*Update* TLC’s self-titled 5th album is out June 30! Three singles (“Way Back“, “Haters” and “It’s Sunny”) have already been released.
Tionne T-Boz Watkins and Rozonda Chilli Thomas are making a fifth and final TLC album, and everything about that is simply wonderful. The duo is Kickstarting the project in order to retain full creative control and to bring the fans in on something that should hopefully be incredibly special for the group’s legacy. The album is already fully funded; $150,000 was requested and money is still flowing in fast – almost $229,000 and counting with 24 days to go.
It’s borderline disgusting how excited I am about this. Not even in a guilty pleasure way either, but in a “I’ve already listened to all four of their albums 3x each this week alone” sort of way. To celebrate this, here’s a countdown of the Top 10 best TLC Deep Cuts – No “Scrubs,” no “Creep,”…no singles. Just deep cuts. (And check out the Spotify playlist after the countdown!)
10. Bad My Myself
Album: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip
Why: TLC’s debut album didn’t shy away from broadcasting the ladies’ personalities right upfront. “Bad By Myself” was a perfect anthem to back up the album’s debut single “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” Sure, the album is super dated now, but this track showed that these ladies had some brazen attitude that would knock down barriers in the industry and turn the notion of mere girl groups upside down. TLC was a tour de force in the making.
Why: Straight up: Left-Eye’s adlibs. Sometimes, it can be argued, Lisa was under-utilized. The fact that almost all of 3D was completed after her death makes the album a spectacular effort, even though it’s far from their best. And the intro – “I’m T-Boz, I got it like that!” – it’s just a fun, underappreciated romp that highlight’s the group’s dirty side.
8. Don’t Pull Out On Me Yet
Why: Sure, TLC was always at its best when they were cutting it up with raunchy bangers like “Silly Ho” and “I’m Good at Being Bad,” but that’s the beauty of the group: they had so many different styles and vibes. “Don’t Pull Out On Me Yet” shows off their classy, slow-jam side with a little help from Dallas Austin, who helped create some of the best TLC tracks ever. The bridge is fire, building and building up to an explosive, horn-filled chorus. Brava, ladies.
7. Over Me
Why: In my opinion, the best TLC tracks around have the presence and feel of all three members. T-Boz’s swaggering verses, Chilli’s sultry bridge, and Left-Eye’s fuck-you-rap combines to create one of 3D’s most forward and bold tracks (even if the rap was lifted from Left-Eye’s solo recordings). And that beat.
6. My Life
Why: “My Life” is a quintessential TLC tune: it equally represents all three ladies, has tons of T-Boz sass, and includes one of my personal favorite Left-Eye verses of all time. Go back and listen to Lisa spit fire. The message of the song is pure TLC: Be true to yourself, ignore the haters, and SLAY. Plus, the one-two punch of “My Life” and “Shout” in the Fanmail tracklist? It’s a TKO.
5. Case of the Fake People
Why: This Dallas Austin penned and produced track has a strong beat and an even stronger message and chorus: “Goodbye, goodbye, to all the fake people in my life. I never wanted you around me, so be on your way now.” Who hasn’t had a “Case of the Fake People” before? This track is a CrazySexyCool staple.
Why: It was a toss-up between this and “My Life,” which I adore, but “Shout” edges the former out for T-Boz’s ultracool vibe-y verses and Left-Eye’s ferocious rap. Again, “Shout” is a track that utilizes all three, and TLC is at its strongest when they’re all bonded together. Make no mistake: Fanmail, as a whole, was a sick album worth revisiting.
3. Shock Dat Monkey
Album: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip
Why: Aside from “Baby Baby Baby” and “What About Your Friends,” “Shock Dat Monkey” is a nostalgic track that transports you back to the early 90’s within seconds – the land of The Fresh Prince’s misunderstood parents, LL Cool J’s knockout threats, and of course: TLC. I also love how much fun they’re having on this one.
2. If I Was Your Girlfriend
Why: Prince cover. Enough said. BOW TO YOUR SENSEI.
1. Kick Your Game
Why: Always a fan-favorite. “Kick Your Game” is the perfect embodiment of the CrazySexyCool theme, with each of the singers completely stepping into her crazy, sexy, or cool persona. Left-Eye rapping as a dude is pretty money, too. “Kick Your Game” could’ve easily been a fourth single for the album over the groovin’ “Digging On You.” And it should’ve been.
Hop on over to the Kickstarter page and cough up a few bucks. Then listen to some musics: