Anniversary, Archives, Fashion, Interview, Relationships

TLC Talk Self-Esteem, Turn-Offs and Offer Some Dating Tips!

InShot_20181231_163836837.jpg

They’re the sexiest female stars in the world, making, yes, even All Saints look a little ordinary. We talk to TLC about men, ‘scrubs’ and erm, condoms as fashion accessories.

By Pete Robinson | September 11, 1999

TLC are exhausted. The whirlwind campaign for “No Scrubs”  the album “Fanmail” and new single “Unpretty”, has all come to a head and now, for a few minutes at least, R&B’s foremost sex symbols can have a little sitdown, sip a few drinks, and talk dirty for The Sex Issue.

But first there is something to clear up. “Unpretty” has caused widespread confusion, to the point where respected music pundits such as, erm, Doctor Fox have spluttered comments along the lines of  “Hey! But these babes are hot!”. What Foxy hasn’t considered, of course, is this is the point: that the insecurity in the song must be really bad for three (ahem) “beauties” to feel worthless. Except, as Left Eye explains, “that’s not what the song’s about at all, either.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with good-looking people or bad-looking people,” she elucidates. “You can make me feel Unpretty, depending on how you see me through your eyes, but it shouldn’t be that way. What it all boils down to is being able to see inside of yourself and of other people, without necessarily using your physical eyes. We’re saying that we limit ourselves to our physical senses, but in fact there’s a life force, there’s an energy behind all of us and that’s what counts the most. We get too distracted by our physical senses to see and hear what’s real”.

But while “No Scrubs” has it’s precursors in musical history, there aren’t that many songs that challenge the listener with such a tricky subject matter as “Unpretty” — there must have been some catalyst for the single being recorded in the first place?

“Well, part of it”, concludes Chilli, “is that one day we were talking about breast implants in young girls. I feel really strong about that. Big breasts doesn’t mean you’re beautiful  — it has nothing to do with beauty. If you naturally have them, then that’s one thing, but if you don’t, that’s okay, y’know?”.

“It originally came from a book of poetry I’ve written called ‘Thoughts‘”, T-Boz clarifies. “Actually, ‘Unpretty’ was the first poem I had ever wrote — then Dallas Austin, our producer, read it and he was like, ‘let’s make this into a song’. So we took a lot of the words from the poetry and made it into a song. So yes (claps) ‘Unpretty’ is my work! My little poem!”

tlc-3_v1000

House-burnings, bust-ups, ding-dongs and argy-bargies have plagued TLC ever since they stomped onto the pop scene in 1992 with the proto-Girl Power anthem “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, yet despite even bankruptcy a couple of years ago, they’re back on the toppest of all forms, and one can’t help but imagine (especially with the “stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to” aspect of ‘Waterfalls‘) that if Britain could call them their own, they’d be tabloid agony aunts by now: kind of a three-headed, PVC-catsuited Marje Proops.

But is there any romantic advice the girls have themselves been given, or that they can offer to those plotting their first expedition into the choppy seas of love and rumpo?

“I don’t know”, thinks Left Eye, who once torched a beau’s house, but who’s currently very much ‘with’ a new boyfriend. She pauses. “Uhhh… I’ve been given lots of advice. Um, oh man! I don’t know. Live and let live. I don’t know anyone who actually gave me that advice. (Laughs) but I do live by that!”

“You know what?”, squeals Chilli, jumping back into the conversation. “I’ve got my mom to thank for so much advice — I’m really sensitive now, but no way near as sensitive as I used to be when I was growing up. I mean, you’d just look at me and I’d cry. I would cry at the drop of a hat and at the time I always felt like my mom was too hard on me — kind of ‘Im only doing this because I love you’ stuff. My mom always told me to be strong and I always knew she was right there for me. She’s the reason I’m the woman I am today. All her advice was the best and I’d pass that on to anyone”.

T-Boz has the final tip. “Treat people how you wanna be treated”, she reasons. “Respect yourself, because if you don’t respect yourself, nobody else will. If you treat people good, that means you’re trying to be a good person. If you respect yourself, then you’ll do right by yourself”.

