Anniversary, Movies, Review

T-Boz Celebrates 20 Years of Belly with Nas at ComplexCon

InShot_20181108_015449379.jpg

In 1998, on November 4, a classic hip-hop movie was born. The music video director genius, Hype Williams, decided to make his feature-film debut, and with a little help from his musician friends, Belly became a cult classic, 20 years on.

To assist in telling the story, which follows the catastrophic web of drugs and money that spans from New York City to Jamaica, Hype carefully selected a handful of artists he knew would fulfill the roles, including Method Man & Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan.

DMX (who Hype insisted he play the role of Tommy instead of Jay-Z), Nas and the talented Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, who was able to keep her own government name in the movie.

20181108_031622.png

Fast forwarding 20 years to present day, the movie has managed to stand the test of time.

ComplexCon invited the on-screen couple T-Boz and Nas, who play the characters Tionne and Sincere in the movie, to join the ComplexCon event to discuss the importance of Belly, two decades later, along with the director, Hype Williams.

20181108_012045.jpg

T-Boz informed the panel that Belly had achieved cult status, according to her peers. “It’s a big deal. That’s what I hear on the streets, that’s what everyone says to me. You know, Boyz N The Hood, Menace To Society and Belly is now added to that, so I thought that was pretty awesome“.

“It’s like Tionne said”, Nas co-signs. “It’s like a hood classic thing. That’s really a serious title to have. That’s better than anything we could ask for.”

Nas and T-Boz went on to thank Hype Willams for giving them the opportunity to star in the movie. “I just wanna say about Hype“, Tionne interjects, “it’s awesome  to have people who are visionaries and leaders, not followers.”

Because if he had listened to everybody else and not did what was in his heart and what he wanted to do — he sparked off a lot of things for a lot of us, it takes people like that to make us thrive. He did some major stuff in this industry and he deserves all of his props“.

Nas echoed those sentiments. “Hype took a chance with us. He felt that we were the people that fit inside his vision. He could of got some top actors, everybody was a fan of his work, but he comes from music and he saw us. So, I appreciate him for that!“.

Touching on that undeniable chemistry Nas and T-Boz had on-screen, Nas shared his feelings on working with T! “This is T-Boz of TLC, like, the biggest group in the world!“, Nas exclaims. “Everyone liked TLC, like, each member, so I was lit because I get to have T-Boz as my girl, I was on fire! It was crazy! It was dope.

IMG_20181107_171917_601

Belly didn’t go down well with the critics at the time it was released, but hip-hop fans ensured the movie achieved the success it deserved at the box office and in history.

Tionne received praise for being a Ride Or Die chick for her man, Sincere, when she pulled her gun out on gangsters in her house, sternly telling them to “get the fuck out of my house!“, and for having intellectual conversations with him to help him give up the drug life and enough was enough.

20181108_031641.png

Complex gave it’s verdict on how the roles were portrayed by the actors, and they gave T-Boz a very healthy grade B:

T-Boz, playing Sincere’s girlfriend and baby’s mother, is kinda good. She makes great concerned faces, like when Kionna is expressing concern about Buns during a heart-to-heart walk or when she visits Kionna in jail (a scene that works especially well because, like most of Belly’s best scenes, there’s no dialogue).

Elsewhere, she doesn’t sound like she’s reading from a teleprompter during her moments with Nas. (This is more than you can say about Nas.) It’s sweet when Sincere asks her if she loves him, and she says that of course she does. She also has great platinum-white hair.

 

Advertisements
Anniversary, Review, Television

TLC Swept MTV Video Music Awards This Week in 1995!

18a81cc2-db50-4ab8-9472-05247f168719

We’re taking it back to September 7, 1995 where MTV celebrated that years greatest music videos at Radio City Music Hall in New York for their annual Video Music Awards!

Despite Michael and Janet Jackson‘s “Scream” video being the nights most nominated video (with a whopping eleven nominations), it was TLC who stole the show.

With an equally impressive ten nominations for their iconic music video for “Waterfalls”, they went on to win 4 awards that night, including the two most prestigious awards; Viewer’s Choice and Video of the Year.

