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Check Your Vernacular: VIBE Staff's Favorite Left Eye Lines

In honor of Left Eye's lyrical legacy, VIBE recalls their favorite lines from the feisty lyricist

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was undoubtedly a musical visionary. The feisty lyricist, who ascended to fame with one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, TLC, became a magnet for adoration with her knack for flavorful and outspoken wordplay along with an eclectic fashion sense that redefined "cool."

Today (April 25) marks the thirteenth anniversary of Left Eye's untimely death in 2002. In honor of her lyrical legacy, the VIBE staff recalls their favorite bars from her below.

"U Know What's Up" - Donell Jones feat. Left Eye 

"Don't let another one get near me if you wanna be true/
And show me that nobody else can do it better than you/
So if you serious, I'm curious to see what you got/
My love is furious, cuz I believe in blowin' up spots"
– Datwon Thomas, Editor-In-Chief

 

 

"L.I.S.A." - Left Eye

"Just to make it in the world and go against all odds/
Come from the gritty inner city to a superstar/
Number one hits consistently for ten long years/
Put my soul in every project, my blood, sweat and my tears"
– Mikey Fresh, Music Editor

 

 "No Scrubs (Remix)" - TLC

"Satisfy my appetite with something spectacular/
Check your vernacular and then I get back to ya/
With diamond-like precision, insatiable is what I envision"

– Adelle Platon, Associate Editor 

"See if you can't spatially expand my horizon/
Then that leaves you in a class with scrubs never risin'/
I don't find it surprising/
If you don't have the g's/
To please me and bounce from here to the coast to overseas"

– Ashley Monae, Contributing Writer

"Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Ya)" - *NSYNC feat. Left Eye 

"Boom and never let you try to stop me/
Born to fly sky high up to the top see/
Nothing to fear, no doubts and no tears /
Millennium sound to motivate the future years"

 Christine Imarenezor, Social Managing Editor 

"Waterfalls" - TLC 

"Dreams are hopeless aspirations in hopes of coming true/
Believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you"

–Iyana Robertson, News Editor

"Is it because my life is ten shades of gray/
I pray all ten fade away/
Seldom praise Him for the sunny days"

– Stacy-Ann Ellis, Staff Writer 

"Only my faith can undo/
The many chances I blew/
To bring my life to anew/
Clear blue and unconditional skies/
Have dried the tears from my eyes"

– Shenequa Golding, Editor

"The Block Party" - Left Eye

"There's something cooking in the pot/
About to hit the spot/
Boombox, play me some of that hip hop"
– Camille Augustin, Staff Writer

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Ride Through East Atlanta With Dreamville In New "Down Bad" Video

Dreamville’s Revenge of The Dreamers III is one of the most lyrically-grounded albums of 2019. One of the many standouts on ROTD III is "Down Bad" featuring J.Cole, J.I.D, Bas, EarthGang and Young Nudy.

Today (Oct. 22), J.Cole's team unveiled the brand new music visuals to the fast-paced headbanger. The colorful visuals follow Cole, Nudy, J.I.D., Bas and EarthGang through the streets of Atlanta. Viewers get glimpses of the well-known Peach Street exit, and sign that welcomes visitors to East Atlanta, which is home to the likes of Gucci Mane, 6lack, and Nudy, EarthGang, among others. There's also raw footage of the Dreamville crew on a tour bus.

After a brief verse from rookie rapper Nudy, ATL's J.I.D. falls through with his mixture of clever wordplay and mature content.

"I was just down down bad/I had to tighten the fuck up/But I’m here for the crown /Board of Education vs. Brown/I was bored of education/Left the town/Fuck a resume and fuck a cap n gown/Fuck a background check back round/when I get the check, that's now," raps The Never Story rapper.

Back in July, it was revealed that a deluxe version of ROTD3 will be released with new songs but nothing has come to fruition yet. Revenge of the Dreamers I and II were released in 2014, and 2015, respectively.  Last month, Dreamville unveiled the video for "Under The Sun" with DaBaby, J.Cole and Lute.

Watch the video above.