73cd6-97

By now, you’ll be a little concerned about your chances of bagging a date with a member of TLC. Last year it would have been easy — why didn’t you give them a call then? Nowadays you’ll only need to hold a door open for them and they’ll deck you and call you a scrub. So how, exactly, might one chat up T-Boz, Left Eye or Chilli?

Best to cut to the quick: and while Chilli remains tight-lipped, her bandmates are happy to offer some quick, at-a-glance guides to their psyches.

“I am creative, intuitive, mental, physical and spiritual”, Left Eye announces.

“While I”, T-Boz adds, “am stubborn, funny, blunt, outgoing and a sweetheart. That’s me!”

TLC can almost boast an image that is very much their own. Yet for every ultra-cool item of clothing the girls have sported in their career, there must have been some hidden disasters. T-Boz, for example, has her own fashion crime: “An afro. I can’t believe my momma did me like that. It was so ugly! Ha ha! The afro did not look right on me. I look right in a haircut. “

“The worst thing that I have ever worn?”, Left Eye flams, clearly with something in mind. Probably the condom she used to wear under her (hence the name, etc) left eye. “Mmm..  that’s a toughie, because if I don’t look right, I won’t walk out the front door, mmh hmm hmm hmm. Um, and no one can make me wear anything that I don’t think looks right. There’s nothing I look back in TLC that looks bad. I’m pretty open-minded. I just try to be comfortable. Eww…!”

So what happened to the condom? She pauses, then laughs, “It’s the same reason why someone like Prince needs to take ‘Slave’ off his face. It’s just that people like fresh, new and innovative artists, so as long as you keep innovating and changing their ideas, people will keep looking to you for guidance”.

Do you still get recognised without the condom?

“Heh heh heh!”, she giggles, “TLC are too cool to not be recognised! Not be re-cog-nised!”

T-Boz, today, the picture of un-unprettiness, must at some point have looked f***ing awful. We all have at some point. When was the last time you went out looking an absolute wreck, when nobody would touch you with a bargepole?

“The last time? Well, that weren’t that long ago, honey! Umm (laughs) I don’t know, I feel like that occasionally. Sometimes you just have bad days and I just don’t feel I look good, which was probably last week! I’m the type of person if I’m tired or if I’m sick I have bags and dark circles — it runs in the family, so I think I look like a raccoon. A lot of people have complexes no matter who they are, but that’s my definition of feeling Unpretty”.

Looking like a raccoon. There we have it.

44463009_2648960185329726_8675806068993699003_n

“So you liked the bit where we rubbed our butts?”, guffaws T-Boz, when the climax of the “No Scrubs” video — the trio backing up to the camera and patting their behinds — is brought up. “Really? Good, I’m glad you picked that part (laughs)”.

Yes, a saucy trio of vixens and no mistaking. Have they ever gone too far in their overt sexuality?

“I shocked my grandmother, I have to say!”, reveals T-Boz. Explain? “There’s this song called ‘Oh Honey‘ — it’s one of her favourites, but it’s nasty and she was like, ‘Oh dear! Oh my! I like this song but…’ cos the breakdown is really raunchy. Yeah, it blows her away, but I don’t really do anything that vulgar…”

OK. But what do TLC find really vulgar in other people? What would be the turn-off if a reader accosted you?

Left Eye: “That’s a hard one, because I can’t think of anybody who.. wait a minute. (Thinks). See, if I say that (thinks more). Uhhh… I don’t know. I don’t know, there’s a lot of sick people in the world”.

Who’s the worst? Who do you really, really horribly hate? Who’s the worst thing ever?

“I was gonna say Hitler”, she begins, not entirely unreasonably. “But I don’t even know the man, I don’t know. (Quiet laugh) there’s a lot of people who don’t have any respect for life and that’s a long list of people. Y’know, the mass murderers,  the genocides… all those evil spirits”.

This hasn’t been much help. What about the perfect date — where could we take you? The movies?

