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Interview

Salt N Pepa: TLC Were Upset We Didn’t Talk To Them at Grammys

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Salt N Pepa talked to Paper Magazine back in 2015 about their feelings towards TLC during the 90s and the legacy of Left Eye!

Pepa: I remember hearing the group’s music for the first time and we were like “Who are these three new girls coming out?” It was brilliant because they’re R&B; singers, and then you had Lisa who was an emcee. I thought that was awesome, and I knew they were gonna be a hit and make timeless music. Lisa had the “it” factor and she was so free-spirited. That’s what reminded me of Salt-N-Pepa.

Salt: I’m very good at knowing the “it” factor when I see it. When I first saw Beyoncé I was like OMG diva yes! Same thing with TLC and Left Eye in particular. She stood out to me as a brazen, bold, in your face kind of individual. She really was that way in person and it showed on camera.

Their first video “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” struck me, and they also reminded me of Salt-N-Pepa, too. They were young, they were cute, they were about female empowerment, they said whatever they wanted to say. I fell in love with them from “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” so I wasn’t surprised that they went onto mega stardom.

Pepa: Their whole style, their attitude, they were very focused. I just knew this wasn’t going to be a one-hit-wonder. To this day, we still play “Scrubs” in our shows. We have to support each other at all times, support women like us.

Salt: I remember being on the set with them when we did a song together with Pebbles [Perri Reid] — they were Pebbles’ protegées — and we barely spoke. I don’t know if they were dumbstruck or fans, but women sometimes do that; we don’t approach each other in music, which I think is a crime.

Now that I’m a more mature woman, if I see another female celebrity, I’m going to go up to them and say “Hey girl what’s up.” But sometimes you get the I’m-a-bigger-star-than-you vibe, so you have to be open.

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TLC in the Pebbles music video ‘Backyard’ featuring Salt N Pepa
So I remember us not talking. Years later, Chilli, T-Boz, Pep, and myself did a photo shoot together. And Chilli brought up a time when we were at the Grammy’s and never spoke. She said, “We really looked up to you guys, and we were hurt that you guys didn’t even come up to us.” I was apologizing; I don’t know why that happens with women. We need to be banding together. I don’t feel [competitive] now as a mother and as a more mature person.

I think as Salt-N-Pepa we can be really instrumental in bringing women together in hip-hop and saying it doesn’t have to be like this. Coming up with Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah, it wasn’t like that. We were all really cool with each other. We were just a bunch of girls coming up in a male-dominated genre of music and we clicked with each other naturally.

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Pepa: Now there’s so much more room for females in the industry with us showing that it could be done and with TLC showing that it could be done.

Salt: Women have been fighting to be heard and to be taken seriously in every area: business, music, it doesn’t matter. The struggle continues. Me and Pep are still finding ourselves in situations that I’m sure Left Eye had found herself in and I’m sure that’s why she was screaming. It was like, “I’m a black woman, and I matter.” Sometimes it may have been perceived as spoiled or like a tantrum, but it was really her saying, “see me, I’m not just an artist,” which is a struggle for me.

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I’m a producer, I’m a writer, I compose music, I’m a mom. There are so many aspects to me besides being an artist, but sometimes in this business you have to fight to be seen as anything else. Sometimes you feel like a puppet, and I think that’s how she felt. She was not just a recording artist; she was an artist in many ways. We make up our video concepts, there’s so much stuff that we do that we don’t get recognized or credit for and it’s very frustrating.

I’ll tell a story that Russell Simmons doesn’t like: one time I was standing near him, and he didn’t know what Salt-N-Pepa looked like. Somebody happened to ask him what he thought of those Salt-N-Pepa girls and he was like thumbs down, not gonna last. Years later, he tried to sign us to Def Jam. But that’s how it is.

