Zoe of ASTR, a new electronic/R&B duo, talks TLC in new interview for HOT 95. It starts about 8:15.
TLC, when I was a kid I was all about TLC
Zoe of ASTR, a new electronic/R&B duo, talks TLC in new interview for HOT 95. It starts about 8:15.
TLC, when I was a kid I was all about TLC
Reigndrop, Lisa’s sister, put some t-shirts (one is with rare Left Eye’s signature!) on E-Bay auctions. If you would like to have one, feel free to visit THIS LINK!
Singersroom made a list called Top 50 R&B/Soul Inspirational Songs and they put TLC’s songs “Unpretty” and “Waterfalls”.
TLC songstress, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and producer, Dallas Austin wrote the song for their 1999 album, Fanmail. The song started off as a poem from T-Boz’s poetry book, which turned out to be a top-selling hit. The single addresses the struggle with self-image and unrealistic concepts with beauty in the media. This empowering song encourages women to overcome physical inadequacies that do not blend with society’s expectations for women. This is truly an anthem for self-worth!
TLC released their biggest hit to date from their multi-platinum album, Crazy Sexy Cool, in 1994. Fans couldn’t ignore T-Boz, Left-Eye, and Chilli’s fashion sense or their everyday lyrics. In “Waterfalls,” the ladies sung, “Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to.” It was a perfect metaphor to motivate people to get their life on track. The scenarios about safe sex and drug dealing in the song were perfect.
Some albums are just classics that live on forever as staples in their genre. One such album has to be the legendary TLC’s CrazySexyCool. The album laced with sexy and sultry ballads and even some up-tempo flava is still regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. CrazySexyCool, written and produced by the likes of Babyface, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and more displayed a relatable identity for fans as Left Eye represented the Crazy, Chilli the Sexy, and T-Boz the Cool. As the multi-diamond album turns 20, it’s only right to reflect on the Atlanta trio’s successful sophomore project.
The album peaked at three on the Billboard 200 chart and spent over two years on the Billboard album charts. The album was certified Diamond by the RIAA making TLC the first girl group in history to be awarded diamond status. To date, CrazySexyCool has sold over 23 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group, and the second best selling album worldwide behind the Spices Girls’ Spice. All four singles from the album reached the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, two of them reaching number one.
The lead single “Creep” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, and was one of the biggest singles of 1995, coming in at number three in Billboard Year End Hot 100 Singles of 1995. It also reached number one on the Hot R&B and Hip Hop Songs Chart. The third single, “Waterfalls”, became TLC’s most successful song, spending seven weeks at number one. It was also the second-biggest single of 1995 according to Billboard, giving TLC two songs in the Top 3 of the 1995 Billboard Year-End chart.
Waterfalls,” stands as one of the greatest songs of all time as TLC used R&B soul, Hip-Hop, and an enormous music video budget to bring light to societal issues like HIV/AIDS, and the country’s issue with inner-city drug problems. The album also won two of the six Grammy Awards it was nominated for at the 1996 Grammy Awards. This classic album was undeniably a smooth, seductive collection of contemporary soul. The album is timeless.
Two decades later CrazySexyCool remains just as relevant, even bringing in a new generation of fans with the VH1 produced Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story biopic.
To celebrate 20 years of CrazySexyCool, AllHipHop caught up with TLC’s Chilli to discuss the making of the album, its impact, TLC’s legacy and more!
AHH: We are celebrating the CrazySexyCool album’s 20th anniversary. Talk about the making of that album; I know there were some big name producers involved such as Babyface, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri and more.
Chilli: We used the same producers that we always worked with. We worked with Dallas, Babyface, and Jermaine on the first and second album the only thing we had new was Organized Noize. Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest did the interludes. People don’t do interludes anymore and I don’t know why they don’t; they are so fun. It was a really fun album to make. This is a time where we weren’t always in the studio together; sometimes we went in one by one because everyone was so busy. I spent so much time recording with Babyface and it was a great album to make.
AHH: The album went Diamond, and TLC was the first group to achieve that success, talk about that feeling.
Chilli: It’s very exciting; it was a dream come true. It’s hard to reach a lot of people especially that amount of people. We love the fact that people love us because we are being who we are. We aren’t acting. We are very serious about the messages we put out. The girl power thing is really who we are. I think fans loved that we are so relatable; we are like your girlfriends or your sisters. When people can relate they understand and connect better.
AHH: Every single reached the top 100 Billboard Countdown, and the album has been referred to on many lists as one of the greatest albums of all time. Does it feel surreal now? Did it feel surreal back then?
Chilli: Back then It was times when it didn’t seem real, but we came out during a time when people really bought albums; it was no downloading. The competition was steep. We never looked at girl groups as competition; we looked at Boyz II Men and Jodeci. We wanted to hit numbers like M.C. Hammer because he was selling like crazy. The fact that we were able to compete with those guys is when we really got excited.
AHH: The lead single was “Creep”. Was that a unanimous decision to make it the lead single?
Chilli: A lot of times when you have your main producer that takes lead in your project they usually have the first single. But we loved all of our singles so we didn’t care what was released first. It was one of those albums where we liked every song. With CrazySexyCool the stars were really aligned for us because that was really a great album.
AHH: People always say they miss the 90s and the era that was CrazySexyCool. When I think of this album I think of smooth seductive vocals, contemporary soul, great songs, voluptuous beats, great song writing…. how would you define the album and the era?
Chilli: I would define it like the title; our personalities…. the music…. that whole era for us was Crazy Sexy Cool Period.
AHH: What do you miss about 90s R&B?
Chilli: We were more than R&B we were Hip-Hop and Pop as well. As far as R&B is concerned now I feel what’s missing is the lyrical content. You have people that are singing but its missing the lyrical content and the stories. When I think of Jodeci’s albums like Forever My Lady we don’t have records like that anymore. And Boyz II Men songs like “End of the Road” or “Bended Knee” like really; songs that people want to hear at their wedding. Songs that could be you and your boo’s record. Now you’re just talking about beating it up. What the hell are you supposed to be beating up? I know you are not talking about my vagina because now you aren’t going to get it (chuckles). There’s no more fore-play, no more courting, no dating. It’s straight to the bed.
AHH: How did R&B go from “I’ll Make Love To You” to pull your panties to the side?
Chilli: It’s okay with some songs like that but not when superstars make songs like that all the time when they have the power and ability to do more. It’s disappointing especially from seasoned artists or a whole album. It’s not cool; it’s no more variety. It was so much variety in the ’90s.
AHH: “Waterfalls” was the most successful track to date from the album. Everyone remembers where they were when the video came out. The video, the message, The Grammy nominations, TLC winning two of those Grammy nominations. How did it feel from having the vision of the record and the video to it coming to fruition and the success that followed?
Chilli: Left Eye was up there all the time so we made her go sell it to them with what we wanted it to look like and what we thought it would cost. Radio wasn’t jumping on the record they didn’t know what we were talking about. The video brought it to life. Videos then told the story. Radio was still on “Creep” because they had seen the video. Once we teamed up with F. Gary Gray to bring our vision to life, it was over at that point. The rest was history.
AHH: What is a crazy behind the scenes moment from the CrazySexyCool album?
Chilli: The infamous Vibe Cover. Vibe set us up but we totally fell for the ookie doke . Lisa had burned the house and everything and at the video shoot we would take whatever a stylist would bring rip it up and make it a TLC outfit. There were police uniforms and firemen suits. When I saw the firemen suits I was the one like we have to wear these. I wasn’t thinking about what had just happened and the fact that my sister is on probation and if she does anything wrong she can go to jail. They weren’t thinking either they were like yeah this is dope . And I’m sure Vibe was like we are going to have the cover of life. It was so innocent we just saw fashion and the picture they chose with Lisa with her lip to the side like “and what” and a nonchalant attitude of the situation. When it came out the judge called immediately. We got in a little bit of trouble (chuckles) but it’s water under the bridge. We weren’t trying to be some smart asses and not take the situation seriously, but that’s what it appeared to be (from the shoot).
AHH: Is there anything you would like to leave with your fans?
Chilli: I just really want to thank them for just loving TLC and embracing the outside of the box way we think and how we do everything. They were riding with us the whole time. Most are grown now and have kids and have introduced our music to their kids and that means the world to me. We always stuck together. We are real sisters that love each other, but we never abandoned each other and our fans never abandoned us.
You still don’t know what kind of Christmas gifts you’re going to buy to someone who loves TLC? We found something for you! Look at those beautiful glasses painted by Jordan Fees. He did that ones for special customer but I’m pretty sure he will do it again if you contact him at Etsy online shop. Beautiful work, isn’t it? Enjoy!
Let’s celebrate! MySpace posted an long article/interview about TLC conected with 20 years of CrazySexyCool . It’s whole page dedicated to girls so we won’t copy + paste all stuff, just click HERE to see and read what they prepared.
By the way, Chilli likes our twitt on Twitter! Aww… that kind of moment we know our work is already appreciate! Thanks, Miss Sexy!
Time flies! Here we go, 20th anniversary of R&B classic album CrazySexyCool. We’re going to celebrate this special occasion even more on our fansite, facebook fanpage, twitter and tumblr but for now we posted some links for articles from VIBE & Billboard magazines:
Saturday, Nov. 15, marks the 20-year anniversary of TLC’s sophomore album, CrazySexyCool. We took advantage of the timing and reminisced on specific CrazySexyCool album cuts and its impact.
How Left Eye And Andre Rison’s Fiery Relationship Almost Inspired TLC’s ‘Red Light Special’ Video
It’s often been said the world’s strongest drug is love. Love is beautiful. Love is ugly. Love is transparent. Love is complex. Love is befuddling. Love is blind. Love hurts. Love is eternal. Love is unfair. And, in most cases, love is batsh*t crazy.
The ’90s sported a healthy amount of celebrity couples known as much for their controversy together than individual day jobs: Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, Bill and Hillary Clinton, K-Ci and Mary J. Blige, Biggie and Faith Evans, and Martin and Gina.
Twenty years ago, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Andre “Bad Moon” Rison were one of the country’s most recognizable unions.
By the start of his 1994 season, Rison – the bad boy, slick-talking and even slicker-dressing Atlanta Falcons wide receiver – had become one of the premiere stalwarts at his position, ranking him alongside the game’s finest: Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Sterling Sharpe and Tim Brown. His first four years in Atlanta resulted in 4,545 yards and 48 touchdowns.
As impressive as those numbers were, Lopes’s were perhaps more gaudy. The Gemini and aggressive third of TLC, Lopes was an irreplaceable fixture in the group’s two platinum and one gold singles (“Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” “Baby-Baby-Baby,” and “What About Your Friends,” respectively). Not only that, the group’s debut album, Ooooooohhh…On the TLC Tip, catapulted to quadruple platinum.
Rison and Lopes’ – separated in age by four years – relationship was intense, passionate and, oftentimes, combustible. Charges were dropped in 1993 after Rison allegedly beat Lopes in a supermarket parking lot and fired a handgun to prevent others from intervening. By June 9, 1994, tensions boiled over and Rison’s house infamously burned down.
Had this happened in 2014, TMZ would have dedicated round-the-clock coverage. And while the incident garnered gobs of media attention, history leaves the possibility of how much more of a media spectacle one of the biggest musical acts in America burning down her NFL All-Pro boyfriend’s Dirty South palalce would have been had the OJ chase not happened eight days later.