“You know, I have a baby now,” states Chilli, flatly. “I don’t get to see movies. Dancing! Uh! Old school. Really bootie-shaking music. I love booty-shake music. There’s an artist out — JT Money — have you heard of him? JT Money is the bomb — I love his music. It’s a touch of bootie music. Are you familiar with Luke? That would definitely get me on the floor — dancing.”

Just — potential scrubs, take note! — don’t ask them to lend you a fiver when you go to the bar.

Was there much in the way of a backlash over the ideology behind “No Scrubs”?

“No”, Left Eye states, “but there was that Sporty Thievz song (‘No Pigeons‘). Which was pretty funny. But no, we haven’t been criticised at all. I mean when it comes down to it, there are so many female artists who have come out and sang songs with the same subject matter — (sings ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on but the Rent’ by Gwen Guthrie) ‘Gotta have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me…’ It’s not like we started anything new, heh heh”, she adds mischievously.

Sporty Thievz wanted you to pay for stuff, though.

“Erm, they said that, really? That they’d expect us to pay? Well, being that they want to go on the dates with us, I’d expect that they’d pay.”

Which is only polite.

“But if I was interested in going a date with the Sporty Thievz,” which judging from her tone she clearly isn’t, “I wouldn’t mind paying”. Cool!

tlc-couch-portrait-billboard-1548

So, date successfully over (hey, we can dream, can’t we?) we move on to… well, the interview is almost over. Let’s just go the whole hog. To the bedroom.

“The bad dream?” Left Eye mishears, though she’s probably along the right lines. “Oh, my bedroom! You wanna know what it’s like? Um, it’s eclectic and it looks like an oversized doll house”.

Crikey a-lordy!

“My mom, you see, is an interior decorator and when I was a little girl and we couldn’t afford really nice things, she’d decorate our rooms with sheer pink material. She’d drape it from one corner of the ceiling to the other, she’d have it coming down and she’d have all different shades. She decorated for a lot of people in the industry, and she did my house so it looks like a princess’ castle”.

“Everything in my house is natural tone,” adds T-Boz. “Everything matches with my hair — even my dogs! Haha! I have a canopy bed with silk material hanging down, a whole bunch of pillows — I love pillows, and everything’s cream, tan and beige. And I love curtains — real elegant, like the fabric’s real thick, a silk type… and I have a real big TV”.

And, to conclude, one of the worst chat-up lines ever invented must be resurrected.

T-Boz, what do you like for breakfast?

“I don’t.”

Blown out!

“Well, I do like breakfast, but I’m just never up that early…”

Result!

“…Actually, today I ate French toast. And I love Pop Tarts.”

So with the image of T-Boz biting into a pastry snack and spontaneously spitting lava-hot jam across her posh kitchen, it’s time to leave TLC. Hopefully, readers, you’re now fully equipped with the knowledge to accompany the girls on a date. Keep us posted on your progress — but we can’t cover any medical costs.

Advertisements
Anniversary, Music, Review

TLC Finally Made Christmas Sound Fun on “Sleigh Ride” 25 Years Ago!

InShot_20181206_190439890.jpg

On their 1993 Christmas single, the trio reworked every part of a chirpy classic and came out with something unique.

