hop’s original artists, producers, DJs, and promoters.

A hot and sticky music scene is born in Atlanta as the infectious hooks of TLC and Kris Kross yield to the gritty originality of OutKast and Goodie Mob.

In it’s 3rd season, our very own Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins shares details of her humble beginnings of how she started out in the business and the major part she played in helping to shape Atlanta: ‘The Dirty South’, to become the pioneering force in music that it is today.

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T-Boz in Hip-Hop Evolution

Before the music scene was dominated with what we know today as ‘twerking’, T-Boz says it was originally known as something else. “We used to call it shake dancing before it was called twerking, and then that started the stripping thing in the strip capital”, T-Boz reminisces. “Atlanta was the shake dance capital”.

L.A. Reid and Babyface decided to uproot from Los Angeles and arrived in Atlanta in 1989 to launch their new label, LaFace Records. T-Boz was working in a hair salon at the time, when she learned that her friend, Marie Davis, used to do hair for Pebbles, who was married to L.A. Reid at the time.

download (2)_1.gif“I was like, ‘yo, you need to go and tell Pebbles that I’m the bomb, she need to holla at me'”, T-Boz recalls. “I didn’t really think that she would do it, but Pebbles called me at home that night. It was Chilli, me and Lisa. We were calling ourselves TLC. It wasn’t really girly, but it had a lot of hip-hop elements. Lisa, she came in as a little, feisty rapper, so that gave us that hip-hop element.”

 

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Pebbles with TLC

T-Boz was only interested in working with producers in Atlanta, her long-time friend, Dallas Austin, to be precise. “When we did get to L.A. Reid, he asked who we wanted to work with and I would only say Dallas Austin, he has to be our producer — and he got it”.

Despite the crossover appeal of TLC and Dallas Austin, a soulful team of producers were waiting to be discovered. Rico Wade, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown aka Organized Noize, were good friends with T-Boz, who introduced the production trio to Pebbles.

Pebbles being interested in their talents led them to work with other LaFace Records artists, which in turn led to the discovery of Outkast, Goodie Mob and the Dungeon Family.

Organized Noize eventually crafted the most iconic TLC single in history, the legendary “Waterfalls“.

Catch the unmissable Hip-Hop Evolution series on Netflix now.
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Appearance, Interview, Music

Chilli and Tron Austin Talk ‘Captions’ Going Viral and His Favorite TLC Song

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Following that phenomenal video Chilli went viral with last month, dancing to her son, Tron Austin‘s latest single, “Captions“, the mother and son made an appearance on Good Day Atlanta to talk about everything from Tron’s expectations as a new artist to Chilli’s life on tour with TLC!

Music comes as second nature to Tron, with his dad being the super producer Dallas Austin, and of course his mom being a member of the super group TLC. Tron has been itching to get his creativity out in the world, and now that he has graduated from college, it’s the perfect time to make it happen.

“Ever since I got out of college it’s been so surreal for me”, Tron exclaims. “I need to get to that next level — I need to make a name for myself now, too. So, after I had my records done and I was able to bring it to my mom, and she even volunteered and said she wants to dance to my song, it makes me feel good because it feels like I’m really doing it”.

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Tron feels that having a mom that is a member of the biggest-selling girl group of all time has it’s advantages and disadvantages, as the stakes are super high now. “Some people would say it’s more pressure added because of that reason”, Tron admits. “I think all that stuff is true, but it’s all in good terms. It’s good pressure in the advantages. She can help guide me, and make sure my path is clear, too”.

Chilli co-signs Tron, announcing how proud she is of her son and although she didn’t want him to be in the music industry, as she knows how hard it can be, but he is passionate about his craft so she is fully supportive of him. “He has what it takes, and he’s very humble! We don’t play those games!”, Chilli laughs.

Tron opens up about how close he his to his mom, and gives Chilli props for being able to perfectly balance being a parent and a friend at the same time. “Obviously the respect is always there, it’s not like she was just my friend”, Tron says. “But at the same time I think my mom has managed a good balance between being a great parent and know how to be a good friend to your child from a young age and now that I’m an adult, it’s still the same type of way”.

Tron explains that he would like his music to reflect his originality and his love for all of the genres that he grew up with. “My sound is more like pop, mixed with hip-hop and R&B, because I sing too”, Tron says. “I try and do as much as possible and fuse things together, because the more you fuse things together, the more ears that you can please”.