In retrospect, however, Lopes setting ablaze to her boyfriend’s near million-dollar Alpharetta mansion was a landmark moment from the ’90s. Legal counsel for “Left Eye” claimed the she was the victim of domestic violence. Rison refuted the claim, stating that while he returned home from a nightclub at 5 a.m. “completely sober,” it was Lopes who was the aggressor.
“I knew she’d been drinking some,” he told People Magazine days after the incident. “But I didn’t know what was upsetting her. I started taking blows to the face. Finally, I grabbed her and asked her what was wrong. But she kept coming at me.”
Rison admitted to slapping “Left Eye,” but “not to hurt her, but to calm her. Didn’t work. We were inside the house now, and I picked her up and slammed her on the bed and sat on her. I still couldn’t control her. So I left. I went on a 20-mile walk.”
From there, the legal process took place. Lopes was charged with felony arson and given $75,000 bail. Rison had training camp, a new NFL season and the possibility of a lucrative contract loomed large.
Fast forward to the fall of 1994. TLC’s then highly-anticipated sophomore album, CrazySexyCool, was on the horizon and the group’s fame appeared destined for meteoric heights. Babyface, Organized Noize, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Andre 3000, Sean “Puffy” Combs and more had all taken part in the album’s creation.
The pressure was on T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli to deliver. Much like Jodeci on the opposite end of the gender spectrum, TLC’s blend of R&B and Hip-Hop morphed them into generational darlings. Now it was about capturing lightening in a bottle twice not only for their own success, but the future of the group was unclear.
Pressure, in the simplest of descriptions, burst pipes or creates diamonds. For TLC, it was the latter. Literally.
Lopes put the black legal cloud behind her pleading guilty to arson in December 1994, only a month following CrazySexyCool’s release (20 years ago tomorrow, to be exact). Considering the charge of burning a house down could’ve realistically resulted in serious prison time, being sentenced to a halfway house, ordered to complete a drug and alcohol treatment program, serve five years probation, pay a $10,000 fine and attend counseling for battered women (evidence had proven Rison hit her just before the fire) was the best possible outcome.
And similar to how Lopes avoided the legal system’s best punch, the sophomore slump never hit the group. By the time arrived to shoot the video for the album’s second single – the ultra sensual Babyface-written bedroom mainstay, “Red Light Special” – CrazySexyCool was a runaway success.
Almost a year had passed since that June night changed both her and Rison’s personal and public lives. That’s when the idea came.
Yet if the late MC had her way, the entire video concept would’ve turned in a decidedly different direction.
“She wanted the video to be about her vision of the night she burnt down the house!” T-Boz says, referencing Lopes’ torching of then-boyfriend NFL receiver Andre Rison’s mansion. “She was like, ‘We could be in the middle of the field, in the bed making love. And all of a sudden, a fire just shoot up and surround the bed! We could be surrounded by lions and daisies.’” [VIBE]
Cooler heads prevailed and the video resulted in the erotic calling card it is now (featuring a young Boris Kodjoe). The album went on to become TLC biggest seller to date, and one of the few diamond albums in music history, topping out at 11 million copies fueled not only by “Red Light Special,” but “Creep,” “Diggin’ On You” and the group’s biggest record to date in “Waterfalls.” TLC became worldwide celebrities.
In 1995, Andre Rison was given the distinction of being the highest paid wideout in the NFL, signing a five-year, $17 million deal with the Cleveland Browns. That relationship instantly went sour with Rison going as far to side with Cleveland’s arch nemesis Art Modell saying, “Hey, Art Modell is cool. He just wanted a new stadium. I do too. We don’t have a home field. Our home is Baltimore. To hell with these fans.”
As for Rison and Lopes, well, the two remained connected and were engaged at the time of Lisa’s death in 2002, thus proving the original point. Love is beautiful. Love is ugly. Love is transparent. Love is complex. Love is befuddling. Love is blind. Love hurts. Love is eternal. Love is unfair.
Love is batsh*t crazy.
In their own combative and unique way, Andre and Lisa defined them all.