TLC's Fanmail Turns 15: Backtracking TLC's Fanmail Turns 15: Backtracking
TLC's Fanmail Turns 15: Backtracking
TLC's Fanmail Turns 15: Backtracking

TLC's 'Fanmail' Turns 15: Backtracking

Backtracking is our recurring look back at the pop music that shaped our lives. Our friends may come and go, but we’ll be spinning our favorite albums forever.

1999 was undoubtedly the year of the bubblegum pop takeover, headed by Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys and a shipload of European imports. But it was also the year TLC sliced through it all with their third album, FanMail, which turns 15 on February 23. The LP’s electronic-meets-urban production was ingrained in futurism, and it embodied the impending Y2K era of digitization.

It’s almost genius how the album’s concept was so ahead of its time, and still resonates with the modern world we live in. From the Tumblr-obsessed teenagers to self-proclaimed addicts of Twitter and Facebook, and corporate workers frantically checking their email accounts as a mini-escape, the Internet has become embedded in our daily lives. Fifteen years prior, TLC predicted this digital domination and created a sonic experience complete with dial-up connections, missed voicemails and pre-Her computerized assistants.

FanMail was marketed as a tribute to TLC fans who sent fan mail during the group’s five-year hiatus — which was tainted by rising tensions between the girls, Chilli having a child with the album’s future executive producer Dallas Austin, an exploited bankruptcy case and Left Eye infamously setting her boyfriend’s house on fire. These issues, along with the reduction of Left Eye’s presence to sporadic eight-bar features, create an uncomfortable void that envelops the entire album. Save for songs like “Unpretty” and “I Miss You So Much,” FanMail feels tense, cold and distant — which is all reflected in the vocals, the production and the introduction of the female android Vic-E. But don’t get it confused, this almost palpable emotion is what makes this album so powerful. Today, as part of its 15th anniversary, we take a look back at an album that shattered the sonic expectations of its era.

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Vic Mensa sparked controversy earlier this year after he took jabs at XXXTentacion's abusive past during a freestyle at the 2018 BET Hip-Hop Awards. Many criticized the timing of his diss, saying he shouldn't have said it while X's mother was in attendance to accept her son's award. While Vic stated that he doesn't regret his comments, he admitted that he did apologize to X's mom.

"I actually reached out to his mother personally,” the rapper said during an appearance on radio's "The Breakfast Club" on Monday (Dec. 10). "I apologized to her because I didn’t know she would be in attendance… I wouldn’t walk back any of my statements because what I said, I meant. And some more truth came to light not long after."

He also mentioned that although his timing was inappropriate, his talking points were important and necessary. "At the end of the day, I do think that the conversation that I was trying to bring up and that I did bring up is a super necessary conversation," he continued. "Maybe the way of going about it was not the best for the time, but I think the conversation is one that had to be had – talking about violence against women and misogyny in hip-hop, but particularly violence against women. I had a lot of people on the low reach out to me and thank me for that."

As previously mentioned, XXXTentacion was accused of physically abusing his then-pregnant, ex-girlfriend. Vic's freestyle included the lines: "Only time you bear arms is in a wife beater, loser/Your favorite rapper is an abuser." Weeks after the viral diss, audio obtained by Pitchfork, revealed the rapper admitting to committing physical harm against her and others.

Check out Vic Mensa full interview above.

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Romeo May Have Landed A Role In 'Bad Boys For Life'

Bad Boys 3 is officially going down, and there's going to be a lot of new changes. The biggest change seems to be major additions to the film's cast. In fact, Romeo Miller recently hopped on social media on Tuesday (Dec. 11), suggesting that he could be the newest addition to the Bad Boys team.

Romeo shared a photo of an email for a callback to the Bad Boys set on his Instagram Stories on Dec. 11. "When you get callbacks and opportunity to work alongside your idols, @martinlawrence and @willsmith, you go study and go ghost," the rapper-turned-actor said, mentioning stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith.

Romeo isn't the only hip-hop star to possibly land a role in the forthcoming movie. Nicky Jam also suggested he was going out for a part during an interview with TMZ in Nov. 2018. "I actually came her because I'm doing a casting for a movie," he said at the time.

As previously reported Will Smith and Martin Lawrence announced that the third installment of the Bad Boys franchise is finally happening after years of negotiating. The upcoming film, entitled, Bad Boys For Life, is expected to premiere in Jan. 2020.

Check out Romeo's post below.

 

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Looks like #Romeo May be joining the #BadBoys3 crew! Are y’all here for it, #Roomies!?

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Dec 11, 2018 at 10:13am PST

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Safaree Says He's Over His Beef With Meek Mill: "He Ain't On No B.S"

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He also stated that he's moving on and focusing his energy elsewhere. "It was what it was. The s**t happened. Ain't nobody die. I'm over that."

As previously reported, Safaree and Meek's beef started in 2017, over what seemed to be the common denominator: Nicki Minaj. Meek started dating the rapper after her 10-year long romance with the Love & Hip Hop star.

Things escalated after Safaree accused Meek and his crew of jumping him during the 2017 BET Awards weekend in Los Angeles. Footage taken during the incident shows Safaree talking to some people at the same time that Meek hops out of his vehicle a couple of feet away. Soon after, someone is seen throwing a punch at Safaree. At the time, Safaree called Meek the "biggest pu**y on the planet, but he clearly has a change of heart now.

It's unclear if Meek and Safaree have officially made up, but this wouldn't be the first reconciliation that happened involving the CHAMPIONSHIPS artist. He previously made up with Drake in Sept. 2018.

Safaree's episode of Rants airs on BET on Dec. 11.

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