Anniversary, History, Interview, Music, News

Left Eye’s N.I.N.A Project For Death Row Features Ray-J (Full Album Link)

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Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes shocked the world when she signed with Suge Knight‘s reinvention of his classic Death Row records, renamed as Tha Row back in 2002, as a result of her disappointment at her home label, Arista Records, failing to support her debut solo album, ‘Supernova, in 2001.

Lisa’s new moniker was N.I.N.A (New Identity Non-Applicable) on Tha Row, a name given to her by Knight, as he felt her small frame was like a small 9mm handgun (which has a street name of ‘nina’). When she was spotted with Knight at a Lakers/Grizzlies game in LA on Nov 9, 2001, Lisa explains to EW, “I was visited by a man in my dream, one that sweated me all night about Mr. Suge Knight. He was right, but that’s a whole other story.”

Eastwood, a label mate of N.I.N.A on Tha Row worked with her on her solo project shortly before she passed away on April 25, 2002. He told Variety that he worked on 99.5% of her second solo album, and even co-wrote her verse on TLC‘s single, “Girl Talk“, the lead track from their ‘3D album in 2002.

“You know the song “Girl Talk” with TLC? That was their last joint — I wrote her verse on there. If you go back and listen to it, you’ll hear me respond to her in the beginning of that verse. This happened three days before she passed”, Eastwood said.

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Producer Darren Vegas worked on the majority of the tracks for the N.I.N.A project, and when she tragically passed away he was given the task to work with material that was left over, mostly comprising of masters from her previous solo album. “Her vibe was real cool,” he says. “I expected her to be all wild and stuff from what I’d heard, [but] she was real laid back and calm”, he told LA Weekly.

“When she was [signed to Tha Row] she didn’t drink at all. She was on a cleanse, and she actually got artists at Death Row to do cleansings, as she was back and forth to Honduras”, he continues. “She just seemed real determined to have the world hear a solo album. The stuff we were working on, we weren’t copying what she had done [with TLC]. We were creating a brand new sound.”

Many of the tracks were released online over the years as the project was eventually abandoned, officially. Jordan Cooper of the Left Eye fanpage The Eye Is Right decided that the project deserved some more attention, and decided to compile all of the available material from the project as one album for all to enjoy.

After creating some polls with fans on social media, the title of the project was decided as the self-titled ‘N.I.N.A‘, which was released on July 25, 2020 via the fanpage. It also features a version of “Too Street 4 TV” featuring Brandy‘s brother Ray-J, who also signed to Tha Row for a brief period of time.

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‘Tha Row Presents… N.I.N.A.’

Tracklist:
1. Block Party (featuring Eastwood and Phobia)
2. Life (featuring Danny Boy and Eastwood)
3. Let Me Live (featuring Crooked I)
4. Universal Quest (featuring Crooked I)
5. Rags to Riches (featuring Kurupt)
6.Untouchable (with 2Pac)
7. I Believe In Me
8. Hot Lanta (featuring Kurupt and Juvenile)
9. Tru Confessions
10.Too Street 4 TV (featuring Danny Boy)
11. Friends (featuring Kurupt and Danny Boy)

Bonus Tracks:
12. Life (Alternate Version) (Featuring Carl Thomas and Eastwood)
13. Too Street 4 TV (OG Version) (Featuring Ray J.)
14. Crush on You (with Ejypt)

Cover designed by Demar Maurice.

Grab a copy of the full album HERE

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Interview

TLC On Their Tour Residency Wishes & Future Music Plans!

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Patch: It’s been a little over a year since you released your album, “TLC.” What was it like to work on and release new material after all these years? … And is it really your “final” album?

Chilli: It was like riding a bicycle really. Once you know how to do something that you love, even if you step away for a long time, to come back to it is to pick it up like you never stopped. It was really exciting. It’s the final album, yes, but I wouldn’t say it’s the last of TLC music that you’ll hear from us. We’re open to tons of opportunities. Album wise though, yes, it was definitely the final one.

T-Boz: It’s been an absolute blessing. The studio is my second home really; I’ve never stopped recording. The difference for this was just that it was for our next studio album. It’s always hard doing a new album because it’s so much pressure. The studio part is easy, but the pressure is the hard part. And yes, it’s the final album. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of TLC though, it’s just the final album. We’re still open to singles and soundtracks and Christmas songs. There will still be lots of TLC!

Patch: If you ever recorded another record, what are some artists/groups you’d like to collaborate with?

Chilli: Bruno Mars, definitely.

T-Boz: So many of the artists I’ve dreamed of collaborating with have died in the past few years, so I really need to think about this one. There’s so many great artists out there.

Patch: You’ve headlined or co-headlined several successful tours, including I Love the 90s: The Party Continues Tour in 2017. What do you enjoy most about touring?

Chilli: I just love being on stage. What we do on stage, looking out to the audience and how the music is affecting those fans, from people smil[ing], to people who are crying, to people singing along and dancing, that makes me feel good.

T-Boz: The fans and the energy are the absolute best. Just being able to tour and have sold out shows 26 years later is an absolute blessing.

Patch: What is your favorite song to perform live and why?

Chilli: I don’t have a favorite song to perform, but anything uptempo I really enjoy. I don’t like to slow it down.

T-Boz: I don’t have one to be honest. I love them all. The energy on stage is what I love performing most, more so than the individual songs themselves.

Patch: Would you ever consider a Las Vegas residency?

Chilli: Well, we’re currently working on that. Hoping to lock that down sooner than later!

T-Boz: Absolutely! This has been our dream for years now!

Patch: You were in San Diego not too long ago for the San Diego Pride Festival. What was that experience like, and why is the cause important to you?

Chilli: It was honestly such a great show. It was awesome. And important, because we want our fans to know we love them as much as they love us. Every time we get to perform, we want to make them feel that, and San Diego was just perfect for that.

T-Boz: For us, fans are fans, no matter their sexual orientation, but I love Pride because it allows people to be themselves and stand up for what they believe in. You’re supposed to have pride in who you are, and that’s what Pride is about. Anytime fans are being true to themselves, we want to support that!

Patch: Now you’re headed back to the San Diego area. Your performance at KAABOO in Del Mar is just weeks away. What can fans expect?

Chilli: They can expect a lot of energy. A lot of energy. There’s a lot of choreography. Even on the ballads, we bring the energy and the entertainment.

T-Boz: High energy concert, ton of excitement! Basically, we plan to have a big party together with tens of thousands of people, that’s what this is all about!

Patch: Will you get a chance to enjoy the festival? If so, who are you looking forward to seeing?

Chilli: We’re excited for everyone, but I’m really excited to see Katy Perry! She’s amazing, so it’ll be awesome to see her.

T-Boz: I wish! But my family are waiting for me. I’ve got a little one at home who’s waiting for me, so I’ll be in and out, to be with my family.

Patch: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Chilli: Just that I’m so excited to be a part of this and I hope they invite us again!

T-Boz: I just want to thank the fans for their support over all these years, still coming to see us and selling out all these shows! If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be doing this anymore.

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TLC single scheduled for January 2017!

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The new TLC album, as previously reported, will be with us in the first quarter of 2017.

The first single will drop in January, and the majority of fans will be happy, as at the moment its looking to be an uptempo jam!

So get your dancing shoes on and prepare for another TLC classic to hit the airwaves, clubs and the charts!