Interview, Tribute

Spice Girl Mel C Admits She Was Emotional Meeting TLC After Left Eye Passed Away

Mel C Left Eye TLC | TLC-ARMY.COM

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.

gettyimages-611399244-1024x1024
Credit: Ron Davis

“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”.

IMG_20200407_012235

Melanie loved shooting the music video for “Never Be The Same Again” with Lisa, which was directed by Francis Lawrence, who also directed music videos for artists like Jennifer Lopez (“Waiting For Tonight“), Destiny’s Child (“Independent Women Part 1“) and Justin Timberlake (“Cry Me A River“).

“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”.

0qD1jc

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 TionneT-Boz” Watkins and RozondaChilli” 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
Interview, Relationships

Chilli: “Cardi B Is The Only Female TLC Wish To Work With”

20180415_044934 (1)

It was a natural expectation that the genuine and mutual love and respect TLC and Cardi B have for each other would eventually spark the possibility of a collaboration between the two at some point in the hopeful future.

Speaking exclusively to People this week, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas gave Cardi B some moral support, following the very public breakup with her husband, rapper Offset of The Migos, as well as revealing that Cardi B is the only female TLC wish to work with!

Chilli states that she and her fellow TLC bandmate Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins typically don’t collaborate with women in honor of their late bandmate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes — who died suddenly in a car crash in 2002 — she said they would be open to working with Cardi B.

“I don’t usually like to collaborate with females, and the reason why is because of Lisa,” she said. “That is just a little weird for me, personally. But I think with Cardi B, she is an exception to the rule. TLC and Cardi B all day long. We’ve gotten a lot of love from Cardi. It’s really an honor.”

Cardi has publicly paid tribute to the iconic ’90s girl group multiple times. During her Coachella performance in April, she wore a custom design inspired by TLC’s style. She also mentioned TLC in her single “Be Careful” and Left Eye on her song “Thru Your Phone.”

Speaking on the breakup: “I have gone through a public breakup, and it is not easy,” Chilli said, referencing her split from Usher in 2003. “When strangers know your business and want to chime in while you’re still dealing with the pain yourself, it’s difficult. Breakups are hard on anyone, but can you imagine if strangers knew your business? It’s rough.”

“I am proud of her for being strong and standing up for herself during a time that is obviously a very hurtful one,” Chilli, 47, said. “She has a strong sense of self. That’s why fans have connected with her this way. She talks about her highs and lows; she is fearless.”

Chilli thinks Cardi “is braver” than she was because she “just sort of shut down” when her two-year relationship with Usher came to an end. After Chilli and Usher split, many thought the songs off his album Confessions— which hinted at an affair and impregnating another woman — were about their relationship, though Chilli has since denied this.

For more on Chilli’s words of support for Cardi B and to learn more about her latest fashion venture with DAYO Women, head over to People.com
You can catch TLC on tour in January 2019.
Interview

Salt N Pepa: TLC Were Upset We Didn’t Talk To Them at Grammys

blue-white-background-abstract-rectangular-top-half-shades-lower-half-fading-to-superposed-hexagon-array-47895227 (1)

Salt N Pepa talked to Paper Magazine back in 2015 about their feelings towards TLC during the 90s and the legacy of Left Eye!

Pepa: I remember hearing the group’s music for the first time and we were like “Who are these three new girls coming out?” It was brilliant because they’re R&B; singers, and then you had Lisa who was an emcee. I thought that was awesome, and I knew they were gonna be a hit and make timeless music. Lisa had the “it” factor and she was so free-spirited. That’s what reminded me of Salt-N-Pepa.

Salt: I’m very good at knowing the “it” factor when I see it. When I first saw Beyoncé I was like OMG diva yes! Same thing with TLC and Left Eye in particular. She stood out to me as a brazen, bold, in your face kind of individual. She really was that way in person and it showed on camera.

Their first video “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” struck me, and they also reminded me of Salt-N-Pepa, too. They were young, they were cute, they were about female empowerment, they said whatever they wanted to say. I fell in love with them from “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” so I wasn’t surprised that they went onto mega stardom.