I always say desperation stinks. It’s a very smelly emotion. When you’re willing to say no, turn down money, and piss people off and not care that they call you a bitch, that breaks barriers. I love what Taylor Swift is doing. I’m not only a fan of the music, I’m a fan of her being a young woman who is going hard for what she feels she’s worth. You have to stand in your worth and be able to walk away.

At the end of the day you keep your self-respect and make a statement to the world. That takes a lot of courage because sometimes you’re wrong, but you still leave with your integrity. I was very immature when I was young. Left Eye did some immature things, but at the end of the day, she was saying, “I’m here, I’m important, I matter,” and that’s what I loved about her. She made her statement, she made her mark, and she’s unforgettable.

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Pepa: She was very clear on her direction in life. You will definitely remember Left Eye: the eye-patch, the condoms on the shirt. She was just so alive and in your face with it. She was boisterous and had a good attitude that you need in this male-dominated world. She’ll never get lost.

Salt: To me, her legacy is to live out loud. She was authentic, she was herself, she was unapologetic about who she was. We would all like to be that way and sometimes we shy away from that because we’re afraid of being judged. She was judged, but she was willing to be judged. That’s what I really loved about her.

PaperMag

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Interview, Review

TLC: How We Made “Waterfalls”

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Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, singer

Anything that’s self-destructive, that’s chasing a waterfall. We wanted to make a song with a strong message – about unprotected sex, being promiscuous, and hanging out in the wrong crowd. The messages in Waterfalls hit home. I think that’s why it’s our biggest hit to date.

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When it first went to radio, nobody got it. They didn’t understand what we were talking about. It needed the video to bring the words to life. Even I don’t think I really fell in love with the song until I saw it. The moment I did, I knew it would be a hit.

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The timing was perfect. Organized Noize produced the track. They’d been working with Outkast and Goodie Mob and that funky, soulful sound that was their signature. CeeLo Green sang backing vocals – way before he was a big star. P Diddy did some interludes on the album, CrazySexyCool, too. But obviously, once our voices got on there, it became a TLC record.

The song made us much more relevant – not just a fun girl group. We were bringing awareness to subjects people were nervous talking about. It was groundbreaking for us: from then on, we were seen as the real deal.

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We definitely wanted to be role models. We felt like a lot of females didn’t have other females pulling for them – so every song we put out was a girl-power song. We told it from a woman’s point of view. Women liked that and men respected it.

AIDs is still out there. You still have bullying. You still have drugs. But you have to continue to bring awareness so that people can become more responsible and want to do the right things. You can never have too many records like Waterfalls.

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Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins, singer and songwriter

I always loved what you’d call alternative music. Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, Duran Duran, Billy Idol. Bennie and the Jets by Elton John was my thing. I was born in Iowa and moved to Atlanta when I was a child.

Every time I tell people I’m from Iowa, they go: “There’s black people there?” I actually have a T-shirt that says: “Yes, there are black people in Iowa.”

I wanted Waterfalls to be our version of alternative music. When I heard an early version, I thought: “My god, this is perfect.” It was so left of what we’d done on our first album. It was amazeballs.

When we had finished recording it, we played it for Clive Davies, the big kahuna at the label. He was the boss of Arista, which distributed our label La Face. He didn’t like it. He said it was too deep. He didn’t think people would bump up the street to it.

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So we went to LA Reid, who ran LaFace. We bought a giant poster and wrote on it: “Please believe in us, we’ll make the best video ever.” He went against Clive and put up the money. We called in F Gary Gray to direct the video.

The first time he showed us the concept – which showed a kid getting killed selling drugs and a guy contracting HIV – we started crying.

AIDS was an epidemic at the time. Not long after the song came out, I was doing a book-signing and a man came up to me and held my hand. “I didn’t kill myself because of you,” he said. “I felt like nobody understood. But I felt like you guys understood how people can end up in my situation.”

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The day before recording, I’d been in a car with Lisa [“Left Eye” Lopes, who was killed in a car accident in 2002]. We saw a beautiful rainbow. That’s how her rap starts: “I seen a rainbow yesterday.” She’d been through a lot with the house burning down, she’d been locked up in the centre for drug and alcohol treatment.

