Concert, Interview, Lifestyle

Chilli On Co-Headlining with Nelly, TLC’s Musical, Celibacy & ‘Girls Cruise’

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TLC is coming home to the ATL!

Chilli took a moment to talk to Melissa Ruggieri for AJC just days ahead of TLC’s second date in Atlanta, on their fourth national tour in 5 years, this time with the boys — Nelly and Flo Rida!

T-Boz and Chilli perform a fresh mix of their hits on July 24 at the Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta. Find out what to expect on the latest tour, as well as celebrating album anniversaries, celibacy and more!

Q: You did the “I Love the ‘90s: The Party Continues” tour a couple of summers ago and now you’re heading out with Nelly and Flo Rida. Do you like these group tours and getting to hang out with other artists?

A: Because I’m an artist, I love it. When (TLC) first got started, we always did fun things together – with Boyz II Men, Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera. It makes for a fun tour. People get to see everybody that they love and it makes it more exciting. We’ve done a few tours with Nelly before, he was on (2015’s) “The Main Event” tour with us, and we did some shows together in Australia. But this is our first time working with Flo. He is the sweetest guy. He is so polite, always on time, his people respond so fast to email. He’s so professional, which is the way it should be, but it’s usually not that way. He’s very humble. I love people like that.

Q: Since the tour is just starting, do you know if there will be any interaction among the three acts during the show?

A: We thought about that and had some cool ideas before the tour started, but we couldn’t get anybody on board. We are creative and think outside of the box and everybody doesn’t always think like that, and that’s OK. We really did want to do something very different. It would have started a new trend. Maybe we’ll wind up doing it on another tour with someone else. But it’s all good. All of us are very blessed to have these great songs that people love and it means different things to them.

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Q: Where does TLC land in the performance lineup?

A: We’re co-headlining with Nelly, so we’ll take turns with closing. I really love the second spot (in a show) because everybody is in their seats and they’re energized. As it gets later and later you get tired and it’s hot. You’re still enjoying the concert, but it’s a lot different than an hour earlier.

Q: Atlanta is only the second date of the tour, so it will hardly feel as if you’ve left home.

A: It’s always nice to have your folks there. It makes me sing and dance a little harder.

Q: This is the 25th anniversary year of “CrazySexyCool” and 20th anniversary of “Fan Mail.” When you think back on those records, what comes to mind?

A: It is a blessing. There are a lot of amazing songs that are great for the moment, but they don’t have the lyrics to endure. When you make these songs when you’re recording them, you don’t know they have these legs – only time tells you that. We’re blessed to have a few songs like that…When I see the little girls out there who are, like, 8, and I tell you “No Scrubs” is coming, they are jumping up and down. I wish I could hold all of them and bring them on stage! I never get used it.

Q: It’s so cool to see everyone from Weezer (“No Scrubs”) to Bette Midler (“Waterfalls”) covering your work.

A: And Taylor (Swift) with “Unpretty” and even the coaches on “The Voice,” when they did “Waterfalls” (in 2017). It is such an honor to see that, especially when your peers respect you. It makes us feel good about the body of work.

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Q: What’s this Broadway musical you and T-Boz are working on?

A: (Laughs) I spilled the beans too soon on that! I thought I could talk about it, but I really can’t yet. It’s definitely something we’re currently working on, and it’s a process. But we’re very happy that we’re putting together a team and will be able to check that off the bucket list…The only people who know our story is us. I can sit down and share things with my friends, but it’s still not Tionne telling them, too. Only we can tell our story 100 percent.

Q: Tell me about the experience of being on “Girls Cruise

A: It was actually a very pleasant experience. I would not have signed on to do something like that if it was going to be ratchet. We all love some ratchet TV sometimes, but I don’t want to be a part of anything like that! I spoke to Kim prior to agreeing to do it and I’ve always been in that family with Viacom, so it was nice to reconnect. There were some challenging moments, of course – it’s TV. But I think that the show is definitely something refreshing. You’re still getting reality TV, but it’s positive. We’re not cussing each other out, none of that stuff is going on. I would have jumped off that boat otherwise! I’d be like, I’m done. But it’s just positivity between women; you’ll see that exists, because what you usually see on TV is the complete opposite. We shot it in February. It was a gorgeous yacht. We had a whole team of people helping on the ship. It’s crazy! I was trying to help them!

Q: When did you make the life changes to be celibate and become so spiritual?

A: Honestly, I have gone back and forth through the years. When you know what’s right with the truth and you go against that…maturity can come at any age, and when you really get it, you say this important to me and my faith to God. It’s not easy. I’m a human being. But I put forth every effort to try to do the right thing. I feel really good when I do the right thing. It’s a great feeling. It gives you a different kind of strength that you didn’t know you had. We’re so used to getting into whatever that weakness is and then you give that temptation so much more power. I love sharing the knowledge, especially when it’s something healthy for you. I ultimately want everybody to become their best self. I’m not one of those Christians who’s like, you better read the Bible. It’s a different approach because people are in different places in their lives. The last thing I want to do is push someone away from the truth.

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Interview, Relationships

Da Brat: “Left Eye Did Not Like Me At First”

Left Eye - Da Brat - VMAs 1997 | TLC-ARMY.COM

So So Def‘s first lady, Da Brat, recently opened up about her initial friendship with the ‘L’ of TLC, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, back when she first came onto the scene in 1994!

Da Brat was speaking about the so-called rivalry with Left Eye, in response to Tyra Banks’ recent comments to the Wall Street Journal about how she felt intimidated by Naomi Campbell when she first started modelling. Tyra felt Naomi was doing everything in her power to make her go away, due to the fear of having similar competition.

