The prayers of many fans of the ‘L’ of TLC may have finally been answered, after years and years of hoping. The world could soon be blessed with some brand new music by the late and great Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes – according to her sister, Reigndrop Lopes.
If the prospect of new Left Eye music isn’t enough to keep you on cloud nine, Reigndrop also revealed that she has been steadily working on a Lisa Lopes biopic for the last 3 to 4 years, and plans to take as long as is required to ensure the project is done right to do her sister justice.
Speaking as a guest in Atlanta at The Conversation Corner for The Status Network with author Andrew Snorton, Reigndrop opened up about her own personal projects as well as the upcoming projects for Lisa.
Maintaining Left Eye’s Legacy
“I always wanted to continue my sister’s legacy in a positive way, so everything I do I try to make it positive for the young people coming up, specifically females, because I’m a female so I can relate to them more. I know how it was coming up, being bullied and not being like everybody else. So, I made sure I put that into everything I’m doing, whether it’s the acting, or the music or writing a book”.
“I write plans for people and I also cook for people. Some people will hire me and I’ll come in and cook for them. I’m also still working on a healthy kids cooking show”.
Lisa Lopes Biopic
“It’s taking me years, but I’m going to take as long as it takes to get it done right! I’ve been working on this about 3 to 4 years now. So I pretty much want to get people who care about the story. I don’t just want someone who has a name in the industry or they have a background in making films. I want them to be in it for personal reasons.”
Overcoming frustrations making the movie
“I wanted to give up on making this movie so many times, because I don’t know anything about making a movie. But I know for a fact that I can do it, I just need the right people in place to guide me, and do the things they’re good at, and I stick to what I’m good at. I’m really good at having a vision, so the first person I met with was Rob Hardy, and he told me, if you want the movie to go a certain way you should get the script done first. So, I’m looking for a great scriptwriter. I’ve met with a few already but I haven’t found that perfect person”.
Reigndrop Lopes has a holiday single, “The Holidays Are Coming”, available on her website, where you can also purchase official Left Eye merchandise at ReigndropMusic.net
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Great Energy…Makes a Great Interview!👌 Thank you Andrew Snorton for your peaceful Energy🙏! Makeup by @luxuryleslie 💄Thanx @heavenlyerra for your assistance ☺️! #reigndrop #Lefteye #TLC #andrewsnorton #statusnetwork #interview #peace #peaceful #LOVE #lopes #lopessisters #fun
Missy Elliott, who has a history of writing and producing some of pop music’s most creative and catchy songs, breaks down some of the hits she’s written for herself and other stars. Elliott is one of the nominees for the 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame.
702, “Where My Girls At?”
702’s “Where My Girls At?” reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 chart in 1999, but Elliott said she initially wrote the anthem for TLC.
“Lisa (“Left Eye” Lopes) really wanted it, she really wanted that record, but I guess, if it’s two against one (what can you do?)” So I ended up giving that record to 702, which was cool because they were a group. I knew whoever had it, I wanted it to be going to a group.”
Of the biggest songs of 1999, “Where My Girls At?” was ranked No. 11 by Billboard. Elliott said she wanted women to feel empowered when they heard the fun track.
“It’s almost like church — when you go to church, pastor is saying something (and you’re) like, ‘I swear up and down that message is for me.’ I wanted to create something women could feel like, ‘I could relate to this record.’”
For more on Missy Elliott’s produced hits for other artists you can read the full article on The Detroit News.
Fans who loved T-Boz for airing her unfiltered thoughts and opinions on her radio show My Block Radio back in 2016 will be thrilled to learn that the icon is ready to hit the airwaves again in 2019!
Superadio Networks, LLC & CTC Productions, LLC have announced an affiliation and sales partnership agreement to syndicate Explicitly Old School with T-Boz, a daily radio show hosted by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins from the legendary super group TLC.
The one hour daily show designed to air on Rhythmic, Urban, Urban AC and Throwback stations, features the biggest records and hits from the golden eras of Hip Hop and R&B spotlighting artists like Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, and more.
Superadio Networks President Eric Faison said, “Adding a worldwide icon like T-Boz to the roster of stars on Superadio is like Kevin Durant joining the Warriors! The buzz around here is off the charts. T-Boz is a natural radio talent and can tell a back story like nobody else…stations are going to love her!”
Keith “Envius” Elliot, CEO CTC Productions LLC added, “I am on cloud nine about re-launching the Explicitly Old School brand with a mega star like T-Boz, and doing it with my family at Superadio is the icing on the cake! “EOS” will light your station on fire!”
T-Boz, commenting on the re-launch of Explicitly Old School said, “I am super excited about this show, we are gonna kill it!”
Stay tuned to find out the dates you can expect to hear T-Boz on the show!
On their 1993 Christmas single, the trio reworked every part of a chirpy classic and came out with something unique.
To make absolutely sure that a song registers as Christmas music, a pop producer can follow a few basic rules. Sleigh bells on the downbeat and some scattered church bells are the obvious shortcuts; high-up strings and canned choirs certainly help. Most truly mainstream musicians are shooting for tinseled whimsy, warm fuzzies, and a picture of mittened masses tipping their hats to each other on their way to a family gathering. A few frills will get you there without too much sweat.
If this isn’t enough, an artist can always faithfully cover one of the early-to-mid-20th Century classics – “White Christmas” or “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” or anything else that Phil Spector perfected in 1963 – and have done with it. Christmas thrives on nostalgia, a reminder of a time when at least some people woke up thrilled by the prospect of presents and an eternity away from school. There’s some sense in going back in time, dusting something off, and adding a coat of fresh lacquer.
Twenty-five years ago, TLC did all of this on “Sleigh Ride.” It was, at least in theory, a cover of a well-known light orchestra standard. There was the reassuring rattle of jingle bells above the hi-hat and some background church chimes over the synths. But “Sleigh Ride” was so much more than that. It was a song warped so far beyond recognition that it became uniquely their own. It was full of frivolous jokes and messy happiness, and it did something that so many modern holiday songs have strived to do before failing so horribly – it made Christmas sound fun.
The original “Sleigh Ride,” a chirpy instrumental, was penned by Leroy Anderson in 1948 and became an immediate hit when it was released a year later. The Andrews Sisters recorded the first vocal performance of the song in 1950, using lyrics written by Mitchell Parish—the same man behind the words to jazz standards like “Stardust” and “Deep Purple.” The Ronettes’ version of the song on the practically flawless A Christmas Gift to You From Phil Spector in 1963 is the most popular, but there have been dozens of “Sleigh Ride”s over the years. It’s in the canon.
TLC took a novel approach to the song in 1993. Rather than borrowing from The Ronettes or even commissioning a remix of an older cut, they basically ignored the original altogether. They worked around an entirely new vocal hook, a beat produced by Organized Noize and co-produced by their then-manager Pebbles, and pretty much a whole new set of lyrics. The hook is so classically festive that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was there in the 1950 version: “Let’s have a very merry Christmas / And a happy New Year / Give with love and joy and happiness / And lots of good cheer.” But Parish’s lyrics didn’t even mention Christmas. The only call-back to the original comes from T-Boz, who sings to an entirely unfamiliar melody: “Just hear those sleigh bells jing-a-ling / Ring-ting-ting-a-ling too / It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.”
(All of which might make you think that this isn’t a cover at all, and I get it. If you all but rewrite a song’s lyrics and sing those lyrics to a whole new tune over an entirely different beat, isn’t it just a new song? The answer is obviously yes, in the same way that an old broom with a new head and a new handle is just a new broom. But go back in time and tell that to LaFace Records, who listed only two songwriters on the original CD copy of the track: Anderson and Parish.)
TLC’s “version” is best appreciated alongside its video, which features T-Boz, Chilli, and Left Eye wearing baggy overalls, working through some awkward treeside encounters with boyfriends, helping the needy, and leading a half-decent dance party. “I want T-Boz to get me some headphone sets, and I want Left Eye to make me a fly dress,” Chilli says, beaming, at the top of the song. Left Eye’s verse is an open challenge to anyone who wants to hang out with her, opening with a too-cool-for-this-shit lead-in—”Uh-huh reindeer, presents, happiness… yeah right, check it out…”—and then using the “sleigh ride” as a metaphor for what I’m guessing was simply romance, because this was a PG-13 Christmas track. (The B-side to the single, “All I Want for Christmas“—no relation—is less ambiguous.)