That was serious, what she said was real. It was for herself and everyone else who had been down the wrong path, chased the wrong things. And she really did see that rainbow – and it made her feel good about life and remember how precious it is. That song still has meaning 25 years on.

I will never forget the day we filmed that video. I can’t swim. It was 6am and I’m on this little plastic thing in the middle of 80,000 tonnes of water, in the lake where they shot Jaws at Universal Studios. That’s why my feet are planted. I do not move. I was so worried about falling in.

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When we showed the video to Clive, he was like: “I knew it would be great!” And we were looking at him like: “What? Hush up!” We eventually fired people and got out of our deal. We were so underpaid. We made a lot of people wealthy. Being a black woman in the industry means you have so much going against you.

I’m not fearful about anything. If I believe in something and want to to talk about it, then that’s what we’re doing. I’m just happy that we were able to succeed in what we set out to do – make a difference.

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TLC headline the Mighty Hoopla festival in Brockwell Park, London, on 3 June.
Interview serves as part of The Guardian’s weekly ‘How We Made‘ series. 
Anniversary, Interview

TLC on Cardi B and Why They Don’t Celebrate Left Eye’s Passing

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TLC sat down with Beats 1 on April 25, 2018, the 16th anniversary of the passing of the beloved Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

On Cardi B Paying Them Homage

T-Boz: “I know she wore my outfits at the Grammys and she wore Lisa’s hair. It was our whole Grammys-TLC feel when we were on stage, and she said Left Eye on one song, and paid homage to TLC on another song — our “Creep” song and then our name, too. She did it twice and she also paid us love on our page. So a lot of love — it was awesome.”

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On TLC’s Legacy

T-Boz: “It’s really an honor. You never think people are going to be — like, you always wish that, you want that. We would always say, ‘we want to be trendsetters. We want little girls to dress like us.’ But when you actually see them do it for Halloween, and have birthday parties, and generations — the grandma, the mom, and the daughter — all at the concerts. It’s really amazing. We’re blessed to be 25 years in, and people are still doing it.”

Chilli: “We are really blessed. And like she said, as an artist when you’re new coming out, your dream is to be able to have that type of effect — a positive one — on everybody, and to have that longevity. You don’t know if that’s going to be your story, so time tells that, and it has. It’s been 20 plus years, and even Bruno Mars, for that matter — the video that he had featuring Cardi B — it was almost like our “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” video, and he had on a TLC t-shirt! It’s amazing and it’s a blessing for us to see that. It makes us feel really good and lets us know, OK we did it right. We’re still doing it, so yes, it is awesome.”

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On The Anniversary of Left Eye’s Passing

Chilli: “First of all, when you think of the word anniversary — I mean, I know that it’s a date that something took place. But when you think about that, you think of happy times.

When people celebrate the anniversary of a wedding, or a marriage, or a relationship of any kind, and it seems like to me it’s all something cheerful, and there’s nothing cheerful to me about her passing. I mean nothing. We don’t go out of our way to do anything like that. I mean, when her birthday comes around, yes, we talk about that, but not the death.”

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T-Boz: “But we celebrate it all year round. I mean really because we always incorporate her in everything we do. We always keep her memory alive. We showcase the great things, like why people loved her. So yeah, like when anybody else’s mom or sister dies, I don’t know a lot of people who celebrate cake or anything.”

 

Interview

TLC Talk Tomboys, Drag Acts and Their Appreciation of The LGBT Community

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Have you ever been to a gay club when “No Scrubs” comes on? Because you’ve never seen anything gayer or more inspiring.
T-Boz and Chilli: (Laughs)
Chilli: You know what’s funny? One of my friends works for VH1 and, oh my gosh, it’s hilarious. He’s gay and I’m the only girl who could be his play girlfriend he tells me, and he always sends me – and, I mean, he just sent one the other day – video of when “No Scrubs” comes on, and he’s like, “Chilli, I love you!” And he’s singing and showing me everybody singing. It is crunk!

