Interview, Lifestyle, News, Radio

T-Boz: “Police Pulled Me Over Just For Driving A Nice Car!”

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Earlier this month, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins took some time out to speak with the hit travel podcast, ‘All The S**t I’ve Learned Abroad‘, with Steph Paige and Andrea Gillis about her travel experiences and opens up about her thoughts and feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tionne can completely relate to the loss of George Floyd, who was tragically murdered in broad daylight by police last month, as her cousin Eddie Russell Jr was also killed when he was shot by Illinois police in September 2017, despite informing them that he suffered with a mental illness to deter them from using unjust force.

“The only difference with racism [today] is that it’s being taped now. There’s still people doing modern day lynching, and that’s what you’re seeing when you see cases like Ahmaud Aubury and George Floyd”, Tionne says. “I’ve looked up all of these cases — my cousin was actually one of them that was gunned down with AR-15’s and shot 18 times. They blew his jaw off and the back of his head, and he was mentally ill. They told my cousin to call her son out and they gunned him down as soon as he came out of that garage”.

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Tionne’s cousin Eddie Russell Jr

In the midst of these constant tragedies against black people, Tionne is pleased to see that the Black Lives Matter movement is also being supported by non-black people, who aren’t afraid to use their voices to help to make a change. “I’m looking at all of these races come together to fight for the same thing. Even caucasian people are saying they’re tired of black people being murdered by white cops”, Tionne says. “It broke my heart the other day when Ashton Kutcher almost started crying because his white friends kept saying ‘all lives matter’, and he said no, black lives DO matter.”

Tionne also addresses the fact that a lot of the looting and vandalism isn’t always carried out by black people. With that said, although she doesn’t agree with the looting, she does understand why it happens sometimes. “It might not be right, but I understand it. I might not like it, because I’ve been robbed before when I had my store [Chase’s Closet], but I understand why they’re doing it”, Tionne exclaims.

One of the saddest realities of living in an unjust world as a black person is reassuring the younger generation that they shouldn’t be afraid of all police. Tionne mentions how her children, daughter Chase Rolison and her four year old son, Chance, become very frightened of the police, especially with so much coverage on the brutality against the black community. “It’s a shame that when police are around my daughter she gets nervous, and when I ask her what’s wrong she says it’s because she’s black. My kids shouldn’t have to feel that way”, Tionne explains. “Being black, period, you have to have a different conversation with your child that you don’t really want to have”.

Tionne's children Chase and Chance
Tionne’s children Chase and Chance

Tionne reveals that she was also pulled over by the police just for being a black woman driving a nice car. “I’ve been pinned down with 10 cops and guns at my head. My car light had a short in it, so I pulled over and flicked it on and off, and they said I was doing a gang initiation. They had 10 cops lay me out on the car, pat me down with guns to my head. What if someone’s finger had slipped?”, Tionne says.

In another occasion, while Tionne was 6 and a half months pregnant, driving her Porsche on the way back from recording at DARP studios for a TLC record, when she was once again ambushed by police unnecessarily. “He pulls me over and asks what I’m doing in this neighbourhood and ‘you better recite your address, say it fast and you better not stutter!’. Then he asks me how can I afford this car. But I have to take it because he has a gun and I don’t and I’m being disrespected about something I haven’t done, because of his ignorant issues about the world. When the cops found out who I was, he just threw my licence at me and said that I could go”.

TLC in 1999
TLC in 1999

Addressing racial prejudice within the music industry, Tionne vents her frustrations on her group TLC being labelled as an R&B group just because they are black, despite producing pop music. “Predominantly, TLC release universal music. Our music fits every genre — except a country song, but I want to!”, Tionne confesses. “But mostly pop — “No Scrubs” is pop, “Waterfalls” is pop, “Unpretty” is pop. But when you’re black, and do a pop song, they still call it R&B — I’m not just an R&B group, don’t box me in just because of my colour. We have different fights within the industry where if you’re black you get paid less than the white groups.”

To hear more about Tionne’s revelations and experiences, including incidents in Paris and South Africa whilst travelling, and why she wants to visit Bora Bora, check out the full episode below!