20151207133745_1995TLC.jpg

The girls sealed the deal with a show-shopping medley of their hits from their record-breaking sophomore album, CrazySexyCool. This performance is considered as one of TLC’s greatest performances by fans!

Other celebrities in attendance included Madonna, Boyz II Men, Mike Tyson, Drew Barrymore, Ricki Lake, Lenny Kravitz and the Notorious B.I.G.

Along with the visually flawless concert-based video “Diggin’ On You” (also directed by F. Gary Gray), the CrazySexyMedley acted as an insight of what to expect on their CrazySexyCool world tour, which ended prematurely in 1996.

75469-full.jpg

R&B’s power couple Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, also attended to present TLC with their Video of the Year award, in true Bobby & Whitney style!

TLC went on to earn their 5th moonman in 1999, for their chart-topping smash “No Scrubs”, winning Best Group Video.

List of Nominees and Winners at the MTV Video Music Awards 1995
Video of the Year
  • TLC – Waterfalls
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Weezer – Buddy Holly
Winner: TLC – Waterfalls
Best Male Video
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – You Don’t Know How It Feels
  • Chris Isaak – Somebody’s Crying
  • Elton John – Believe
  • Lucas – Lucas With The Lid Off
  • Seal – Don’t Cry
Winner: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – You Don’t Know How It Feels
Best Female Video
  • Madonna – Take A Bow
  • Des’ree – You Gotta Be
  • PJ Harvey – Down By The Water
  • Annie Lennox – No More I Love You’s
Winner: Madonna – Take A Bow
Best Group Video
  • TLC – Waterfalls
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
Winner: TLC – Waterfalls
Best Rap Video
  • Dr. Dre – Keep Their Head’s Ringin’
  • Brandy & MC Lyte & Queen Latifah & YoYo – I Wanna Be Down
  • Da Bush Babees – Remember We
  • Craig Mack – Flava In Ya Ear
  • Public Enemy – Give It Up
  • Rappin’ 4tay – I’ll Be Around
Winner: Dr. Dre – Keep Their Head’s Ringin’
Best R&B Video
  • TLC – Waterfalls
  • Boyz II Men – Water Runs Dry
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Jade – 5-4-3-2 (Yo! Time Is Up)
  • Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
Winner: TLC – Waterfalls
Best Dance Video
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Paula Abdul – My Love Is For Real
  • C+C Music Factory – Do You Want To Get Funky
  • Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
  • Madonna – Human Nature
  • Salt-N-Pepa – None Of Your Business
Winner: Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
Viewer’s Choice
  • TLC – Waterfalls
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Hootie & The Blowfish – Hold My Hand
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Live – Lightning Crashes
  • R.E.M. – What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?
Winner: TLC – Waterfalls 
Best New Artist
  • Hootie & The Blowfish – Hold My Hand
  • Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye
  • Des’ree – You Gotta Be
  • Filter – Hey Man, Nice Shot
Winner: Hootie & The Blowfish – Hold My Hand
Breakthrough Video
  • Weezer – Buddy Holly
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • TLC – Waterfalls
Winner: Weezer – Buddy Holly
Best Metal/Hard Rock
  • White Zombie – More Human Than Human
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Meat Puppets – We Don’t Exist
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
Winner: White Zombie – More Human Than Human
Best Alternative Video
  • Weezer – Buddy Holly
  • The Cranberries – Zombie
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Hole – Doll Parts
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
Winner: Weezer – Buddy Holly
Best Video From A Film
  • Seal – Kiss From A Rose
  • Bryan Adams – Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
  • Jim Carrey – Cuban Pete
  • U2 – Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
  • Urge Overkill – Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon
Winner: Seal – Kiss From A Rose
Best Direction
  • Weezer – Buddy Holly
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • TLC – Waterfalls
Winner: Weezer – Buddy Holly
Best Choreography
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Paula Abdul – My Love Is For Real
  • Brandy – Baby
  • Madonna – Human Nature
  • Salt-N-Pepa – None Of Your Business
Winner: Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
Best Special Effects
  • The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong
  • Bjork – Army Of Me
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Madonna – Human Nature
  • TLC – Waterfalls
Winner: The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong 
Best Art Direction
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Madonna – Take A Bow
  • Jill Sobule – I Kissed A Girl
  • TLC – Waterfalls
Winner: Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
Best Editing
  • Weezer – Buddy Holly
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Jill Sobule – I Kissed A Girl
  • TLC – Waterfalls
Winner: Weezer – Buddy Holly
Best Cinematography
  • The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong
  • Boyz II Men – Water Runs Dry
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song
  • TLC – Waterfalls
Winner: The Rolling Stones – Love Is Strong 