So, I take it you’re aware of your LGBT following? 
T-Boz: Oh, very aware. Very, very,very! The thing I love about our fans is, we’ve grown with them and they’ve grown with us. Some of them have kids now, so we have generations there. But, yes, we are very, very, very aware of the community, honey, ’cause all of our friends let us know. I love it!

When did you first know you had a gay following? 
T-Boz: I did a party around (1994’s) “CrazySexyCool” and that was one of the best parties I hosted. I learned so much! Like, I didn’t know there were certain terms and stuff! They hooked me up with a lot more knowledge of stuff that went on than I really realized. I was like, “Ohh?!” It was just such a free, fun party. No judging. No anything. It was just one of the best environments I had ever been in, so I thought that was cool. So, probably around ’95-ish when I was really aware.

What did you learn about the gay community that night? 
T-Boz: I learned what a top was, a bottom was. And versatile! (Laughs) I learned all of those terms! I was like, oh my god – this is so cool.
Chilli: Oh, Lord. Oh, Jesus. I wasn’t at that party!

Sounds like you really missed out, Chilli. When was your gay awakening then? Ha! 
Chilli: (Laughs) I don’t know why I feel weird saying it now, ’cause you already said it! The bottom part. And you know… the top. I keep laughing!

Ha! Moving on to the new album: Which songs on the new album do you hope become gay club anthems? 
Chilli: It’s funny that you kind of break it down like that. But really and truly, for me personally, I just kind of feel like when we make our songs, we make them for everybody. I mean, everybody. So, you never know who’s gonna like what the most. I guess we’ll find out in time by what song really speaks to whomever and what’s the most popular one that’s being played at certain clubs. It’s kind of harder to gauge that one for me.
T-Boz: I think “Perfect Girls.” The three I’ve heard mostly from my gay friends have been “Perfect Girls,” “Scandalous” and “Start a Fire.” Those are the top three. But I think “Perfect Girls” has a message that’s been universal no matter what sex you are – anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t love themselves from the inside out or have a goal they’re trying to reach but can’t ’cause they’re looking at people who they think are perfect. But there’s no such thing!

What do you remember of the LGBT community’s response to “Waterfalls” when it first came out?
T-Boz: We did a campaign for Pfizer, and there was a new cocktail out. We did seminars and it was really cool because we let it be known that there was a new drug from this company and it could help HIV/AIDS patients. They would come up to us; they felt like we were their voice. It was such an epidemic at the time, so they just felt like we were speaking for them.
Chilli: It was basically about bringing more awareness (to it) because nobody really talked about it. It was kind of just hush-hush, even though these things were happening. It was like, “People are getting sick, they’re dying and nobody is really talking about it much.”
T-Boz: People even said they thought about committing suicide and it helped save their lives. We started really seeing the seriousness of it, especially when we did charity events. We got a lot of calls for charity events for AIDS benefits, so it started making a really big difference. We basically got one of our wishes through that song, because we always wanted to help change and save lives.

Gay icon Bette Midler covered “Waterfalls” a few years ago – what was it like hearing her rendition? 
Chilli: That was an honor. It was an honor because she is legend, oh my god. That’s legendary right there! And not only that, but she contributed to our Kickstarter campaign. We were shocked. We couldn’t believe, like, “Bette Midler?!”

