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, Tribute

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

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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.

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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”.

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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”.

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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
Anniversary, Announcement, News, Tribute

Left Eye’s Solo Album ‘Supernova’ Confirmed To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

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Ever since the debut solo album by the ‘L’ of TLC, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, was denied a US release by Arista Records back in 2001, fans all over the world have been craving it’s presence in the digital era — the album, ‘Supernova‘ was only released in Japan and Europe, and still til this day has not been made available on any streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play.

Over the years fans of the album began finding creative ways to get the album the justice that it deserved. Last year, Jordan Cooper, who runs the popular Left Eye fanpage/site The Eye is Right, began a petition to help the album achieve justice with a full release to digital platforms. The petition gained a lot of interest and it later became clear that the album was not owned by Sony as previously thought.

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Things began to look brigher for ‘Supernova’ this week. Lisa’s sister, Reigndrop Lopes, joined a live chat on Instagram with Shekinah Anderson to celebrate the life of Left Eye on her Birthday — she would have turned 49 on this day (May 27). During the chat Reigndrop told fans that she had acquired the rights to the full ‘Supernova’ album!

Reigndrop is very aware that fans really want this spiritual masterpiece available on all streaming platforms, so she promised to make that happen. She said that she has the rights to do whatever she wants with it. However, she said that she didn’t just want to put it out there, she wanted to do it right and release it at the right time.

In another live chat on Instagram, this time inviting fans to join her for a joint live chat, she further confirmed details about her plans for ‘Supernova’ when she spoke to Jordan, who asked her some specific questions about the release. She will indeed release the album in it’s original form to digital platforms, which will please the fans of the original album.

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In the absence of the album, fans have been making the most of the only other Left Eye album online, 2009’s ‘Eye Legacy‘, released by Mass Appeal, which remixed the majority of the tracks on ‘Supernova’. Fanpage Ultimate TLC as well as The Eye is Right used the album as a basis for a streaming party on Left Eye’s birthday this year.

Reigndrop also revealed that she is still working on a script for the upcoming Left Eye biopicwhich she will be executive producing. She will also be in charge of casting the actors who will need to fit all the criteria to fit the role of playing Lisa in the movie. Reigndrop says the biopic will go into more depth of Lisa’s childhood and upbringing to help fans know how she became the woman we all grew to know and love.

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Reigndrop is also still working on a book of memoirs about her sister. She wants the book to include the insights of people that have known Lisa. The book with Hype Williams, based on Lisa’s book ‘Open‘ — the original idea to feature an exclusive photo shoot she did with him is also still in the works, which Reigndrop will be a part of.

Are you excited about ‘Supernova’ being made available to streaming platforms?

Announcement, Appearance, Interview, News, Television

Chilli Promotes TLC Concert On British Television While T-Boz Issues Statement Against False Information About Left Eye

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The UK were blessed with a surprise dose of TLC this week!

Chilli made an exclusive and debut appearance on the British breakfast television show, Good Morning Britain, on January 24, 2020 to talk everything TLC and to promote their upcoming show in London this summer on the 25th anniversary of their best-selling album, ‘CrazySexyCool‘.

T-Boz was unable to join her in the interview, which was a live satellite transmission from their studio in Los Angeles, as she had to take her daughter, Chase Rolison, to the hospital. So, Chilli held it down for her sister on her own.

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Chilli talked to hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway about everything, from what she thinks about her UK fans and the weather, to how the ground-breaking hit “Waterfalls” was created and continuing the group to honor Left Eye.

She explained how they came up with the iconic dance to accompany the major hit. “It was born from a dance called the Bankhead Bounce, but we had to slow it down for “Waterfalls”, and put a little lean to it”, she told the presenters.

Chilli said it was a blessing that TLC’s music has stood the test of time and continues to sound as fresh today as it was back in the day. “When you’re in the studio working, you hope and you pray that you have timeless music. You don’t know at the time, so only time can tell you. It’s been a lot of years later and people still love the song. I think the lyrical content is what people can relate to and understand, so that helps, too”.

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TLC at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999

When asked about whether they have ever been asked to hire a new 3rd member to replace Left Eye, Chilli reassures us that no member of TLC can ever be replaced, implying that people are finally understanding that fact, after continuing to tour as a duo with T-Boz over the years, keeping Lisa’s legacy alive and never muting her raps.

Chilli was surprised by Kate Garraway questioning her about Left Eye taking a day release from ‘prison’ to record for “CrazySexyCool”.

In 1994, Lisa was sentenced to five years probation at a diversion center after she set fire to her ex-boyfriend Andre Rison‘s trainers and subsequently burned down their home.

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TLC perfoming in 2019

Clearly astounded by Kate’s line of questioning, a perplexed Chilli asked: ‘Did you say prison?’

She then asked: ‘Jail?’ before simply laughing at Kate and brushed off the subject completely.

However, she did add: ‘We weren’t able to record at the same time, but she was very much a part of that.’

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T-Boz, who saw the interview later on, was also disappointed in Kate’s questioning, and took to her Twitter to make a statement. “It’s quite disappointing that Kate Garraway of Good Morning Britain decided to bait Chilli (who handled it very well) by disrespecting Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in the midst of spreading false information during an interview.

T-Boz went on to school Kate on the facts of the subject she was trying to refer to during the interview. “Lisa was in a diversion center not “Prison” and that is completely unacceptable. It’s CLEAR Kate didn’t do her homework and stood by her preposterous statement. Sadly, Chilli never got a chance to promote our June 29th upcoming show at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire which was the point of the interview.”

GMB viewers were quick to pick up on the tension, as they took to Twitter to comment on the exchange.

 

#Ooops! “Did you say prison?” I don’t think Kate was supposed to go there. #GMB’ wrote one viewer.

While another remarked: ‘How to screw up an interview 101. Well done Kate #TLC #GMB.’

With a third tickled person simply adding: ‘That’s a no then.’

Tickets to TLC’s one-off show in London this summer at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on June 29 are still on sale. Get your tickets HERE