 

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Carmen Mandato

Lil Kim Talks '9' Album, Biggie And Rick Ross Comparisons, And Celebrates City Girls' JT's Freedom

This past July, Lil Kim canceled two interviews, citing that the outlets wouldn’t “put respect on my name” and “wanted to be messy.” But the rap legend known as Queen Bee has had plenty of blessings this year. At a dinner honoring their friend Notorious B.I.G.’s birthday on May 21, she and Lil Cease reconciled their strained relationship after not seeing each other in person for 13 years. In September, she received the I Am Hip Hop Icon Award at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards and gave a nostalgic performance with surprise appearances by Junior M.A.F.I.A., Musiq Soulchild and O.T. Genasis.

The year’s worth of positivity culminated with the release of 9, Lil Kim’s long-awaited fifth studio album that pairs her raunchy, street-oriented bars her fans love with guest appearances by Rick Ross, City Girls and Rich The Kid. While Kim has released several mixtapes over the past decade, 9 is her first studio album since 2005’s The Naked Truth, which she released days within beginning a prison bid. And her fans were patiently waiting: the day of the release of 9, Lil Kim was trending nationwide on Twitter.

In a conversation with VIBE, Lil Kim speaks about her new album, weighs in on comparisons between Biggie and Rick Ross, and rejoices the City Girls’ JT newfound freedom.

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VIBE: Your last official album was The Naked Truth, and you had a lot to say on that album because of what you were dealing with. What made you decide to make a new album now?

Lil Kim: Why not? I’m a beast, I love music. Why not? I love music, I’m good at what I do, and my fans want it. As long as my fans want it, I’m going to keep giving it to them and doing what I want to do.

Your fans definitely want it. You were trending worldwide today on Twitter when the album dropped. What’s it like to see the interest that high so far into your career?

It’s amazing. Not only was I trending, but I was number one in so many different countries. Number one, number two. Number 16 on all genres since last night, before the album even officially dropped.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You guys are doing EXCELLENT! 🙌🏾 Beehive don’t let the devil deter you from the greatness that is happening and the history that is being made. Ya’ll keep going because there’s so much history to be made and we’re just getting started. ❤️ We outside fr, the streets have spoken 🔥 #9️⃣

A post shared by Lil' Kim (@lilkimthequeenbee) on Oct 21, 2019 at 5:52pm PDT

The album sounds current, but it still sounds like you. Was there a dedicated effort to make it sound current and like what's already out there?

It was actually a dedicated effort to do what I wanted to do. To be the classic Kim I am, and be in the now and to be in the future.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Pray For Me.” How did that come together?

That’s one of my favorite songs, too. I wrote that song right in my kitchen. I thought about it when I was going through a lot of things. I’m a very spiritual person, I’m big on energy and spirit. The energy I was feeling when I heard that beat, that’s where I wanted to release the energy and the things I was going through in that song. The song came like that, we didn’t add that in the beat in there. So I felt like the beat was laid out for me. I already saw Rick Ross, and I already saw Musiq Soulchild, and I saw myself setting the song up.

A lot of people, I believe including Diddy, have said that Ross reminds them of Biggie. Do you agree with those comparisons?

I think he has some similarities, yeah. You can tell that Biggie’s influence is there, and that’s amazing. There will never be another BIG, period. But I don’t think necessarily that Ross is trying to be BIG or anything like that. I think that he just has big love for BIG, and he has a lot of similarities, and I love it. His style is super dope. I’ve always loved him, and I think he expressed that from the moment he came out.

Another favorite is “Auto Blanco.” On that record you said, “BIG and Pac be alive if you niggas ain’t gas shit up. If I knew who did it, I’d personally wrap their caskets up.” It’s been a while, but are you still actively mourning?”

All the time I’m mourning his death. All the time. But as far as trying to go to the end of the world to find out who did it, no, I just let God work that out. Because sooner or later, everything from the dark will come out. But at this point, all I can do is live for him.

Tell me about the significance behind the number nine as this album's title.