Be sure to subscribe to the “All The S**t I’ve Learned Abroad” podcast on Spotify.

Appearance, Interview, Lifestyle, Movies, News, Television

T-Boz On Her Love For Her Son, Family Health Shock, Movie Plans & The Joys Of TLCBD

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Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins was a special guest on Fox Soul’s ‘On The 7 with Dr. Sean‘ on November 19 to promote the launch of her new health care range, ‘TLCBD‘.

T-Boz truly opened up to Dr. Sean in one of the most open, laid-back and honest interviews she has done in a while. During the interview T-Boz hits out at critics who constantly highlight the fact she adopted her son, Chance.

She also reveals that her mother Gayle Watkins is currently battling Cancer and her daughter Chase Rolison was recently diagnosed with Lupus. This remarkable woman is the epitome of a Champion!

Where the ‘CrazySexyCool’ title came from

Left Eye actually came up with this. It’s funny, because they would always call her crazy, I would be cool, and Chilli is supposed to be sexy. But Chilli always thought she was cool! And Lisa was like, ‘well T-Boz always be crazy!’. So, it’s kinda like the modern version of I’m Every Woman. So everybody has a crazy, sexy and a cool side. So, we just put the names to who dominated that name. So that became the album cover. I’m Every Woman, we all have those sides to us.

Left Eye’s memory

She’s my sister, so it’s just like losing a family member, but they’re always with you. Because even when I work, we’re still TLC. We built this together. Even if she’s not here physically, we keep her spirit alive through every show and everything that we do.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

I’m supposed to be excited, because that’s like the Superbowl of Thanksgiving! But I have never worked on Thanksgiving. My family comes first. So me and Chilli saying yes to this was like pulling teeth, I’m telling you. I’m still dreading the hours, because if you think about it, because with my sickle and flying thins your blood, and usually I fly a day ahead of time to give my blood time to settle down and my blood. But I’m flying 6 hours there, in the cold, which is a no no, to be up and ready at 4am my time and 6 hours back. So, the things that we do for this industry to be standing in the cold waving at everybody, to sing only a minute and a half is as long as I’m gonna be on stage. But because it’s 50 million viewers, it’s still an honor. But it’s a lot. And I’m missing my family, so I don’t like that part.

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Family comes first

If you’re a family person like I am, those are the memories and the things that you can’t get back. And I’m not willing to sacrifice those things. I’m not sacrificing raising my child for this industry. If, God-willing, those things will come back again, or I can say I was blessed to do them. I will never work on my kid’s birthday’s and stuff like that. This year was the first time that they messed up on this last tour, they booked a tour on my child’s birthday and I was hot! So, you know me, ‘I’m cancelling, that’s it!’. But they made it worth my while, and they made it up to my son and they did this whole day, so I was like okay, as long as my little one says it’s okay. The whole crowd sang happy birthday to Chance, so he had two birthday parties. He was hot stuff on tour.

How AIDs rumors forced her to open up about her sickle cell

It really kinda happened by accident. Now we have social media, right? Back then, if a rumor got around it really had some staying power, period, because we didn’t have all the avenues that we have now to get the rumor out. So, they started saying that I had AIDs and when I would go to the hospital, instead of helping me people would be nosey, ‘does she have lesions’, just doing everything else but taking care of me. My thing was, I don’t care what I have, I’m sick, it just became a Circus,  put it that way, and I wasn’t getting the attention that was needed. One day, I got this call from Linda Anderson, and she worked for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, and she was like, do you want to be the spokesperson, and I said no, because I used to hate talking in front of people. But I figured I had a bigger purpose, so I had to face my fears. What’s bigger? Helping to change lives with your story or you  being afraid to talk? It’s bigger than my fear. That’s really small on the Richter scale.

I kept wondering why did God allow me to do the things that other people that have the same thing — I made it, they didn’t. My cousin’s dead, I’m not. Like, why am I still here? I have to have a purpose. Because I would not talk about my disease, I would just deal with what I had to deal with and move forward and not look back. It’s with growth you start learning about yourself and why you’re here, you start questioning things. I was never a ‘why me?’ type of person. I’ve never been a woe is me kinda person. I don’t feel bad because I always feel that there is someone else worse off than me. At least I have good days, there are some that don’t have none at all.