Other TLC VMA appearances:

Anniversary, Interview

TLC Honor Lauryn Hill’s ‘Miseducation Of’ Album on 20th Anniversary

20170630-175431-EAG-Z-TLC-1-T5r_65792 (1) (1).jpg

2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the release of Lauryn Hill‘s ground-breaking debut solo album, ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ in 1998.

Beats 1 caught up with the ladies of TLC to share their thoughts on the album and some of their memories of the former Fugees frontwoman!

Chilli:

I love the whole album and it’s hard for me to pick just one song because of her delivery. I mean, she be in the videos sometimes pregnant, and sometimes not. She was doing it at a time where they would probably be like, “wait until you have your baby.” Whereas these days, a female artist — whether you’re an actress or whatever — if you’re pregnant, you celebrate that from the moment that you decide to share it with the world. She didn’t care, she just did it. Her voice — to be able to rap like that and sing like that, she was and is unbelievably talented. There’s nobody like Lauryn Hill.

c7e7ac71588b0724fdc1c6bcc6f9d048

T-Boz:

She’s special. She is very special. And you know what I love and respect about her, is that I remember meeting her for the first time when we first came out. She paid us so much homage. Even in the beginning, she went out of her way to get over to me, to say something. I thought that was really cool how amazingly nice she was in and to give respect to another artist. She’s so dope.

You can listen to the full episode on Beats 1 here.

Anniversary, Review

Celebrating Left Eye’s Debut Solo Album ‘Supernova’ On It’s Anniversary

InShot_20180816_135522653.jpg

Back in 2000, the ‘L’ of TLC, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes  announced to the world that she was embarking on a solo career, and began work on her first solo LP, ‘Supernova‘.

The project, which was also released on her group’s label, Arista, was slated to be released on her chosen date of August 16.

This date was important to Lisa, who was a strong believer in the power of numerology. “Something weird happened in my family,” Lisa explained to MTV News in 2001.

My father died on August 16th and his father was born on August 16th“.

It’s a very significant release date“.

To accompany her wishes, Arista initially announced the album to be released that same week on August 14 (new album releases in the US drop on a Tuesday).

normal_1557695_684506574923232_196141131_n

However, because Arista failed to keep to their promise of releasing the album on this specific date, Lisa decided it was important for the world to hear the album on this date and streamed the entire album on her website, Eyenetics.com.

The label, which had not yet paid Lisa for her existing work on the album, requested her to return to the studio to record more tracks for the album to beef it up.

Lisa declined respectfully, and because Arista defaulted on her contract conditions, she was allowed to be freed from her legal obligations on the label, later signing to Suge Knight’s Tha Row label in 2002.

8078001_orig
Left Eye’s Eyenetics website

‘Supernova’ was unlike anything Lisa had released in the past, choosing to educate her listeners on spirituality and numerology on tracks like “Universal Quest“, “A New Star Is Born” and “Breathe“. She also had more bold and self-assured tracks like “I Believe In Me“, “Let Me Live” and “Hot!“, the latter being her original choice for first single.

It’s guest appearances included Blaque, Esthero, Carl Thomas, Jazze Pha, Andre Rison and a posthumous collaboration with 2pac.

Lisa_Left_Eye_Lopes-Supernova-Trasera (1)
‘Supernova’ tracklist

Lisa also changed her vocal style on the album, to be more spoken word and poetic. She was aiming for a new sound, something different to what she had produced with TLC.

TLC’s music is pretty much pop and R&B“, Lisa told BBC. “My music is a bit more eclectic“.

imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-NrbAPI0EhGml (2).jpg

Lisa was intending to release a puzzle with the album, which would help the listener decide on what track to play on the album. It features in her ‘Block Party‘ music video.