Nine is my spiritual awakening number. There were nine members in Junior Mafia, my baby was born June 9, Biggie passed on March 9. It is 2019. My birthday is 7/11, seven plus two is nine. When you get a spiritual awakening, you have to act on that moment. And there you have it… Something that’s a spiritual awakening can’t be negative. With every rise, every level you go to, with every win when God is working on your life, the devil’s gonna come. But nine is all positive.

The Naked Truth is an angry record, and you had plenty of reason to be upset. After you got out, how did you get to the point where you were able to grapple with what happened and move forward with your life?

Because it wasn’t what people thought. I met some of my best friends inside. I got a lot of rest the first two weeks, I was tired because I was working. I learned a lot. It was like going to a very, very, very, very bad boarding school. (laughs) I learned a lot, and I got to get closer to God. It wasn’t as bad inside as it was when I came home, the things I had to go through, to be honest with you. I had worse times outside of prison than I did in prison. I had to go through some really really dark, deep things.

JT of City Girls just got out of prison, and you had them on your album on the song "I Found You." Do you have any advice for JT?

I haven’t spoken to her yet, but we’re trying to set up a call so I can talk to her. That’s my girl, I’m so happy that she’s home. I know that feeling. Ain’t nothing like your freedom. I love that girl, I love them, I love Miami…I think everybody who just comes home renewed with how they move and live at that point, because you’re free. You use your own discrepancy. Everybody has their own different climb that they’re going to.

At the Biggie dinner, you were reunited with Cease. What has it been like to have that relationship mended?

It’s a beautiful thing. As you can see, nothing but greatness and beautiful things have come out of that. Look at the BET [Hip-Hop] Awards! That shit was fucking nostalgic! That shit was fucking amazing. Junior M.A.F.I.A. came out and the crowd went nuts. Sometimes when people realize things they have done and they apologize sincerely, that is worth more than gold. That’s a family member. Family fucks up, that’s it. We do that in our family and relationship. But when it’s family, especially for someone like Biggie, we have to come together and we have to let Biggie live the way he’s supposed to. That was my way of mending his broken heart.

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Billboard And VIBE Host Second Annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Event

Billboard and VIBE joined forces for the second annual R&B and Hip-Hop Power Players event on Thursday night (October 17). Held at New York City's Union City, the brands honored the 100 accomplished music executives, agents and more who made the third annual list for their outstanding contributions of driving, influencing and guiding the music industry and hip-hop culture today.

Billboard Executive Director of R&B/Hip-Hop Gail Mitchell and VP of Culture Media/VIBE Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas greeted guests at the invite-only reception saying, "Big shout to the team that puts this together, we just want everyone to know that this is a night of celebration. A lot of people have been working in the game for a long time - you are here tonight so you are all winning." He added, "We thank you for taking the time to celebrate your colleagues."

Shortly after, the hosts presented Steve Pamon with the Billboard Executives of the Year Award shared with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. As he accepted his award, the Parkwood Chief Operating Officer delivered a speech saying, “This award was given to myself and Beyoncé, but the award truly belongs to the team behind me. We live off respect and responsibility. A sincere thank you.” He went on to say, “We live off of respect and the responsibility of being around all of you. You are hip-hop. We are hip-hop. It’s not about us. It’s about us all.”

The late Nipsey Hussle was honored with the Billboard Impact Award for his contributions to breaking barriers of cultural appropriation, young professionals seeking educational resources in science, tech and mathematics spaces, and positivity in his community. Prior to Marathon Agency co-founder, Steve Carless, acceptance of the world on Hussle's behalf, there was a 30-second moment of silence.

In his emotional yet encouraging speech, Carless said, “I accept this on behalf of Nipsey, his family, and all his loved ones and his children. What this means to me, it’s a testament to his hard work and dedication." He added, "Congrats to everyone who made this year. It’s a huge honor...One thing I do want to say it, this award is about inspiration. Responsibility is to uplift each other mentor each other and lead each other. May all of us leave here and know we have a responsibility.”

As attendees enjoyed beverages and captured Instagram-worthy images at the Billboard and VIBE cover-inspired installations, rappers Casanova and Young M.A hit the stage, respectively, to perform their popular singles. Flip through photos and interviews from Thursday night's event down below.

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