During “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Tatianna showed some TLC love when she did T-Boz drag. Did you tune in for that? 
T-Boz: (Laughs) I absolutely saw it and I loved it! I put it on my page; I reposted it.
Chili: I don’t think anybody ever has (dressed up as me). Maybe I’m boring! I’m no fun, I guess. (Laughs) I just got the long, wavy hair. And I don’t hardly wear any wake up, so I don’t think I’d be a fun person to dress up as, is what I’m thinking.
T-Boz: Yeah, I’ve seen T-Boz drag more than once, actually. It’s cool to see different renditions of myself. It makes you go, “Oh, that’show you see me!” (Laughs)

What do you remember from RuPaul’s visit to the set of the “No Scrubs” video in 1999? 
Chilli: I remember the first time I saw him – and at first I didn’t know even it was him because he wasn’t in drag! He was just walking around with no makeup and it was so funny. But then, when he smiled, it was like, “Oh, that is RuPaul.” You know that smile anywhere. And he was so sweet too. And really tall! (Laughs)
T-Boz: He just came to show love. He was just there to support us, which I thought was awesome. That was it. He was just showing love.

At the start of your career, you rocked a tomboy look. How intentional was your subversion of gender? And what did that do for your lesbian following?
Chilli: This is how we looked at it: We call ourselves “prissy tomboys” ’cause we’re super girly, but we’re tomboys at the same time, so we felt like we represented all the girls who did not feel comfortable wearing a tight dress. We represented that crew. Then lettin’ everybody know you don’t have to wear a tight dress to be sexy – it’s the attitude. So, even though we had baggy clothes and all that kind of stuff, we were still feminine, So, again, whoever gravitated toward that and felt comfortable, we helped them feel more comfortable. That’s how it was, because we didn’t wanna wear tight dresses! We still don’t really like dressing like that.

Did your style give the ladies the wrong idea – that you were lesbian? What do you remember of those rumors? 
T-Boz: I got most of it! They was always after me, child! (Laughs) All the lipstick lesbians – everybody! Child, I got everything. But that doesn’t bother us. Ultimately, no matter what your sexual orientation, we were standing up for anybody that felt like they didn’t fit in. We were letting them know you can still be sexy in boy clothes, you can rock this, you don’t have to be naked or half-dressed. You can be yourself and be just as fly.

Pride Source

Interview

TLC on Never Replacing Left Eye and Continuing Empowering Music

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TLC got on the phone to speak to Clare Crane in the UK to promote their upcoming appearance at the Mighty Hoopla in London’s Brockwell Park on June 3, their first UK festival!

What made you record a new album?

T-Boz: Mostly the fans asking for it. Of course, when Lisa passed away things changed, and some people wondered what would happen to TLC. And then some people understood it’s not the same but you have to find your new normal, and we still have the talent.

Chilli: It’s a blessing for us that we can still continue and make sure her legacy goes on through us. We’re very different from most groups, I don’t think there will ever be a group like TLC. So, when she passed away, people were like ‘people replace group members all the time’, it was like foreign talk to us. No one can be replaced in TLC. Each original member is an original member, and that’s it! It just has to be that way.

The importance of lyrical content in their music 

T-Boz: Lyrical content is something that’s missing in today’s music. I think that there’s a difference when there’s a song that when you hear it you remember where you were and how you feel, it healed you or helped you get through something.

Is this the final album?

Chilli: Yeah.

T-Boz: Yes, it is. I mean, you never know if there’s a Christmas special or a single or something like that. We’re open to that but as far as this being the final TLC studio album, yeah it’s the last album.

How the Left Eye Interlude was brought to life

T-Boz: The interlude on this album we had such a problem, we used a lot of vocals that we had of Left Eye. Before she passed, she was on more of a poetic type of thing, some of it was gangster rap and NINA (New Identity Non Applicable) that she had created, that was a solo thing she was doing and it didn’t fit with TLC. So, we tried to creatively come up with something that was the essence of Lisa that you will remember her for. That high energy and cute little voice. That’s what that interview stood for, so you could remember the essence of why you loved Lisa.

TLC’s fashion style

Chilli: When I look back at the clothes that we wore, pretty much everything I consider to be a thumbs up, because it was authentically us. It was our own style, even if we had taken whatever was popular at the time, we took it and made it TLC style, and that was before we even had stylists. Our stylists sit down and talk to us about what we want, we’re not the type of artists to rely solely on the stylist about what to wear, we have our own sense of style and know how we want to be presented in photoshoots and on stage. Whatever it is will definitely have a TLC flare to it.