Stressed by her mother and daughter’s recent health conditions 

I’ve been stressed out to no end lately. My mom says you can’t change how people act, but you can change how you react. My mom has cancer right now, and she just had surgery. My daughter just got diagnosed with Lupus and Sjogren’s and she was in the hospital. They thought she had a blood clot, like when it rains, it pours! And I’ve got a slumlord at the same time! And I’ve got to move while all this stuff happening. So that’ll make you angry. Especially with people being ignorant at times like that, when you’re dealing with life and death and here comes this idiot talking about nonsense or getting lawyers, like wait a minute, what? When the devil tries to mess with you boy, me. So I had to sit down and woo sah, and look at the bigger picture and what’s most important. Sometimes things get hard, but I’ve been through worse things than this. So just chuck it up and do what you gotta do. So one day I’ll be like, ‘arrgh!’, and then the second day and there on I fight back.

Misconceptions of being healthy with sickle cell because she’s got money

I hate when people say — it’s such a misconception, and I wish that people would educate themselves before they start talking. Social media has given a platform for all the crazy people to talk. They’ll say, ‘the reason that your healthy with sickle is because you got money’. What? Money can’t buy a cure right now, because there is none. Even if they got the best people in the world — there’s no cure. You can’t buy knowledge. You can’t buy someone to not be ignorant. Money can’t buy anything like that. I’m healthy now, because I work my behind off to get this way. I educated myself, I became my own advocate. I stood up for what I believe in. I don’t let doctors practice medicine on me anymore and almost kill me. I started learning, my body myself, if you wanna live, that’s the best thing to do because you’ll die up in the hospital these days. The medical field — don’t get me started. I will argue a doctor down in a minute. My doctor will be laughing because I’ll be like, ‘you can leave’. He’ll be like, ‘T, you kicked out four people!’. I’m like, ‘yeah, because they were pretending to know what they were talking about’. Let’s just keep it a buck — you don’t know! And I’m fine with that. But the God-like complex and the pride won’t let them say they don’t know. Shut up, get out my room.

Her son Chance is her dream come true

I always cry when I talk about this because I love my son more than anything. I said my whole life that I was going to have a son. And that boy is my son. I had a box of clothes — and this is how I meant it — and I saved all these clothes for when my son was going to wear  them. I’m telling you, this boy looks like us, he acts like me, this is my son. God gave me that boy. He is four years old. I know that’s my son, he was meant to be my son. And that’s why I hate people now, why I told it, because the press wouldn’t leave me alone. They just kept being nosey, like ‘well we didn’t see you pregnant, we know you gained some weight but we don’t know about your’ — it’s just too much. So I felt forced to have to say something, and I’m such a private person. I hate now on social media they’ll be like, ‘oh that’s her adopted son’. Do you say that’s her c-section daughter? Do you say that’s my vaginal canal son? No you don’t. That’s my damn son. I named him Chance because he gave me a second chance, too.

Future biopic plans on her own life journey 

We’re working on a movie about my life, now. I did a book (‘A Sick Life‘). I want this movie moreso to be about a girl with sickle cell, just to show all of the things that we go through and what I go through now. I just want it to be a good movie without it just being my story, but it being my story will be the cherry on top. Because it will be a triumph and a sucess story of how you can do this. Because I don’t care what kind of disease you have in life, you have something foreign inside your body that you don’t want to have. You don’t want to deal with it but you’re made to deal with it. People with Lupus, Cancer, HIV — whatever it is. So we all agree on one common chord — we don’t want this disease. So I want this to be about all of us, whoever is sick, whoever is going through anything. So they’ll be able to relate to it.

Appreciating fan support over the years

It feels like my work wasn’t in vain. Like all the times — when my grandmother was dying and you feel like crap and don’t want to get up there. I had just gotten out of the hospital. I remember the HBO special (FanMail Tour 2000), I was literally rolled in a wheelchair out of the hospital bed. They had me on a lot of Demerol, so when I got up on the stage I was like, ‘oh my God [woozy)’, but it’s like 30-40,000 people, and I had to pretend I wasn’t sick. So, those are the times that make me say I didn’t do all this for nothing. Those times that I pushed through, it really mattered.