Da Brat feels she can relate to Tyra because of her experiences with Left Eye. “When I first came in the game, when I first came to Atlanta and got with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def, I loved Left Eye. I wanted to be Left Eye, I loved her”, Da Brat tells her co-hosts Headkrack and Porsha Williams on Dish Nation.

“She did not like me! And when I tell you I cried and I cried”. Da Brat even talked to Lisa’s group mate, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, about how she was feeling about not being accepted by her idol. “I talked to T-Boz and I was like, ‘why doesn’t she like me?’ Cause I loved her. I just felt like I was so much like her. And, ooh, she did not like me”.

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Da Brat, who has a re-occurring role in WE TV’s ‘Growing Up Hip-Hop: Atlanta‘, touched on some of the deep-rooted reasons that may have triggered the initial bitterness. “She was like Jermaine Dupri’s first rap female artist, and it was just that thing there. I didn’t understand coming from Chicago, being raised by my Grandma and loving everybody. I was like ‘oh my God, Left Eye!’, and she was like — [frowns]”.

Jermaine Dupri was introduced to Left Eye in 1990 by Ian Burke, as part of the group 2nd Nature, before being renamed TLC.

As documented in the JD WE TV special, TLC were initially brought to Dupri to be signed, but his label wasn’t ready at the time, leaving the girls to sign with LaFace and Dupri to find another group and female rap artist for his So So Def label, which launched in 1993.

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Ladies Night: (L-R) Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Missy Elliott, Lance ‘Un’ Rivera, Left Eye & Lil’ Kim (1997)

Thankfully, the ladies squashed their differences and were able to bless us with the iconic collaboration remix to Lil’ Kim‘s “Not Tonight (Ladies Night)” in 1997, for the Nothing To Lose soundtrack.

“I was so hurt. I know how Tyra feels”, Da Brat continues. “We were cool [by the time ‘Ladies Night’ came out], but she was not fond of me at first”.

What are your thoughts on Da Brat’s initial rejection by Left Eye?  Does society always pit women against each other?

Appearance, Lifestyle, Television

T-Boz Learns About ‘Sexercise’ and Da Brat’s Bankruptcy on ‘Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta’

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Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins has returned to Atlanta! Not for good, though. She is back to see her doctor, and to catch up with her industry friends in this week’s episode of ‘Growing Up Hip-Hop: Atlanta‘!

Her long-time friend, Jermaine Dupri, is throwing a party at Cascade skating rink and has invited his superstar friends; Usher, Da Brat, Dallas Austin and of course, T-Boz.

Deb Antney, Waka Flocka Flame‘s mother, is also in attendance, and she informs the crew that she is still feeling sore from her sexercise class, taught to her by R. Kelly‘s ex-wife, Drea Kelly.

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JD is ready to hit the rink his song comes on. T-Boz goes to grab her shoes. “I don’t skate, I moonwalk!”, Da Brat screams before they all hit the skating rink.

T-Boz and Da Brat catch up afterwards. T-Boz tells Da Brat about her trip to Japan and her upcoming tour with Nelly and Flo Rida. “It’s like being an adult to 75 adults, and it’s a headache!”, T-Boz admits.

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“You know I filed bankruptcy?”, Da Brat confesses. “No!”, a shocked T-Boz replies. “You know, I did it twice”, T-Boz reassures Brat. “Yeah, I know. I gotta talk to you about that, too. I gotta get some advice”, Da Brat says.

Da Brat gets into the additional drama in her bankruptcy case. “I had a judgement against me that I just can’t pay, about the thing I went to jail for, [for hitting somebody]”. “They wasn’t really hurt though, right?”, T-Boz queries. “A little bit?”. Da Brat reveals that the woman was pretty injured. “They say she has some sort of brain damage”.

A concerned T-Boz asks Da Brat if she has lawyers to help her case. Da Brat reassures T-Boz that her legal part is being taken care of. “I’ll keep you in my prayers about the other stuff”, T-Boz says to Da Brat as they say goodbye to each other as Da Brat needs to be up early.

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Although T-Boz was announced as part of the cast of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta earlier this year, she has revealed that she won’t be in many more episodes because she and her daughter, Chase Rolison, quit early into the recording.

She told us that her appearance will be more of a cameo, so that is something to keep fans happy!

T-Boz can also be seen on the So So Def special ‘Power, Influence and Hip-Hop: The Remarkable Rise of So So Def’, about the importance of music mogul, Jermaine Dupri.

Watch T-Boz in her ‘Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta’ debut below!

Announcement, Television

VH1’s ‘Girls Cruise’ Premiere Draws In 1.2m Viewers

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Sisters are doing it for themselves, and in style! VH1’s latest television show ‘Girls Cruise‘ starring music royalty Lil’ Kim, Mya and Chilli of TLC, has proven to be a ratings success!

The show premiered on the network on Monday July 15, 2019 at 9/8c, and managed to draw in 1.2 million viewers, and ranked as the 7th most watched programme on cable television that night, according to The Nielsen Company.

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Reviews have mostly been in favor of the new show, too. Many fans are feeling the new, positive approach to reality television, which doesn’t focus on women fighting, but uniting and cherishing their friendship with each other.

“Omg a positive reality show . I thought I would never see the day”, one user tweeted. Another replied, “I just noticed that… I mean a total different focus of unity and not drama”.

“The first reality show where I didn’t see women fighting, pulling hair or gossiping.. just having fun & enjoying themselves.. Okay ima keep watching..”, another fan tweeted.

Girls Cruise airs every Monday on VH1 at 9/8c.

Catch up on the first episode HERE