First UK festival appearance at Mighty Hoopla 

T-Boz: It’s exciting, man! I’m so excited, we’ve been waiting to do that. I’m so happy this day is here! It’s a high powered show, even on the slow songs you find a pick up or something going on. There’s always something to watch, no matter what song it is on stage. I think people leave with a good feeling.

Interview

TLC: “We were the voices for HIV and Aids”

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One of the greatest legacies in music history can be summed up by just three letters—TLC.

Those characters merely hint at the talent of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, but they immediately evoke an unparalleled journey nonetheless. That journey encompasses immortal anthems such as “Waterfalls,” “Creep,” “No Scrubs,” and “Unpretty,” to name a few, as well as sales of 70 million records worldwide, four GRAMMY® Awards, two RIAA diamond-certified albums among a total of four multiplatinum albums, ten Top 10 singles, and four Number 1 singles. Meanwhile, the VH1 original film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Storychronicled their rise and broke records as the highest-rated television film premiere of 2013 and the highest-rated original premiere on the network between consistent touring.

Given the legacy behind this timeless moniker, it’s fitting the undisputed “best-selling American girl-group of all-time” chose the name TLC for their fifth and first album in 15 years.

“We’re still TLC,” affirms Tionne. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We kept the same recipe, which is strong lyrical content and talking about things that affect all of us. When you have time between albums, you have more to speak on. We talked about what was on our minds and hearts.”

“There’s no glitter or sprinkles about it,” smiles Chilli. “It’s just our name. It’s who we are. We’re back. We’re here to stay. This is a continuation of our evolution. So much has changed since we first came out, but the issues that men and women go through haven’t changed. We love talking about that stuff, and there’s a place for it.”

There’s definitely a place for it, as countless fans quite literally “demanded” a new TLC album in 2015. Unassumingly, the girls launched a Kickstarter campaign to simply gauge interest. What they got was an overwhelming and seismic groundswell of support. Fans worldwide—including Katy Perry, New Kids On The Block, Donnie Wahlberg, Bette Midler, —enthusiastically contributed to this next chapter. Raising over $400,000, it became the “fastest and most funded pop project in Kickstarter history.

“We’ve always been involved with our audience, especially during FanMail,” Tionne continues. “To have the fans do this album with us was perfect. There was this freedom that came with it. The packages made it even more enjoyable for everyone. If Michael Jackson told me I could go to the movies with him, I would’ve given my rent money and all of my clothes to do that,” she laughs. “It was a fun way to bond with the people who support us even more.”

“The fans kept asking for new music,” recalls Chilli. “It had to be the right situation though. The opportunity never presented itself until the whole Kickstarter thing came into play. We were hesitant at first. Then, we realized we could incorporate everybody who loves our music in a way we hadn’t yet. They literally helped us create the album. The love kept pouring in, and we were really touched. It was such great motivation for us when we got back in the studio.”

TLC went as hard as ever in the booth. As a result, the music picks up exactly where they left off just sharper, smarter, sassier, and even a little sexier than before. The same inimitable chemistry simultaneously drives all twelve tracks.

“I’ve always felt that vibe between us,” says Chilli. “The chemistry has empowered us to touch so many in a positive way. Even if they don’t know us, fans think of us as their homegirls. It’s because we believe everything we say and it’s relatable.”

The girls introduced the record with the appropriately titled “Way Back” [feat. Snoop Dogg]. With its sun-kissed Southern California bounce and smooth Snoop cameo, the single lives up to Chilli’s description as “the perfect summer record. It quickly cracked 2 million Spotify streams and earned acclaim from Time,Rolling StoneSpin, and Pitchfork who claimed“‘Way Back’ is a fine way to kick off their hard-earned victory lap.”