Her CBD business, ‘TLCBD

What is CBD? It’s not weed, that is such a misconception. The one’s that I sell don’t have any THC in them. It comes from the cannabis plant, and anybody who hears that will think, ‘they’re over there smoking them tweeds’. It’s not like that. It’s about 48% of the plant extract that comes from it, and it’s the organic part of the plant. The THC is what makes you high, so it doesn’t contain THC. It helps with a lot of things. For people with anxiety, for pain, some mental issues — it’s a lot of things that it can help with.

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I never tell anybody anything that I haven’t tried on myself. I took this 2-3 years on  myself. My partner is a chemist, because a lot of brands that are out there are synthetic — it’s fake, if it has any CBD at all. Think about money and medicine, everybody wants to try the hottest thing, ‘everybody’s talking CBD, let’s do it’, but it’s not right. I was watching on the news station that did a special, out of 13 CBD lines only 3 were real. And out of those 3, only 2 had the amount of CBD that was said. Some didn’t have any CBD at all, some were totally unhealthy and would make you sick over a certain amount of time, and some just had lesser amounts than what was promised.

My brand is called TLCBD. Usually I hate stuff like that, but this one made sense. Tender loving CBD. A play on words, TL-CBD! I used to ruin every tour. They’d be like, ‘T-Boz is sick again, she done messed up the tour’. I remember Beyonce with Destiny’s Child saying, ‘T-Boz is sick, ya’ll’, everybody would say it and it was true. I would be weak, sick — the next thing you know the tour is over. Tours with Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera, Bobby Brown, MC Hammer were ruined — until I got on CBD.

CBD helps to build my immune system and it protects my spleen — I grew two baby spleens on my dead spleen, so the doctor didn’t remove it. I take CBD daily under my tongue 3 times a day, it’s like oil. We have different things, because some people don’t like putting drops [in their mouth]. We’ve got gummies, for people who like candy. We’ve got sour gummies, sugar-based gummies. For me, the sour gummies have a little aftertaste,  but it’s medicated so of course. I have to be careful as I want to eat the whole thing, then I remind myself this is medicine. When I did get sick, it wouldn’t be for as long, and it doesn’t hurt as bad. I use our pain balm and rub it on my knee, because I have a torn meniscus.  The sickle cell pain goes to the weakest part of my body. So I rub the balm on, and use the tincture under my tongue, and the next day I feel good.

Purchase your CBD goods at SHOPTLCBD.COM 

Watch the full interview:
Announcement, Lifestyle, News, Tribute

Hype Williams & Lopes Family To Fulfil Left Eye’s Wish To Release Her Book Of Photos

Lefteye x Hype Williams Honduras TLC-ARMY.COM

The legendary video director Hype Williams, who dominated the music scene during the late 90’s and beyond, is set to help one of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ dreams finally become a reality — he wants to release a book using photographs he shot with her in Honduras back in 2001.

Left Eye originally had plans to release a book, which she wished to title, “Open“, to feature a variety of exclusive photographs she shot with Hype in Honduras. The Lopes family initially cited lack of Lisa’s input as reasons why the book was discontinued after her unfortunate passing in 2002 — she hadn’t written enough material to create the book.

Hype Williams recently took to social media (Oct 30) and shared numerous throwback photographs of some of his greatest moments on his video sets and photo shoots with Jay-ZMissy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Diddy, Ma$e, Aaliyah, Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian, Kelis and Foxy Brown.

He also posted a beautiful shot of Lisa from a photo shoot he did with her in 2001, wearing a bubblegum pink Paul Frank flannel pyjama set.

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Left Eye in Honduras (2001)

“Left Eye was the sweetest! Like my little baby, and a good friend!”, Hype reminisces. He recalls the time he spent with her in Honduras on the photoshoot. “We shot this in Honduras at Usha Village about one year before she passed. Literally hundreds of rolls of film!”, he exclaimed. “One of the great lights!”.

