This incredible one-woman show, ‘2 The Left‘, performed solely by talented actress Kerisse Hutchinson, returns to the spotlight this year with a very limited availability online to stream for the first time, courtesy of the Aurora Theater.
‘2 The Left’ is an inspiring music-filled, multimedia experience chronicling the life and spiritual journey of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, controversial member of the 90s pop music phenomenon, TLC. This play with music focuses on a young woman of color and the challenges that she encounters as she embarks on a journey to find her artistic voice and purpose.
‘2 The Left’ allows the audience to take a glimpse at the woman behind the legend and discover how her path might mirror our own. We reported on this amazing show when it was originally announced last year when it debuted in Atlanta. Recorded at the Aurora Theatre as part of its ‘Our Stage Onscreen’ series, the digital production will be available through until November 8, 2020.
Kerisse was so dedicated and determined to fulfil this passion for the role, that she took up an invitation to visit the USHA healing village in Honduras by Lisa’s brother, Ronald Lopes, to truly get a feel of who Lisa was and what she wanted to share with the world. “Kerisse took a moment out of her life to experience some of the things that Lisa experienced, to be able to tell a truer story about Lisa”, Ron says proudly.
Kerisse reveals that although Lisa’s story is bittersweet, it is full of depth, hope and insightful teachings that we can all learn from. “The bitter is removed when you realize that where Lisa’s journey ends, ours begins to be lived out more fully and boldly”, Kerisse says.
For a limited time, you can get a discount off the price for the show, by using the promo code TLCARMY on the website here.
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins spoke with TMZ this week to clear up some things that had made the headlines last week, following her interview with ‘Hollywood Unlocked‘ where she had named some of the people that hadn’t fully supported TLC, following the tragic loss of the beloved Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.
Tionne says that she was actually referring to the promoters and industry executives in charge that had turned their backs on TLC after the loss of Lisa rather than other artists, most notably their former LaFace Records boss, L.A. Reid. “L.A. didn’t stop rocking with us because he didn’t believe in us anymore, it was something personal which I’ll always keep between us”, Tionne admits. “Whether I agreed with it or not, he out of respect called me, and I’ll just leave it like that”.
“The final decision was to not rock with us, but it wasn’t because he didnt believe in us, so I’ll clear that part up”, Tionne clarifies. “But, he did decide to turn his back and keep on going, and that’s fine, it’s business”.
To recap, TLC had inked a deal with L.A. Reid back in 2013 on Epic Records, the label he was the head of at the time. Fresh after the success of their hit VH1 movie, ‘CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story‘, and the release of it’s soundtrack, ‘20‘, featuring the track “Meant To Be“, TLC were in the studio recording their first studio album since 2002’s ‘3D‘.
However, shortly during the recording process, the deal was mysteriously terminated, leaving fans confused and upset. The girls had said they would reveal what happened but have since decided to keep it personal. L.A. Reid had insisted that he did not drop the girls, saying that they are friends for life.
The following are excerpts from an LA Times article, documenting some of the tracks TLC were working on at the time. ‘TLC recently issued “Meant to Be,” their first single since 2003. The saccharine, Ne-Yo-crafted ballad is the lone new track from the biopic’s soundtrack, “20,” and came from recent sessions that include collaborations with Dallas Austin and Lady Gaga, who penned a track called “P.O.S.H. Life.” They also hope to log studio time with Drake and 2 Chainz.’
‘After another check on Thomas, Watkins slid into a dimly lit booth to take a stab at another song — an angsty, guitar-driven pop-rock ballad called “Breaking Bad.” “If I die before I wake, at least I know I lived for something,” she sang. “If this breath is the last I take, I don’t want it to be for nothing.”’
The media also spun her comments as an attack on fellow musicians Drake, T.I. and Nelly for pulling out on the girls for their 2014 Super Bowl Blitz on VH1. However, Tionne was glad to clear up that misconception and says there are no hard feelings against any of the rappers.
“I was actually saying it in a good way, because [that show] turned out great for us. Because God always makes things go exactly how it’s supposed to, I’m a believer in that”, Tionne says. “I am happy that they actually didn’t show up, because it showed that we had staying power. That we can still rock on stage without the bells and whistles and other people to save us.”
Tionne also admits that she doesn’t blame the artists for not wanting to rock with them at that time, as no one really knew if continuing without Lisa was going to work out or not. “I’ve got respect for Drake, Nelly and T.I., I don’t want it to sound like it was being messy. They made it sound like I said they turned their back on TLC, child, that’s business”, she says.