Chilli gushes about the recent TLC ‘Whole Lotta Hitstour that wrapped last month across North America with rappers Nelly and Flo Rida. “We did the tour with Live Nation. It was amazing. We’ve always been on tour, but some tours are a lot more fun than others, and this was one of them, for sure”, Chilli admits.

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Chilli remains humble and gives all of the praises of her success to God, after 27 years in the business and still loving what she does. “We’re always so thankful and we’re still hungry for it”, Chilli says. “I’m 48 and I can’t tell the difference, energy-wise, from when I was 21!”.

Tron reveals that his favorite TLC song is actually a song that doesn’t feature his mom on the lead vocals. “She’s gonna give me heat for it, but “Creep” is my favorite”, Tron laughs. “It’s the melody — I started out as a drummer and a producer too, and a lot of the sounds and the instruments that are incorporated kinda resonated, so it’s always been — and “No Scrubs“, obviously”, Tron adds with a smile.

Tron Austin’s smash hit single, “Captions“, is available on all digital formats right now! 
Announcement, Interview, Music, Review

JPEGMAFIA Covers A TLC Classic On His Latest Album

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The whole world loves a little bit of TLC, so it’s no surprise at all that their influence is present in so many of today’s music artists. One of the recent nods to the trio was their hit “Waterfalls” being covered by the coaches on ‘The Voice‘.

The love continues in many forms of covers and samples well into 2019. Last week, DJ Lauren Lane released her exclusive remix for “Creep“. EQT/Universal Music recording artist JPEGMAFIA dropped his third album, ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs‘ on September 13.

BasicBitchTearGas” happens to be a cover of a TLC classic, “No Scrubs.”

The one-minute track, which could easily beat the Lil Nas X record of being the shortest recorded track ever, cuts out a sizeable chunk of the original, while heavily filtered growls populate the new arrangement of his new form of glitch-hop.

The Baltimore rapper elaborated on his choice to cover TLC on Apple Music: “I always told myself that one day I’d do a cover of ‘No Scrubs’ and I just wanted to make that a reality. Bucket list-type shit. I love this song, man. It’s one of the best songs ever written.”

“And I really like re-contextualizing songs that mean a lot to people, like pop music, because it exposes the reality of these songs. That these songs are EXCELLENT — regardless of how popular they are and regardless of the narrative that’s been built around some of these songs, these are excellently-written, beautiful songs, and I wanna take time to appreciate them.”

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Earlier this year, Weezer covered “No Scrubs” and performed it at Coachella with Chilli. “I just thought it’s one of those songs that’s freakishly popular,” frontman Rivers Cuomo said. “I was trying to decide which gender perspective to sing it from then I saw this tweet that said, ‘If you’re a guy covering a song by a girl, you gotta keep the pronouns. For those three minutes you’re gay.‘ So I was like, ‘Cool, let’s try this.’”

Chilli previously talked about the universality of “No Scrubs” in an interview with Billboard. “‘No Scrubs’ is an empowerment anthem,” she said. “The reason I knew [the song] was going to be big because what it’s talking about is so relatable to every woman in America. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, scrubs come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So it was just a universal song that every woman can high-five each other with.”

What do you think of JPEGMAFIA’s take on “No Scrubs”?

Announcement, Music, News, Review

TLC Co-Sign 2019 Dance Remix of “Creep” By DJ Lauren Lane

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International DJ Lauren Lane may have dropped techy beats on stages from Coachella to Ibiza, but deep down, she’s just a TLC-lovin’ ’90s kid like a lot of us.

That’s why she’s snagging some of the girl group’s CrazySexyCool energy and launching her label, Recreation, with a bumpin’ club remix of the 1994 hit “Creep.”

T-Boz‘s familiar infidelity bounces with new verve over a steady tech-house beat. It’s less slinky than the original with a lot more late-night rave mischief.

The remix has been officially sanctioned by TLC’s surviving members, and Lane called the co-sign nothing short of “an honor.”

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Lauren Lane

Lane’s take on “Creep” is out Friday, Sept. 13, on Recreation, but the DJ and producer put together a hypnotizing visualizer exclusively for Billboard Dance that you can check out below.

What do you think of this updated 2019 club remix of TLC classic?