Announcement, Interview, Music, Review

JPEGMAFIA Covers A TLC Classic On His Latest Album

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JPEGMAFIA

The whole world loves a little bit of TLC, so it’s no surprise at all that their influence is present in so many of today’s music artists. One of the recent nods to the trio was their hit “Waterfalls” being covered by the coaches on ‘The Voice‘.

The love continues in many forms of covers and samples well into 2019. Last week, DJ Lauren Lane released her exclusive remix for “Creep“. EQT/Universal Music recording artist JPEGMAFIA dropped his third album, ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs‘ on September 13.

BasicBitchTearGas” happens to be a cover of a TLC classic, “No Scrubs.”

The one-minute track, which could easily beat the Lil Nas X record of being the shortest recorded track ever, cuts out a sizeable chunk of the original, while heavily filtered growls populate the new arrangement of his new form of glitch-hop.

The Baltimore rapper elaborated on his choice to cover TLC on Apple Music: “I always told myself that one day I’d do a cover of ‘No Scrubs’ and I just wanted to make that a reality. Bucket list-type shit. I love this song, man. It’s one of the best songs ever written.”

“And I really like re-contextualizing songs that mean a lot to people, like pop music, because it exposes the reality of these songs. That these songs are EXCELLENT — regardless of how popular they are and regardless of the narrative that’s been built around some of these songs, these are excellently-written, beautiful songs, and I wanna take time to appreciate them.”

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Earlier this year, Weezer covered “No Scrubs” and performed it at Coachella with Chilli. “I just thought it’s one of those songs that’s freakishly popular,” frontman Rivers Cuomo said. “I was trying to decide which gender perspective to sing it from then I saw this tweet that said, ‘If you’re a guy covering a song by a girl, you gotta keep the pronouns. For those three minutes you’re gay.‘ So I was like, ‘Cool, let’s try this.’”

Chilli previously talked about the universality of “No Scrubs” in an interview with Billboard. “‘No Scrubs’ is an empowerment anthem,” she said. “The reason I knew [the song] was going to be big because what it’s talking about is so relatable to every woman in America. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, scrubs come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So it was just a universal song that every woman can high-five each other with.”

What do you think of JPEGMAFIA’s take on “No Scrubs”?

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Announcement, Music, News, Review

TLC Co-Sign 2019 Dance Remix of “Creep” By DJ Lauren Lane

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International DJ Lauren Lane may have dropped techy beats on stages from Coachella to Ibiza, but deep down, she’s just a TLC-lovin’ ’90s kid like a lot of us.

That’s why she’s snagging some of the girl group’s CrazySexyCool energy and launching her label, Recreation, with a bumpin’ club remix of the 1994 hit “Creep.”

T-Boz‘s familiar infidelity bounces with new verve over a steady tech-house beat. It’s less slinky than the original with a lot more late-night rave mischief.

The remix has been officially sanctioned by TLC’s surviving members, and Lane called the co-sign nothing short of “an honor.”

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Lauren Lane

Lane’s take on “Creep” is out Friday, Sept. 13, on Recreation, but the DJ and producer put together a hypnotizing visualizer exclusively for Billboard Dance that you can check out below.

What do you think of this updated 2019 club remix of TLC classic?

Music, Review

ChartMasters: TLC’s Total Album and Singles Sales

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It’s no secret that TLC are the biggest selling female group of all time in the United States, and second only to Spice Girls worldwide. As diehard music fans, we always love to know the exact amount of sales our faves have achieved thus far.

Chartmasters.org specialise in this department and have carried out an extensive review of how popular our girls are and how their sales have fared over the years!

Through the entire 90s decade, they were unstoppable in the US. They’ve got 9 Top 10 singles, which combined lasted 123 weeks in this region. Among them, Creep, Waterfalls, No Scrubs, and Unpretty, were all #1 smashes that topped the Hot 100 for at least 3 weeks each.

