vibevixen-Crazy, Sexy, Cool- The Style Evolution of TLC-carousel

On VH1's 'CrazySexyCool,' TLC Vs. Destiny’s Child and The Ongoing Girl Group Dilemma

VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story couldn’t have been anything but made for TV. The laughable melodrama, the deliberate caricature of group manager Perri "Pebbles" Reid as a conniving music industry Mrs. Geppetto—the sadness that those events were anchored in reality—and Lil Mama’s uncanny “becoming” of the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes amounted to what we all agree was an amateur yet entertaining biopic.

Almost everyone (on Twitter, at least) watching this tale about an Atlanta trio's ascension from obscurity had a collective re-revelation: TLC was something special. It’s evident as soon as the movie opens, with Drew Sidora as Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, all baggy clothes and cartoonish competitive flailing that recalls moments like TLC’s"Hat 2 Da Back" music video, where the real T-Boz postures in front of a brick wall (the customary ’90s R&B video backdrop), full of tomboy swagger.


While the moment and tweets have passed, a few eye-openers remain in theCrazySexyCool aftermath—that we should all finally forgive Lil Mama's VMA stage crash and burn, that TV biopics can be financially viable today given the ratings onCrazySexyCool (4.5 million viewers) and that TLC as a girl group is still unmatched.

Destiny's Child picked up the empowerment torch, sure, but Bey's team was always the prissy relatives to TLC’s BFFs from the block. From safe sex to unity to depression, nothing was off limits for T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli. (Remember “Somethin’ Wicked This Way Comes”…“Sometimes I feel like there’s nothing to live for”??). TLC's messages were more important. Silly and sincere, these were three extremely popular black women singing about critical issues and selling millions in the process. Even as they were initially cobbled together to fit an archetype, there was nothing manufactured about their agenda. They're the best we've ever had.


And that’s the biggest realization from watching The TLC Story: the girl-group plague has never been more glaring. Imagine a TLC of today singing and rapping about birth control, gay rights and mental health over smooth melodies. Another all-black female R&B group having a chemistry, cultural and commercial impact as remotely comparable as TLC is hard to picture. Are young women still huddling in their basements singing cover songs and dreaming of making it big together, or are they hiking to singing competitions solo and snapping selfies on line?

The void—and the reasons for it (petty squabbling, greed, solo dreams)—have been noted and discussed much post-D.C. And with Danity Kane reuniting for a project that's only marginally anticipated, these convos will continue. Nothing's been the same for too long. No doubt, record labels are working on cranking out some manufactured multicultural squad from the assembly line. But while the boy bands have their resurgence, now would be a good time for some sisters with voices to share in the prosperity. To achieve anything close to another TLC, however, there's a hard fact to face: Maybe we need another Pebbles. —Clover Hope

From the Web

More on Vibe

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black Music Honors

Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

Keke Wyatt has news to share that concerns expanding her family tree. On Monday (Oct. 14), the "If Only You Knew" singer revealed that she's pregnant with her tenth child.

"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.


View this post on Instagram


My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

In an interview with The Christian Post, Wyatt said she believes she has "an anointing with motherhood" and looks at her children as fuel to keep striving in her career.

"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.


View this post on Instagram


So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

Get to know the men behind Love Renaissance in our feature, LVRN's Reebok Collaboration Showcases Atlanta's Influence In Fashion.


Continue Reading
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Tinashe Resurfaces With Exciting Message: "I'm Back And Better"

Tinashe fans rejoice! After a hiatus, the Joyride artist resurfaced on Instagram Saturday (Sept. 28), in a brief video expressing that she's “back and better.”

After a tumultuous relationship with her label RCA, the singer-songwriter broke ties with the company. Since then, she's been hibernating in her “cave,” as she puts it.

"Creatively, I just feel like I needed to go through what I went through in order to be the person that I am today and to get back to my roots," she explained. "You pretty much put your heart and soul and emotions into all these songs and then you put them out there for the world to judge and tear down and pick apart. It's terrifying and it can really mess with your head."


View this post on Instagram



A post shared by Nashe if you’re nasty (@tinashenow) on Sep 28, 2019 at 11:04am PDT

In an interview with VIBE, Tinashe expressed how important it is for her to stay true to herself and artistry. “It’s not even necessarily speaking up but coming to your own conclusions yourself and owning your own instincts and trusting in yourself and creative power,” she said. “I think that’s something that is always important to continue to maintain. It’s easy for that sometimes to get derailed, and it’s important to come back to that.”

During her recent statement, she broke down the importance of art and how it should be expressed through individuality and free expression, sans any boxes or limitations. Making people happy through her music is the goal.

"Music and art are supposed to be these wonderful beautiful things that bring people joy and happiness, and that's really why I started making music in the first place—to give people something that means something to them,” she said.

Although Tinashe did not say when fans can expect new music, she did share a snippet of what she’s been working on in the studio in a separate post. “I’m too emotional.”


View this post on Instagram


I’m too emotional

A post shared by Nashe if you’re nasty (@tinashenow) on Sep 30, 2019 at 12:57pm PDT

Continue Reading

Top Stories