Whilst competing for prize money for charity on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, she told more about it. “There’s a puzzle that comes with my album, it’s called a dodecahydon. So, I kinda created that and I do all of the computer graphics.

Despite the album never getting a release in the US, it was released overseas, following the moderate success of it’s first single, ‘The Block Party”, which reached the top 20 in the UK.

This underrated masterpiece deserves a full worldwide digital release on iTunes. Perhaps it will appear on Spotify one day, hopefully.

You can listen to ‘Supernova’ in full below.

Anniversary, Interview

TLC Reveal Why They Rejected Britney Spears’ Biggest Hit!

mgid_ao_image_logotv

2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the birth of one of the biggest songs in music history, ‘Baby One More Time‘, which launched the career of Britney Spears!

Max Martin, the writer and co-producer of ‘Baby’ was convinced he’d written an R&B song (“Pop music with a flavour – what we call R&B in Sweden, what you guys [in America] say is pop,” sent the song, then called Hit Me Baby (One More Time), to TLC who rejected it.

While TLC interpreted the lyrics as alluding to domestic violence, they actually represented Martin’s attempts at American slang, believing “hit me” could seamlessly replace “call me”.

This is a large part of the reason the song wasn’t accepted by the girls in TLC. “I was like: ‘I like the song but do I think it’s a hit? Do I think it’s TLC?’ said T-Boz.

“I’m not saying ‘hit me baby.’ No disrespect to Britney,” T-Boz continues on her initial thought of the song. “It’s good for her. But was I going to say ‘hit me baby one more time’? Hell no!”

“Understand we’re not just passing up hits,” Chilli added. It just wasn’t a song that fit in the direction TLC was aiming for.

baby-one-more-time-britney-spears-outrageous-fashion-600 (1)

“That’s not even my subject of conversation, so you know, it worked for her, I’m happy for her, I like Britney,” T-Boz explained.

“Every song isn’t good for each artist, and when you’re a real artist you know what you believe in and what you really want to sing. So, I’m clear that it was a hit, but I’m also clear that it wasn’t for TLC.”

Nonetheless, TLC later went on to record their own timeless smash that year to add to their catalog in the form of 1999’s record breaking ‘No Scrubs‘.

Interview excerpts from MTV News in 2013.
Anniversary

19th Anniversary of TLC’s ‘Unpretty’

We Miss Music

On this day in 1999, TLC released the worldwide hit, ‘Unpretty’.

tlcunpretty 345

The song was adapted from a poem written by T-Boz, with music by Dallas Austin. The song’s empowering theme regarding self-esteem has become an enduring fan favourite.

‘Unpretty’ became the group’s fourth #1 hit in the US.

tlcunpretty2

Chart Positions:

  • Australia: #3
  • Canada: #3
  • Ireland: #4
  • New Zealand: #3
  • UK: #6
  • US: #1

Music Video:

Live Performance:

View original post

Anniversary, Competition, Review

TLC’s Last Album Reaches It’s First Year Anniversary!

PhotoGrid_1530392032314.jpg

It’s been a long, long time coming“, the opening line from ‘Way Back‘, the first single lifted from TLC‘s first album in 15 years, which was released a year ago today on June 30, 2017!

After breaking the record for the fastest Kickstarter funded pop project ever in 2015 (they raised over $430k and smashed their $150k deadline in under 48 hours), the girls were finally ready to unleash their hard work to the world, independently on their own label, 852 Musiq.

The album went on to become the #1 Independent Album on Billboard and topped the R&B Album Charts in the UK and in other parts of the world, whilst the lead single ‘Way Back’ remained in the Adult R&B singles chart for months.

TLC-Album-CHARTING-e1500083692451.png

They aren’t done with the album just yet. The girls are toying with the idea of releasing another single from the album and possibly even a remix album (two remixes were made exclusively for the Japan version of the album).

To celebrate this milestone, we are giving away a signed copy of this amazing album to ONE lucky fan!

To enter, simply tell us your favorite song on the album! We’ll choose a winner at random on July 31.