The first pair came out of the classic album CrazySexyCool, quite simply the first US RIAA Diamond album ever by a girl group.

Obviously, urban music was nowhere near as global during the 90s as it is right now. TLC were no exception with no chart topper, nor single nor album, in either major market the UK, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan.

Their career was also ended abruptly in 2002 when the main creative force of the trio, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, died at 30 in a tragic car crash. The group then gained a cult aura, although the follow up albums 3D and TLC sold less.

TLC’s Album Sales

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Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip was home to 3 Top 10 hits in the US, posting an impressive chart run thanks to them. In spite of never going higher than #14, it remained 51 weeks inside the Top 50 of the Billboard album list.

This success, added to later interest created by subsequent albums, led it to 4xPlatinum status in the US. It was hardly promoted elsewhere yet since R&B music was still prominently a US thing by 1992. A huge 91.5% of its 4.72 million sales to date thus come from North America alone.

Waterfalls broke several boundaries for the trio in 1995, catapulting CrazySexyCool to much better sales abroad. On top of selling a whopping 11.8 million copies in the US, it also shifted 4.1 million more units globally.

No Scrubs was even bigger in many places, although FanMail wasn’t as consistent as its predecessor. It is still an immense seller, breaking the 10 million threshold in worldwide sales.

Even if she participated in its recording, the absence of Lisa Lopes impacted strongly, and negatively, the reception of 3D. The album also lacked of a solid single, ultimately selling 1.38 million copies.

The attempt of the group to reform and release a new album in 2017 closed in 45,000 units.

Physical Singles

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As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

The string of US Top 10 hits in the US no doubt helped the TLC in amassing sizable physical singles sales during the 90s. By then, the format was still significant there, topping 100 million sales annually.

That’s how both Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg and Baby-Baby-Baby went on to surpass a million sales, almost exclusively from their native country where they got awarded Platinum.

What About Your Friends was a Gold recipient, selling less than the remaining pair of hits although it did well too. The era of their debut album was ended with a count of over 3.4 million physical singles sold.

Creep was already a huge smash, shifting nearly 1.5 million units in the US, plus residual sales in Europe and Oceania. It ended up selling well over 100,000 copies in the UK when it was newly issued after the success of Waterfalls.

In fact, we shouldn’t get it wrong, the biggest hit of this LP is the latter. A 7-weeks #1 in the US, Waterfalls was also the group’s first Top 10 hit in many countries, including the UK where it got to #4.

The song moved over 1.3 million units in the US, 725,000 in Europe and over 100,000 in Oceania. These numbers pushed it over 2 million in total.

Diggin’ On You and Red Light Special sold less but still fairly well, both a bit under a million.

The lead single of FanMailNo Scrubs, managed to become their biggest hit globally. Sales of physical singles were already going down in the US (a sharp drop of 35% from 1997 to 1999), but the song moved over 800,000 units anyway. It went Platinum in the UK, en route for more than 1.3 million sales in Europe.

The status of the group at that point led Unpretty to also move past a million units, but subsequent singles completely failed to gain traction. While No Scrubs looked like the kick off of TLC‘s best years, it happened to be instead their final true hit.

Digital songs

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If early hits of the group sounded very fresh in 1992, R&B got polished and perfected so much in later years that it now feels quite dated.

We can see it easily with their sales in digital formats. Downloads of Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg, What About Your Friends and Baby-Baby-Baby all fail to hit 200,000 units.

Looking at these numbers, it seems hard to believe the latter was 6 weeks #2 in the US, blocked only by Boyz II Men‘s End Of The Road, the then longest running #1 hit of all-time.

The status of songs from CrazySexyCool is fully different. Waterfalls and Creep are R&B classics. They both crack a million combined sales of downloads and ringtones, with the former smashing at 1.77 million. It sold past a million downloads in the US alone.

No Scrubs, another US million seller, splashes out at 2.5 million units. It’s their top selling catalog hit virtually everywhere. Unpretty comes nowhere near and happens to be mostly forgotten nowadays.

There is still one recent song, from 2013, which sold good numbers. That’s J. Cole single Crooked Smile on which they are featured. It sold nearly a million to date. It helps them to top 8 million cumulatively.

Streaming

Streaming is made up of audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log articleSpotify represents 157 million of the 272 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 272/157 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Top Hits

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If the classic album of the TLC is CrazySexyCool, singles wise their catalog is led by 1999’s smash No Scrubs. The song is a modern day favorite with a massive 333 million streams on Spotify while also flying high on YouTube. It has now moved past 400,000 EAS in this format.

Waterfalls is a distant but still very solid runner up. It breaks 100 million streams with ease on both platforms. The recent single Crooked Smile does too.

The issue comes behind with scores going down at fast pace. Creep does undoubtedly well with around 75 million on both sides, but Unpretty is already very fair from the top songs.

Full catalog breakdown

If you are familiar with the artist’s catalog and want to check details of each and every song, you can access to all of them right here.

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TLC’s compilations sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

The distribution process

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How to understand this table? In the example of Now and Forever: The Hits, these figures mean it sold 1,290,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 804,384 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from the FanMail album are responsible for  55% of the Now and Forever: The Hits track list attractiveness. This means it generated 715,000 of its 1,290,000 album sales and so forth for the other records. We then apply this process to all compilations present on below table.

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Full Length related records Sales – Summary

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Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw. These numbers are obtained by applying the method from the section The distribution process to all packages listed under Compilation sales figures listing category.

Unsurprisingly, their near 2 million sales of compilations and music videos are almost entirely powered by their big albums, CrazySexyCool and FanMail. They are each responsible for nearly a million sales of compilations.

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Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.

TLC Career CSPC Results

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So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Bryan Adams achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

Albums CSPC results

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from CrazySexyCool released in digital format sold the equivalent of 549,000 albums – 3,660,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

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As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album

  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album

  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)

  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)

  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

Nearly 20 million! CrazySexyCool was close to reach the level which separates strong sellers with super sellers. It may be a matter of time though. At 19.3 million EAS, that will take a few years, but the ongoing appeal of both the album and its primary singles will continue to bring in sales.

Considering their distant rivalry, it’s also worth pointing out that CrazySexyCool edges a million ahead of The Writing’s on the WallDestiny’s Child’s top selling era.

These huge sales imply that FanMail has to settle for number 2 even if it moved an impressive 13 million EAS on its own.

It’s important to note that back then it was very difficult to create a following with urban music outside of the US. In spite of the success of its predecessor, FanMail debuted at #25 in the UK, #13 in Germany, #32 in France, #39 in Austria, #16 in Australia, etc.

It re-peaked afterwards in all these countries thanks to No Scrubs. To go on and sell again so many copies with a near non-existent fan base and general public interest is stunning.

This also means that once you fail to get a hit, you are in trouble. That’s what happened with the last two albums which add next to nothing to their legacy.

In total, the TLC stand on 40.34 million equivalent album sales. That puts them a few millions below remaining super selling girl groups, but it’s definitely a very worthy total, especially since it has been made on the back of almost exclusively 3 albums.

Singles CSPC results

The list is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each song. Therefore, these figures are not merged units of singles formats. Instead, it includes weighted sales of the song’s physical single, download, ringtone and streaming as well as its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

1. 1999 – TLC – No Scrubs [FanMail] – 11,130,000
2. 1994 – TLC – Waterfalls [CrazySexyCool] – 10,210,000
3. 1994 – TLC – Creep [CrazySexyCool] – 5,420,000
4. 1992 – TLC – What About Your Friends [Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip] – 2,090,000
5. 1992 – TLC – Baby-Baby-Baby [Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip] – 1,900,000
6. 1999 – TLC – Unpretty [FanMail] – 1,450,000
7. 1994 – TLC – Red Light Special [CrazySexyCool] – 1,420,000
8. 1992 – TLC – Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg [Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip] – 1,350,000

Discography results

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that their sales represent 21.94 million times the purchase of their entire discography. Coupled with their total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 169. It is similar to the score of bands like Black Eyed PeasMaroon 5 and Destiny’s Child. The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.

Records & Achievements

  • At 19,279,000 EAS, CrazySexyCool is the 2nd most successful album of all-time by girl group.

  • At 19,279,000 EAS, CrazySexyCool is the 3rd most successful album from 1994.

  • At 13,072,000 EAS, FanMail is among the 20 most successful albums from 1999.

  • CrazySexyCool was the first album by a girl group to ever be awarded a Diamond album in the US.

NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.

Appearance, Lifestyle, Review, Television

‘Girls Cruise’ Episode 5 – Chilli’s Vital TLC Bond with T-Boz and Finding Talent On The Cruise

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In the 5th instalment of ‘Girls Cruise’, the ladies are sailing across to the island of Tobago! However, to avoid the cabin fever, they need something fun to do while they are still at sea, so Lil’ Kim suggests they carry out Pretty Vee‘s idea of a talent show!

Chilli and B. Simone have a heart to heart in her bedroom. B. Simone reveals how grateful she is to have Chilli looking out for her. “Mama Chilli might not turn up with the drinks, and the partying, but she does turn up when she has to look out for somebody”, she admits.

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Chilli tells B. Simone that she loves her chemistry with Pretty Vee. B. Simone tells Chilli how much they get each other, both coming from social media, and there’s no jealousy, they support each other. “We were both nominated for a BET Social Award — I won it!”, B. Simone jests. She says she has a healthy competition with Pretty Vee.

Chilli touches on the balance within her own group TLC. “You know, in my group, everybody has their favorite TLC member for whatever reason. But, we never let that get into our head”, Chilli says. “Because I truly love her, and she truly loves me, and we want each other to win 100 percent. There is no competition as far as a jealous hearted kind.”

Chilli explains that the loss of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in 2002 brought her closer to T-Boz, her TLC sister. “Tionne and I, we have always been close. But we got closer, closer — especially after we lost our sister”. Chilli encourages B. Simone and Pretty  Vee to check in on each other to keep a strong, healthy friendship.

“Being in this business, as a woman — there’s always going to be some crap attached to that. The last place you need negativity is in your personal circle”, Chilli says.

Pretty Vee announces a Girls Cruise talent show to the crew. She pairs Mya with Tiffany, B. Simone with Char and herself with Lil’ Kim, with Chilli as the talent show judge. They spend the next couple of hours preparing their roles for the show.

Pretty Vee creates two comedy characters that will perform with Lil’ Kim — Hispanic Maria Sanchez the Jamaican gal Sharon. Mya and Tiffany went hard in rehearsals to stage a fashion dance off. B. Simone and Char were set to do a musical performance together.

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Tiffany and Mya were first in line, and surprised the crew with some fierce strutting and voguing, complete with two stunning swimsuits to steal the show.

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B. Simone and Char were next up with a freestyle, which didn’t go to plan as Char forgot his lines. B. Simone got frustrated with Char and stated that they didn’t have enough time to rehearse.

Chilli gives B. Simone some constructive criticism after she got frustrated with Char forgetting his lines. “When you are paired up like that, you guys are a team”, she tells the duo. “If someone messes up, you still go with the flow. You can’t show poor sportsmanship.”

Chilli is on fine form as the judge and demands the performers to get in line — no intermissions! Lil’ Kim and Pretty Vee throw down a comical rendition of Lil’ Kim’s smash, “Lighters Up“, with Kim on the drums.

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B. Simone and Char are given the opportunity to re-do their performance, as Char was nervous and Chilli insisted B. Simone should be more supportive towards her partner. He smashed out a beatbox and freestyle with B. Simone.

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Chilli makes the final winning decision and crowns Tiffany and Mya as the winners of the talent contest. “All glory to God, and Tiffany for doing the overtime in rehearsal”, Mya says. “Thank you to Mya for teaching me how to vogue”, Tiffany adds.

There’s only one way to end a talent show — a performance by the judge herself! “What she going to do, ‘Creep‘?”, Pretty Vee questions. “Not going to do ‘Creep’!”, Chilli replies, before instructing the musical director Rome to line up her track — “No Scrubs“! Chilli does a rendition of her TLC smash and parties with the rest of the crew.

The following morning, the crew arrive at their next destination — Tobago. They plan on bonding some more hanging out at Tobago’s ‘foundation  of youth‘ in the Nylon Pool. Mya gives Lil’ Kim a visit in her room for a chat.

Mya talks to Lil’ Kim about enjoying her performance with Tiffany for the talent show. “We just started rehearsing in my room”, Mya says. “It’s been a minute since I played around with my friends! I grew up around boys all the time”. Lil’ Kim relates as she was the only girl in her circle including Junior M.A.F.I.A.

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Mya reveals that this trip with the ladies is something she has needed for a long time. “It’s been a long, independent journey, but now I’m hanging out and spending good quality time with my own girlfriends. This is what I need in my life”.

B. Simone and Char take a moment together to reflect on their feelings towards Chilli. “I love her so much! If I could put the perfect mom in a box I’d put Chilli in a box!”, B. Simone exclaims. “She is a perfect, nurturing person. I didn’t grow up with my biological mom, I think that’s why I’m so attached to her.”

Rome announces to the crew that they have finally arrived at the Nylon Pool. Lil’ Kim tells the group that she wishes everyone would take this moment to truly open up to each other and release anything in their hearts using the circle of trust that they have all built together.

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Tiffany tells the group that she grew up in a poor neighborhood which affected her confidence as a child. Being around the girls has helped her realize that she belongs there with everyone and not to make herself smaller.

Chilli reveals that this trip is helping her work on being okay with not being in control with everything in her life. “I like being in control of my situation. I’m not a controlling person to others, but just for me and it’s stressful”, Chilli tells the circle. “Because of this trip I’ve grown a bit. I see that there’s always something to learn about yourself, something to improve all the time while you’re alive and well. So, just keep living!”.

Pretty Vee opens up about being bullied when she was a child. “It feels so scary to open up. Seeing everybody let loose and be emotional allowed me to do the same”, Vena says.

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“This right here is a reminder that you need to stay connected to people that you love”, Mya confesses. “There’s something about the environment that allowed me to let go. It was a reminder to stop for a second and enjoy balance and the beauty. Because this right here is life and don’t take it for granted.”

B. Simone reveals that she is taking the steps to find herself and gets emotional thinking about the absence of her mom. “Chilli you’ve really.. I did not have a mom growing up. When I call her Mama Chilli, I was like, do you care if I call you that? Because I really feel like that she is my mom! The bond I have with her is ridiculous”.

“This moment is a big deal”, Chilli admits. “This is not just for this trip, this is for life. We’re gonna be in each other’s lives for life.” B. Simone feels like God put each and every person on the trip for a good reason. “We’re all growing, I see it in all of us”.

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Tobago’s ‘fountain of youth’, the Nylon Pool

Lil’ Kim closes the reflections by revealing how she often feels lonely and under pressure to be the celebrity she is known for that she puts up a wall to always be in character. “I wear my emotions on my sleeves. When people don’t check in on me I feel like they don’t care”. The girls reassure her that she is not by herself.

The girls and Char have a group hug in the middle of the Nylon Pool and vow to cherish the bond they have formed and to remember where it all started.

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Don’t miss the next episode of ‘Girls Cruise’. Catch it every Monday night at 9/8c on VH1!

Episode 5