Listen to our full conversation on my podcast Beyond the Fame. She put the “C” in “TLC”, but Chilli won’t…
WTOP’s Jason Fraley Presents TLC at Hollywood Casino (Part 1)
She put the “C” in “TLC,” but Chilli doesn’t want “no scrub” at the TLC gig! The best-selling girl group of all time plays Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races August 27.
“If we can’t get on stage and bring all the energy and dance and sing our butts, we can’t do this,” Chilli told WTOP. “I saw the chemistry between us three [early on at a 1992 photo shoot]. I knew that, I was like, ‘We’re gonna be the greatest girl group ever,’ and they just looked at me like I was crazy, and I was like, ‘I’m telling you!
TLC was formed in Atlanta in 1990 by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who soon replaced Crystal Jones with Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas for a threesome in 1991.
“They were about to look for a third member,” Chilli said. “THE [Reid] told his then wife, Pebbles, about me. When they first met, we set up a routine. That’s where we created T-Boz with that unique, raspy sound, I sang an En Vogue song and Lisa rapped, so that night everyone knew his role.
Their debut album Oooooooooohhh On the TLC Tip (1992) featured hit singles like “Baby-Baby-Baby”, but their next album CrazySexyCool (1994) entered the stratosphere. It wasn’t just multi-platinum, it was a diamond seller who won the Grammy for Best R&B Album, with hits like Creep, Red Light Special, Diggin on You and “Waterfalls.”
“On the hook, the chorus, CeeLo Green sings along with us,” Chilli said. “The radio did not understand at first. They said, ‘Aren’t you going to run after the waterfalls? What?’ The video is what brought the lyrics together. When the video came out and people got a chance to view the whole thing, it was like, ‘Oh my God! Is that what they say? It affects so many people. »
TLC’s third album “Fan Mail (1999)” was also a hit, featuring hits like No Scrubs. The song begins by describing the term, “a scrub is a guy who thinks he flies, also known as Buster,” then mocks them for “hanging out on the passenger side of his best friend’s ride trying to yell at me.”
“When I first heard the song, there were a few more swear words, so I took them out and said, ‘We’ll just keep the two that are needed,'” Chilli said. “I immediately knew before I even heard the lyrics when I heard the music. I was like, ‘That’s the one!’ A lot of guys were mad at us, they say a dog will howl, so I guess that’s what was going on.
The album also featured the song Unpretty with the lyrics, “You can buy your hair if it won’t grow, you can fix your nose if it says so, you can buy all the makeup MAC can do, but if you I can’t look inside you, find out who I am, be in a position to make me feel so bad pretty, yeah, I’m gonna make you feel bad too.
“We all have our own insecurities,” Chilli said. “Children are nice, but they can be naughty. It’s just awful what you’re going through during that teenage period. Now more than ever thanks to social media, our song stands the test of time. The song encourages people to embrace imperfections because that’s what makes you unique.
Tragically, Left Eye was killed in a car accident in Honduras in 2002, but the band continued with a fourth and fifth album, 3D (2002) and TLC (2017), and are still touring today.
“It goes back to your faith, our faith in Jesus Christ because we are prayers, we pray,” Chilli said. “You don’t completely go through something like that. I don’t know how you can. We both miss her to this day. She will be missed as long as we live and we still love her. Time helps, but you never rely on it 100%. TLC forever!”
WTOP’s Jason Fraley Presents TLC at Hollywood Casino (Part 2)
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