From the get-go, “No Introduction” sets the stage with fast and furious verses reintroducing the girls. Meanwhile, TLC combats bullies head-on with hip-hop swagger and pop poise on the clever and catchy “Haters.” Then, there’s “Joyride,” which offers up a heartfelt “thank you”to the fans worldwide who made this record a reality. Steeped in soul, the poignant and powerful plea of the single “American Gold” continues a tradition of social consciousness the girls began on “Waterfalls.”

“With ‘Waterfalls,’ we were the voice for HIV and Aids,” Tionne says. “We thought it would be awesome to now take up for the troops who have lost lives on this American soil and fought for it. They bled American gold, so on “American Gold” we’re saying, ‘Thank you, we appreciate you, and your work hasn’t gone unnoticed.’ We notice.”

At the end of the day, it’s TLC through and through, and there’s nothing more CrazySexyCoolthan that…

“I hope people hear this and think, ‘Damn, they did it again’,” concludes Chilli. “I want them to feel just like they did when they first heard us. I know I’ll be up there shaking it at 100!”

“There’s something on here for every age and walk of life,” Tionne leaves off. “That’s what we’ve always aimed to do, and I think we accomplished that again.”

Source

Interview

Chilli Shares Love For Australian Accents, Fans, Tours and Bruno Mars

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Chilli took time out to join Hit 92.9 in Australia for a whole morning co-hosting the show to promote their final Australian show this month at Metro City! Chilli discusses everything from TLC to finding love on the beaches of Australia!

Where is T-Boz?

She is not a morning person! She doesn’t talk, she looks mean! So, I’m like, “you know what, I got this!”

Stand out career moment

Honestly, we have many. We always go through something crazy. Every album, inbetween, after, it doesn’t matter, it’s always something. But yet we stay together, we stick it out, our bond is tight.

TLC without Left Eye

You never expect something like that, especially when you’re young. We all think we’re going to live to be older, which is a blessing but when it doesn’t happen it’s very devastating because you don’t see that coming. It’s not even in the back of your mind. We never said we were breaking up, we were just hurting very badly. The record company were like ‘how are they gonna do it without the other member’, so when we were kinda able to heal, we knew that Lisa would want us to go on, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We always represent her and the fans love it. This is the new TLC, no one will ever take her place in the group.

Bruno Mars

I’m a huge Bruno Mars fan because his music is not new, it’s really old school music but this person doing it today and it has a lot of substance and it feels good music.

Connecting with fans and ‘Haters’

It’s definitely easier today to communicate with your fans because right there, there’s your phone. But then there’s the ugly side, when people say the craziest and meanest things. It’s funny, because when we confront them they are like ‘oh my God, I didn’t know you read your own stuff and I love you guys’. It changes quickly.

Favorite song to perform

We don’t perform any covers. It’s hard for me to pick but I like to perform the uptempos better because I love singing and dancing and stuff. I like ballads but that’s my least favorite.

Atlanta compared to TV shows

It’s not quite like that. Maybe some parts, every city has their [grimy] parts but, no (laughs).

Valentine’s Day and Finding Love

My son [is my special Valentine]. I’ve been looking on the beach!  I would absolutely take an Australian guy home if I found the right one! I’m not too fussy, but I know exactly what I want!

Younger fans

I love kids, you have no idea! It’s such a blessing when you have fans that young. When our movie came out we got this whole new generation and with this new album we have out. They knew all the words and the dance routines, it’s crazy.

How TLC got their nicknames

So, there was another girl in the group before I was in the group. They were called 2nd Nature. Pebbles renamed them TLC because their names were Tionne, Lisa and Crystal.  She was eventually kicked out of her own group! Then, when I got in the group, my name’s Rozonda. TLR? No, so, we were all throwing out names and one of them said Chilli and I said yes, that’s it! So they kinda got their nicknames because I had one. But, mine’s the coolest!