Following the overwhelming outpouring of love from TLC and Left Eye fans, Hype thanked everyone and told them, “The real thing to do would be to release them all as one Lisa Lopes book. That’s what she wanted”, referring to her planned book, “Open”.

Lisa’s younger sister, Reigndrop Lopes, co-signed his sentiments once she saw his comments a week later. She urged Hype to release the book, saying, “Let’s do it! That’s what she wanted!”.

Lisa Left Eye Lopes Honduras TLC-Army.com
Left Eye in Honduras (2001)

Hype later announced that the proposition was indeed going to become a reality. On Nov 8, Hype wrote a statement:

“Actually Lisa’s sister and I are going to be working together to release all of them in [a] special limited book and gallery show. Paying homage and tribute to Left Eye and putting the pics out there the way she originally intended”.

Hype then shared a candid shot of himself shopping with Lisa at a local grocery store in Honduras. In the caption he said, “Me and lil Left Eye, grocery shopping in La Ceiba Honduras ❤❤❤ circa 2001”.

Hype Williams directed the 1999 MTV VMA-winning TLC music video, “No Scrubs“, as well as Left Eye’s debut solo release, “The Block Party“, in 2001. Hype made his feature length movie directional debut in 1998 with the film, ‘Belly‘, starring Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Method Man and DMX.

Lisa will most definitely be proud to know that another one of her dreams will soon become a reality.

Will you be purchasing the Lisa Lopes book?

Lisa Lopes Left Eye Honduras TLC-Army.com

 

Announcement, Lifestyle, News

T-Boz Reveals Title Of Her New CBD Line: ‘TLCBD’!

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins is currently on a mission to share the incredible health benefits of using CBD with her fans across the world!

Back in September, the TLC star excitedly shared the secret of how she has prevented getting sick on the road whilst on the TLC tour with Nelly and Flo Rida — the use of CBD has worked wonders for her, so she wants everyone to improve their own health, too.

T-Boz confirmed today via an announcement on social media that her CBD line is now up and ready on her very own website!

She initially broke the news via a quick chat to fans on her Instagram, with her adorable 4 year old son, Chance, by her side, demanding his mom to come to bed as he shared a bedtime story with her 912k followers on the social network.

She explained that she was originally due to do some press to promote her new CBD line earlier, but she had some personal circumstances to handle. “I had some situations happen that I had to take care of in the family before I come out and do press, so stuff kinda got set back”, T-Boz said.

Ms Watkins says that the title of her CBD line is a play on words. “My CBD line is called TLCBD — so TL — Tender Loving — CBD! It’s not TLC, it’s TL — CBD”. The products will be available on her website SHOPTLCBD.COM, which will include CBD gummies, essential oils, drops for dogs, facial creams and more.

“One of my goals is to dispel myths, educate and provide accurate information about CBD.  I think CBD is wonderful and it changed my life”, T-Boz said in a statement. “I want to break through the lies, misconceptions and the bad products and bring trust, education and quality CBD products to everyone.”

So, why did Tionne decide to create TLCBD? “Many people ask me that question”, she confessed. “I always start with the “Well, I wasn’t bored, that’s for sure”.

But the real reason is that I really wanted to create a wellness line that met the needs of people like me. I felt like there weren’t enough natural options when it comes to health and wellness products.

I was on tour and I was exhausted. My sickle-cell was kicking up, my skin looked like hell and I felt lousy. I literally couldn’t keep doing it. Something had to change. Someone suggested I try a full-spectrum CBD. IT CHANGED MY LIFE! And I knew, that minute, that I absolutely HAD to bring this product to my fans.

So why TLCBD?  To do something good.  To educate. To create something better than what already exists out there. And to support those who have supported me by making sure they have access to great products.

I really hope you all will love these products as much as I do.

Love,

T-Boz

Be sure to support T-Boz’s new CBD line by ordering her products at shoptlcbd.com
Also, please support her beautiful daughter, Chase Rolison, who launched a beauty line on her 19th birthday, Anela Beauty. You can check her make-up line at shopanelabeauty.com
We just love the entrepreneurship in both mother and daughter! We wish them the best of success and they have our full support!

Watch T-Boz and Chance on Instagram: