After months of speculation it seems that our TLC girls may finally get their own set of Funko Pop! vinyl figures, according to the Funko fan page Funko POP News!
Rumors began back in June when a list of upcoming Funko Pops! circulated online in the fan community including ‘Chase‘ figures of T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli. ‘Chase‘ releases are known to be limited edition.
Fans have hung onto hope of the rumors becoming a reality, so the news of the TLC figures coming soon is very much welcomed (as soon as September, possibly).
Funko have a very male-dominated roster of Pop! vinyls already, so with last years addition of the hip-hop girl group Salt-N-Pepa being graced with their own figures in the Pop! Rocks line, it was just a matter of time for the legendary TLC to be honored in the same way.
The phenomenal hip-hop rapper Cardi B is making a big return in 2020 with a helping hand from Megan Thee Stallion on her latest single, “WAP“, and she once again pays homage to a very special person, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.
Cardi B decided to rock a hairstyle in the music video based on the style Left Eye wore at the Soul Train Awards 2000, created by TLC’s long-time hairstylist, Marie Brown (formerly Davis), who is now the owner of Atlanta’s Glamorazzi Salon.
Referencing the afro-futuristic braids, Marie explains how she came up with the creation. “The circles are the little round pieces of styrofoam. Styrofoam from Michael’s. You wrap them around, and they’re just braided on and connected onto her hair. I was just always trying to do something different. I was trying to always reach a different level with her and she was just free to do it.”
Cardi B is no stranger to paying homage to TLC. She previously wore another style like Lisa’s at her Coachella debut in 2018, and also has name dropped Left Eye and TLC in numerous tracks on her debut album, ‘Invasion Of Privacy‘.
Some fans on the Left Eye fanpage The Eye Is Right also noted other similarities in the music video. The scene with Megan and Cardi looking thorough the other rooms is reminiscent of TLC’s “Hands Up” video. And the end scene of the girls running away is very similar to TLC’s “Dear Lie” video, where Lisa knocks on a door and quickly runs away.
Watch the full video:
Do you think Cardi B paid homage or was it a coincidence?
Melanie C of the Spice Girls recently spoke about TLC on her regular #AskMelanieC Q&A session on Facebook Live in May, and focused her favourite member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, with whom she famously worked with on her #1 single, “Never Be The Same Again” in 2000. This was the second time this year Mel praised Lisa publicly, she spoke about her in April as part of the Track-By-Track celebration of her debut album, ‘Northern Star‘.
Melanie said that she and the rest of the Spice Girls loved TLC and were inspired by them in the early days. When discussing how her collaboration with Lisa happened, she says that it became a reality when she decided her song needed a rap and only wanted Left Eye to do it. The producer Rhett Lawrence had previously worked with TLC and was able to reach out and Lisa loved the idea.
“When writing the song, we got to the middle eight where the rap is — the middle eight is the bit where the music is on it’s own which is completely different to the verses and the chorus, about three quarters of the way in”, Melanie explains. “I could just hear a Lisa ‘Left Eye’ styled rap, the way she had a unique style and the rhythms that she used.”
“She recorded the rap — Lisa was one of the writers of the rap, but she had a little team that they wrote it together with”, Melanie recalls. “It was a brilliant rap, and it really works with the song. The context is just so brilliant. It was meant to be. I’m very proud that I got to work with her”.
Melanie remembers the different occasions she was able to hang around Lisa to get to know her more. “We hung out a few times. I wasn’t in the studio when she recorded her rap. I must have been in the UK at the time. It was sent to me and I loved it immediately”, she confessed. “We hung out in LA just to get to know each other a little bit — we shot the video together obviously”.
“One of my favourite moments would be learning the dance. Doing the video was really fun because that was when we really got to work properly together”, Melanie said. “She came to the the UK to do some promo for Top Of The Pops and we did some MTV stuff. It was just amazing to work with her and get to know her for a bit. She was like a force of nature”.
Melanie got emotional when she recalls the moment she was told about the news that Lisa had passed away. “It was such a shock when I got the call. I was in Italy when she passed away — she was in a car accident and she was only 30, so it was very sad indeed”, Mel said. “Whenever I do the song [live] I always think of her”.
Melanie C had the opportunity to meet Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas for the first time in 2018, when she performed at the same Mighty Hoopla festival that TLC were headlining in London and admits that seeing them without Lisa made her feel emotional.
“I did the song at the Mighty Hoopla a few years back and TLC were headlining that gig and it was the first time I had met T-Boz and Chilli”, she recalls. “I was so excited to meet them and I just burst into tears because it made me think of Lisa”, an emotional Mel recalls before changing the subject.
Melanie C’s new single, “Who I Am“, is out now. Watch TLC in their latest TV project ‘Iconic: TLC‘
Verzuz has quickly become one of the most powerful quarantine-friendly entertainment platforms going. Ever since March 2020, music artists have been having a blast taking part in Verzuz challenges, set up by Timbaland and Swizz Beats. In this online series on Instagram, two artists engage in a face off with a selection of their biggest hits for a friendly competition with each other.
In the past, the series has featured some memorable battles, kicking off with The-Dream vs Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo vs Johnta Austin, Ryan Tedder vs Benny Blanco, Scott Storch vs Mannie Fresh, T-Pain vs Lil’ Jon, Erykah Badu vs Jill Scott, Nelly vs Ludacris, Bounty Killer vs Beenie Man, 112 vs Jagged Edge, and most notably the Babyface vs Teddy Riley battle, which was infamously overwhelmed with technical difficulties and over performing on Teddy’s side. Once they rescheduled and ironed out the kinks, the show later ran smoothly, much to the delight of the fans.
The Verzuz Instagram highlighted a comment Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins made this week on a post regarding a TLC Verzuz battle with the girl groups SWV and Xscape, which she co-signed and it went viral on the blogs. Since then, thousands of fans have shown their approval to the suggestion. “Text us at (718) 866 -1775 and tell us“, Verzuz stated on the post.
The suggestion was actually presented to her last month on her 50th birthday (April 26), by her brother Carnoy “Koko” Watkins. He suggested that TLC should do a Verzuz battle with Destiny’s Child, although Tionne initially protested and said there are other groups besides them.
“That would be fun“, T-Boz said. “It would have to be in a ‘nice and love’ way, a friendly competition.” The Spice Girls could also be considered, as a battle between the two biggest-selling girl groups in the world would be an iconic moment.
Girl groups aside, TLC could even battle a male group. With the strength of their solid catalog, they have the capabilities the battle against boy and girl groups. Candidates like Boyz II Men and BBD, who were also considered to be their competition at the peak of their careers.
Not only is being part of a Verzuz battle great for the culture, it will also give the featured artists a major boost in their music sales and streams. Jill Scott and Erykah Badu saw their streams triple after their battle on May 9, whilst Babyface saw his Instagram followers rocket from a modest 420k to 1.1 million, after his rescheduled battle with Teddy Riley on April 20. This is now known as the Verzuz effect.
“A lot of people call it battles — we’re battling enough in the world today“, Swizz Beats said about the Verzuz series. “Let’s flip it around by celebrating each other with these amazing songs that changed the world“.
Who do you think TLC should do a Verzuz battle with? Vote below!