TLC and the boys — Nelly and Flo Rida — fresh from their joint performance of hits on Good Morning America, stopped by for a catch up on Sway In The Morning.
The trio of hitmaker’s touch on everything from career longevity, accolades, possible future collaborations and the importance of owning your own masters!
Nelly on Lil Nas X being removed from Billboard Country chart
Nelly: It wasn’t right. Especially when you think about a lot of the genre’s of music that black people have been infiltrated by. We’ve had several artists that have infiltrated hip-hop and R&B. Vanilla Ice had a top rap chart and Eminem has just been killing it, but it happens. I didn’t know we were worried about the color in 2019.
Inspiration behind Flo Rida making music
Flo Rida: I think just growing up in Miami, where it’s a gumball of different cultures. And at the same time, we had the people who paved the way, like the 2 Live Crew, Trick Daddy and Trina. So, it was just to hear myself on the radio for the first time. It just came with the territory about being passionate. I was somebody who was a big fan of music and lots of different genre’s. Growing up in a household where my sisters sing gospel music, so watching them entertain gave me the passion to work hard.
TLC out in the public
Chilli: We’re very approachable. We don’t walk around with an entourage. We’ve never been that way. Most times when people see us, they’re like ‘do you know who you look like?’, they’re thinking there’s no way you’d be out by yourself.
T-Boz: ‘T-Boz wouldn’t be in Target’. Uhh, yes I would!
Chilli: Yeah, they’ll say stuff like that!
T-Boz: The diamond award is really special! We’re proud of that one.
Chilli: That’s the most special to us. They’re all amazing. At the end of the day, I don’t think any type of award makes you as an artist. It’s just a blessing to be able to do what we do, have the longevity and the catalog that we all have. Artists pray for stuff like that. When you’re in the studio recording, you don’t know if it will have longevity but time will tell you that.
Sway: What’s the diamond award?
Chilli: It’s for ‘CrazySexyCool’ and we may — we are very close to getting one more for ‘Fanmail’.
T-Boz: But you have to sell 10 million in the States to get one, and not too many people have.
Nelly: Yes you do!
T-Boz: Do you have one too?
Nelly: Gotta know that!
T-Boz: Hello! Let ’em know, Nelly! Do you have one or two?
Nelly: We’re close to two. ‘Nellyville’ is close, but ‘Country Grammar’ is diamond. I got that plaque like two years ago.
T-Boz: But after this tour, we’re gonna get that second one, because those sales go up when you go on tour.
Thoughts on Taylor Swift not owning her masters
Nelly: It’s hers. It’s your work. It depends on whatever you do. If you’re an athlete and somebody has your shoes, but somebody else has control and the option to sell it.
T-Boz: And you have to ask permission to use your own stuff. We were in that situation with Sony. We re-recorded all of our own music. And we own our version of our masters, and we licence out our version. So, — Sony!
Chilli: And it sounds exactly the same, you can not tell the difference.
T-Boz: So, Taylor, honey, just re-record your stuff and licence out your version. You’ll be good. Because, we make some money off of our publishing now! I own all of my publishing now, I’m so excited this year! You don’t even know!
Re-negotiating after a first deal
T-Boz: That’s what we were in [a production deal]. But, how we got screwed, we didn’t get the chance to re-negotiate the second contract, she kept the same terms.
Sway: From the first contract. And now you’re 20 times more valuable.
T-Boz: And that’s ‘CrazySexyCool’ and that’s our biggest selling album, so you can understand why we were upset and holding people hostage and stuff.
Nelly: And setting houses on fire — naw that wasn’t that!
T-Boz: There you go! Everyone’s not arsonists in the group, you know!
Chilli: That was an accident! He didn’t have any shoes for her, so..
T-Boz: That wasn’t the first fire, this one just ignited!
Possible TLC, Nelly & Flo Rida collab
Nelly: It’s hard, but we’re definitely talking about it. We’ve talked about it. We’ve got things in motion. But it’s just getting in there — it’s the time.
T-Boz: I know we’ve been on the road doing spot dates for two weeks. And then we have to go right back in rehearsal. It’s hard, because we don’t usually split up rehearsals. So, we’re learning new material, and going back to old and press, it’s a lot.
Chilli: It’s crazy, but I think it’s a not so bad problem to have.
Nelly: Yeah, you could be sitting at home! (laughs)
T-Boz: So true. It’s a good lot. It’s a blessing. I got money in my pocket (laughs). But it’s stressful, though. I’m not gonna lie.
Nelly: A lotta artists at home! They ain’t touring this summer! (laughs)
Chilli: The one thing I will say is, with all of us together, everybody can come. Mom, dad, grandma, little kids — it’s definitely that tour. We feel very honored for this package to be together. It took forever to get this thing together, but we did it!
Nelly: Good family affair, man, all but about a minute and 30 — when Chilli starts — gotta be an 18 and over for a minute and 23 seconds! I’m just joking! ‘Kids, go with your momma, I’ma watch this!’
T-Boz: It’s uncomfortable, though! Like, we try not to gyrate on “Red Light Special” no more, and the kids be staring — I can’t do it! I stopped gyrating!
Chilli: We do it in a different way!
Sway: What about us though? I can’t come to a TLC concert with no moves and gyration!
T-Boz: I just twirl around in a circle! We still gyrate a little, just not as much. A little gyration ain’t hurt nobody!
Chilli: In taste!
How the tour came together
Nelly: The girls called and said, ‘yo, we’re going on tour!’ I said ‘oh okay, I’ll be ready’!
T-Boz: We had toured with Nelly together with New Kids On The Block a couple of years ago, and again in Australia. So, we had to find the perfect third person, like, who has a lot of hits, and Flo was perfect! And he said yes, so I was like, ‘awh shoot, it’s happening now!’
Chilli: I called him personally, like, I’m so happy you said yes! I was happy.
Flo Rida: When I heard about it, you didn’t even have to work that hard. When I heard it was ya’ll two, I was like, I’m on.
Current music evolution
Nelly: I understand hip-hop was created by the youth, for the youth. And I understand it has a history, I don’t judge it because I didn’t want to be judged when I first came out. The kids can party to whatever they want. If you don’t like it, there’s another radio station. Some of it I rock with and some of it ain’t for me.
Flo Rida: I appreciate social media, the fact that your everyday Joe can get a chance. I love what’s going on. That’s one less person I have to feed. I can money off this.
T-Boz: I have two statements — I think there is room for everybody, like Nelly says. But, I also think it’s a little different in the aspect that, the originality isn’t the same anymore. A lot of people sound alike. Like, Snoop had his style, and Nelly had his style. Now, everybody sounds the same. Back when we came out, there wasn’t a lot of that. That’s the change I’ve seen, but like he says, there’s room for everybody now.
Chilli: I agree with her 100%, just the originality and the variety is just kinda — not all of it, some people will stand out. But, for the most part, it’s kinda all the same.
Nelly: I blame that on society wanting to make money off of it. Whatever’s winning, is gonna cause a greater demand for it. Now, people have gold singles and I haven’t heard their record on radio!
T-Boz: I’m proud of being a trendsetter though, and you should be, too. I’m proud because of that. I’m never gonna feel bad about that.
Nelly: And that’s why we’re doing a tour, twenty-something years later together!
T-Boz: Hello?! Okay!
Tickets to the TLC, Nelly & Flo Rida tour are on sale right now, head over to LiveNation.com for more details on the hottest show of the summer… a WHOLE LOTTA HITS!