By Alex Robert Ross
To make absolutely sure that a song registers as Christmas music, a pop producer can follow a few basic rules. Sleigh bells on the downbeat and some scattered church bells are the obvious shortcuts; high-up strings and canned choirs certainly help. Most truly mainstream musicians are shooting for tinseled whimsy, warm fuzzies, and a picture of mittened masses tipping their hats to each other on their way to a family gathering. A few frills will get you there without too much sweat.
If this isn’t enough, an artist can always faithfully cover one of the early-to-mid-20th Century classics – “White Christmas” or “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” or anything else that Phil Spector perfected in 1963 – and have done with it. Christmas thrives on nostalgia, a reminder of a time when at least some people woke up thrilled by the prospect of presents and an eternity away from school. There’s some sense in going back in time, dusting something off, and adding a coat of fresh lacquer.
Twenty-five years ago, TLC did all of this on “Sleigh Ride.” It was, at least in theory, a cover of a well-known light orchestra standard. There was the reassuring rattle of jingle bells above the hi-hat and some background church chimes over the synths. But “Sleigh Ride” was so much more than that. It was a song warped so far beyond recognition that it became uniquely their own. It was full of frivolous jokes and messy happiness, and it did something that so many modern holiday songs have strived to do before failing so horribly – it made Christmas sound fun.
The original “Sleigh Ride,” a chirpy instrumental, was penned by Leroy Anderson in 1948 and became an immediate hit when it was released a year later. The Andrews Sisters recorded the first vocal performance of the song in 1950, using lyrics written by Mitchell Parish—the same man behind the words to jazz standards like “Stardust” and “Deep Purple.” The Ronettes’ version of the song on the practically flawless A Christmas Gift to You From Phil Spector in 1963 is the most popular, but there have been dozens of “Sleigh Ride”s over the years. It’s in the canon.
TLC took a novel approach to the song in 1993. Rather than borrowing from The Ronettes or even commissioning a remix of an older cut, they basically ignored the original altogether. They worked around an entirely new vocal hook, a beat produced by Organized Noize and co-produced by their then-manager Pebbles, and pretty much a whole new set of lyrics. The hook is so classically festive that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was there in the 1950 version: “Let’s have a very merry Christmas / And a happy New Year / Give with love and joy and happiness / And lots of good cheer.” But Parish’s lyrics didn’t even mention Christmas. The only call-back to the original comes from T-Boz, who sings to an entirely unfamiliar melody: “Just hear those sleigh bells jing-a-ling / Ring-ting-ting-a-ling too / It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.”
(All of which might make you think that this isn’t a cover at all, and I get it. If you all but rewrite a song’s lyrics and sing those lyrics to a whole new tune over an entirely different beat, isn’t it just a new song? The answer is obviously yes, in the same way that an old broom with a new head and a new handle is just a new broom. But go back in time and tell that to LaFace Records, who listed only two songwriters on the original CD copy of the track: Anderson and Parish.)
TLC’s “version” is best appreciated alongside its video, which features T-Boz, Chilli, and Left Eye wearing baggy overalls, working through some awkward treeside encounters with boyfriends, helping the needy, and leading a half-decent dance party. “I want T-Boz to get me some headphone sets, and I want Left Eye to make me a fly dress,” Chilli says, beaming, at the top of the song. Left Eye’s verse is an open challenge to anyone who wants to hang out with her, opening with a too-cool-for-this-shit lead-in—”Uh-huh reindeer, presents, happiness… yeah right, check it out…”—and then using the “sleigh ride” as a metaphor for what I’m guessing was simply romance, because this was a PG-13 Christmas track. (The B-side to the single, “All I Want for Christmas“—no relation—is less ambiguous.)
This was just before TLC’s peak, a year beforeCrazySexyCool and years before outside pressures would make things tense, so it’s safe to assume that a lot of the trio’s chemistry was natural and unforced here. In an interview with Pitchfork earlier this year, Chilli even said that the verse was her favorite Left Eye moment: “I really love how she rapped in our Christmas song,'” she said. “I miss how silly we all used to be together. It was just how we interacted, at least when we were all liking each other at the same time—you know how sisters are!” They were gunning for airplay here (and a featured spot on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack didn’t hurt), but TLC were genuinely enjoying themselves.
“Sleigh Ride” is unquestionably of its time, but that’s its greatest asset—where most pop musicians try to tap into familiar moods and melodies at Christmas, TLC decided to sound like themselves, then threw a few bells on there. There’s more than one way to access warm holiday vibes. Sometimes you just have to rewrite the songs from scratch.
TLC finally gave us a live rendition of the hit in 2016, 23 years after it’s release, on the festive television show Taraji’s White Hot Holidays. Missy Elliott made a surprise appearance and paid homage to the late Left Eye by performing Lisa’s verse with the girls. Magic.
Original article posted on Noisey
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.

 

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.