“To keep it honest, if I was the artist and I didn’t know the state of the group, I’d be scared too! I’d be like, ‘hell naw, I don’t know what y’all doing’. That’s business, y’all, that’s the way the industry goes. I’m not mad”.
The RIAA have officially confirmed that the sales of TLC‘s anthem “No Scrubs” have significantly boosted since it’s release back in March 1999. On October 13, 2020 the RIAA stated that the iconic hit was 5x platinum, a major increase since it’s previous gold certification on April 27, 1999.
This serves as great news for the girls and for the fans, who have been eagerly waiting for the RIAA to update the certifications of TLC’s record and album sales, most of which have not been updated since their original time of release.
Last year, we revealed that the ‘CrazySexyCool‘ album was re-certified by the RIAA to reflect the additional sales of the masterpiece, which is now 12x platinum. It’s previous certification was two decades ago on July 2, 1999 when it was officially 11x platinum. A large portion of the album sales increased as a result of the hit VH1 movie, ‘CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story’, which both T-Boz and Chilli served as executive producers.
Other TLC releases hoping for updated RIAA certifications include the ‘FanMail’ album, (which the girls claim is very close to going diamond) was certified 6x platinum on June 26, 2000; ‘3D‘, last certified x1 platinum on December 10, 2002; ‘Ooooooohhh on the TLC tip‘, last certified as 4x platinum on May 1, 1996.
And the singles, “Waterfalls“, certified 1x platinum on July 31, 1995; “Creep“, certified x1 platinum on January 6, 1995; “What About Your Friends“, certified gold on November 19, 1992; “Unpretty“, certified gold on September 20, 1999; “Hands Up/Girl Talk“, certified gold on May 15, 2003; “Baby-Baby-Baby“, certified 1x platinum on September 29, 1992; “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, certified as 1x platinum on May 15, 1992; “Diggin’ On You“, certified as gold on January 3, 1996; “Red Light Special“, certified gold on April 17, 1995.
Sony Music Entertainment celebrates some of the biggest hits of the 90’s with the premiere of My 90s Playlist, a new podcast exploring some of the decade’s most iconic songs and groundbreaking artists. The show’s first episode features a deep dive into the history of hit R&B group TLC and the making of their chart-topping single “No Scrubs.” Listen to the podcast here.
In the meantime, give “No Scrubs” a listen on a streaming service of your choice to celebrate it’s milestone!
The first two “Pass the Mic” shows from DJ Cassidy counted as veritable mic-drops for fans of vintage R&B and hip-hop, bringing epic medleys that brought stars from Earth, Wind and Fire to Doug E. Fresh back to reprise a verse or two of their classic hits in a dance-music collage. “Volume Three” is premiered Tuesday night, zeroing in on the late ’80s/early ’90s nexus of R&B history.
In additon to the legendary TLC, other great artists taking part in the exclusively virtual performance include Boyz II Men, Joi of Jade, K-Ci of Jodeci, En Vogue, SWV, Keith Sweat, BBD and Shanice, to name but a few.
DJ Cassidy points to the number of women who were triumphing, separately and collectively, in the late ’80s and beyond as proof of the health and wealth of R&B at that time.
“I haven’t left my house in over four weeks, since I’ve been working on ‘Volume Three’,” Cassidy says to Variety. “It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever assembled in my DJ career.”
The DJ mentions that 15 No. 1 Billboard hits from that time frame will be included, as newly sung on camera by the original artists, with a total of 23 well-remembered songs covered in one 37-minute swoop. The fact that he has 43 individuals showing up to do those 23 songs suggests that there are a good deal of groups involved in this one — not all of them female — so you can take from that whatever lineup clues you might.
“‘Weak,’ my favorite SWV song, you just feel it down your spine. I know everyone’s going to go, “Oh s—, Coko.” She’s singing. And then right before the chorus, I bring on Taj and I bring on Lelee, and then each one is singing their harmony note and they’re all in their own box. And it shows you how great they are, because literally it sounds like they were doing it together. With these groups, I raised the volume of the harmonies, which you might not hear so prevalent in the mix of a final song, but I made them so you can hear everyone.
With TLC, T-Boz comes on first and then I go ‘Chilli, take them to the bridge’ — just those moments of when you’re not sure if you’re getting the whole group and then you get ‘em are amazing.”
“The great thing about this, unlike an awards show or an episode of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ is that it only gets better with time. The live event is a fun way to get people in the chat room and talking about it and people going crazy about ‘Oh my God, who’s coming next.’ But once you put it up then it really starts to be to passed around, it takes on a life of its own.”