Pepa: Their whole style, their attitude, they were very focused. I just knew this wasn’t going to be a one-hit-wonder. To this day, we still play “Scrubs” in our shows. We have to support each other at all times, support women like us.

Salt: I remember being on the set with them when we did a song together with Pebbles [Perri Reid] — they were Pebbles’ protegées — and we barely spoke. I don’t know if they were dumbstruck or fans, but women sometimes do that; we don’t approach each other in music, which I think is a crime.

Now that I’m a more mature woman, if I see another female celebrity, I’m going to go up to them and say “Hey girl what’s up.” But sometimes you get the I’m-a-bigger-star-than-you vibe, so you have to be open.

Pebbles Ft. Salt-N-Pepa - Backyard [Radio Edit]_1
TLC in the Pebbles music video ‘Backyard’ featuring Salt N Pepa
So I remember us not talking. Years later, Chilli, T-Boz, Pep, and myself did a photo shoot together. And Chilli brought up a time when we were at the Grammy’s and never spoke. She said, “We really looked up to you guys, and we were hurt that you guys didn’t even come up to us.” I was apologizing; I don’t know why that happens with women. We need to be banding together. I don’t feel [competitive] now as a mother and as a more mature person.

I think as Salt-N-Pepa we can be really instrumental in bringing women together in hip-hop and saying it doesn’t have to be like this. Coming up with Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah, it wasn’t like that. We were all really cool with each other. We were just a bunch of girls coming up in a male-dominated genre of music and we clicked with each other naturally.

TLC Waterfalls Live On 1996 Grammy Awards -CYBERTLC_1.gif

Pepa: Now there’s so much more room for females in the industry with us showing that it could be done and with TLC showing that it could be done.

Salt: Women have been fighting to be heard and to be taken seriously in every area: business, music, it doesn’t matter. The struggle continues. Me and Pep are still finding ourselves in situations that I’m sure Left Eye had found herself in and I’m sure that’s why she was screaming. It was like, “I’m a black woman, and I matter.” Sometimes it may have been perceived as spoiled or like a tantrum, but it was really her saying, “see me, I’m not just an artist,” which is a struggle for me.

194125a

I’m a producer, I’m a writer, I compose music, I’m a mom. There are so many aspects to me besides being an artist, but sometimes in this business you have to fight to be seen as anything else. Sometimes you feel like a puppet, and I think that’s how she felt. She was not just a recording artist; she was an artist in many ways. We make up our video concepts, there’s so much stuff that we do that we don’t get recognized or credit for and it’s very frustrating.

I’ll tell a story that Russell Simmons doesn’t like: one time I was standing near him, and he didn’t know what Salt-N-Pepa looked like. Somebody happened to ask him what he thought of those Salt-N-Pepa girls and he was like thumbs down, not gonna last. Years later, he tried to sign us to Def Jam. But that’s how it is.

I always say desperation stinks. It’s a very smelly emotion. When you’re willing to say no, turn down money, and piss people off and not care that they call you a bitch, that breaks barriers. I love what Taylor Swift is doing. I’m not only a fan of the music, I’m a fan of her being a young woman who is going hard for what she feels she’s worth. You have to stand in your worth and be able to walk away.

At the end of the day you keep your self-respect and make a statement to the world. That takes a lot of courage because sometimes you’re wrong, but you still leave with your integrity. I was very immature when I was young. Left Eye did some immature things, but at the end of the day, she was saying, “I’m here, I’m important, I matter,” and that’s what I loved about her. She made her statement, she made her mark, and she’s unforgettable.

la-1499838655-35llotrkpc-snap-image

Pepa: She was very clear on her direction in life. You will definitely remember Left Eye: the eye-patch, the condoms on the shirt. She was just so alive and in your face with it. She was boisterous and had a good attitude that you need in this male-dominated world. She’ll never get lost.

Salt: To me, her legacy is to live out loud. She was authentic, she was herself, she was unapologetic about who she was. We would all like to be that way and sometimes we shy away from that because we’re afraid of being judged. She was judged, but she was willing to be judged. That’s what I really loved about her.

PaperMag