This was just before TLC’s peak, a year beforeCrazySexyCool and years before outside pressures would make things tense, so it’s safe to assume that a lot of the trio’s chemistry was natural and unforced here. In an interview with Pitchfork earlier this year, Chilli even said that the verse was her favorite Left Eye moment: “I really love how she rapped in our Christmas song,'” she said. “I miss how silly we all used to be together. It was just how we interacted, at least when we were all liking each other at the same time—you know how sisters are!” They were gunning for airplay here (and a featured spot on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack didn’t hurt), but TLC were genuinely enjoying themselves.
“Sleigh Ride” is unquestionably of its time, but that’s its greatest asset—where most pop musicians try to tap into familiar moods and melodies at Christmas, TLC decided to sound like themselves, then threw a few bells on there. There’s more than one way to access warm holiday vibes. Sometimes you just have to rewrite the songs from scratch.
TLC finally gave us a live rendition of the hit in 2016, 23 years after it’s release, on the festive television show Taraji’s White Hot Holidays. Missy Elliott made a surprise appearance and paid homage to the late Left Eye by performing Lisa’s verse with the girls. Magic.
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that Thanksgiving 2018 in Salem will be well remembered with Sheila Watkins in town on Days Of Our Lives!
At Doug’s Place, Julie and Doug prepare for Thanksgiving and Julie’s anxious for everything to be perfect. Sheila strolls in, introducing herself as Eli’s friend. Julie assumes she’s there to work and asks her to clean the spots off of the wine glasses and then rushes off, leaving Sheila puzzled.
Julie continues to give Sheila orders until Sheila asks for some respect. She’s the assistant to the DA. Julie had no idea. She didn’t know she turned down her job offer. They get in each other’s faces and Doug calms them down.
Eli, Abe and Val stroll into Doug’s Place and straightened things out with Sheila and Julie. Eli never told Sheila about the job offer because she had a better offer with Mayor Abe Carver. Eli apologizes for not relaying the news or telling her that Sheila was invited to dine with them.
Sheila baked Julie a sweet potato pie. Julie apologizes to Sheila and Sheila tells Abe she had his shoes cleaned but they were lost. There’s a sale tomorrow during Black Friday so they can pick up another pair. Abe fumes.
Later, dinner is served. Everyone joins hands and gives thanks for what they’re most grateful for. Doug is thankful for family, friends and Julie, then Julie says she’s thankful for Doug who keeps her young.
Sheila’s thankful she’s out of prison, “I mean the food. If a rat died…” Eli shushes her. She’s also grateful to her friend Eli. Abe’s thankful Theo survived the shooting, and for the wonderful woman sitting next to him.
Val’s grateful to have found so much happiness in Salem. Eli shares that Lani texted him and said she’s thankful for everyone’s support. Eli agrees, happy that everyone has been there for him. He loves them all. Julie cries.
They pray and eat and Val and Abe make-up. He is proud of her and they agree to try a long-distance relationship.
Sheila ends the evening insisting Eli take her home so she doesn’t have to listen to Julie and Bill singing in the kitchen any longer!
Things are heating in Salem!
Sheila Watkins (T-Boz) and Eli Grant (Lamon Archey) are missing in action at work, so the furious Abe Carver (James Reynolds) decides to fire her from her newly appointed role as his assistant!
Concerned about the whereabouts of the friendly twosome, Lani Price (Sal Stowers) wants to find out why they are missing at work and heads to Eli’s house — finding Eli half naked with Sheila walking around in her nightwear!
Lani see’s green and has a jealous rant at Eli. Meanwhile, Sheila leaves them to talk and confronts Abe at work to save her job. He doesn’t believe she was sick — until she is sick right in front of him… on his shoes!
Abe finally has some compassion for Sheila’s sickness and allows her to keep her job, reminding her to inform him in future if she is sick again.
Valerie Grant (Vanessa Williams) drops by to see Abe to reveal that she has landed her dream job — but she will have to move away from Salem! She suggests Abe join her or they will have to consider a long distance relationship.
Abe isn’t sold on Valerie’s proposal. Sheila offers Abe some of her own opinions on the subject, insisting long distance relationships don’t work and that Abe shouldn’t be selfish!
Time will tell if Abe and Valerie can indeed make their relationship work, or will they have to end it.
Will Sheila and Abe form a greater bond in Valerie’s absence?