On April 25th, 2002 Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of one of the best worldwide selling and critically acclaimed female groups TLC was involved in a car accident in Honduras which took her life and the music industry lost one of the most creative, rambunctious, and innovative women in all of all time.
Since her death, we’ve lived through her final moments in a respectful VH1 RocDoc The Last Days of Left Eye (Amazon), received a less than stellar post-posthumous solo album called Eye Legacy which rehashed the majority of her 2001 Alternative Hip-Hop record Supernova, and a few one off underground collaborations that were never brought to live on various records have been strung up on Soundcloud and storage websites to be shared with fans still in mourning.
The surviving members, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas intend to march on as TLC this year to celebrate what would have been their 20th year together as a trio. VH1 has a biopic based upon the entire time the girls spent together, and a new album package has also been confirmed to be in the works which will include remixes of old tunes as well as a few new ones.
According to a press release, a tour is also in the works.
The girls commented on the healing process and what 10 years passed has meant for them: “The word anniversary means a celebration. For us her death will never be a celebration, it’s still something that hurts,” stated T-Boz. Chilli agreed and added on, “Lisa is our sister. You never get over losing a family member. We love her and we miss her and that isn’t ever going to change.”
On a personal note: TLC was one of my first loves in music. At six years old, “Waterfalls” was the second music video I’d ever seen on MTV and by the release of their 1999 Fanmail album they’d already had a hardcore fan at age nine that carries on to present day.
Their music is authentic, the production value is top notch, and the songs themselves cross-genres so effortlessly. From the funk beginnings of the tracks off their debut album Oooooooohhh…On the TLC Tip to the empowerment anthems “No Scrubs” and “Creep”, plus the pop-folk feel of “Waterfalls”, “Unpretty”, and “Damaged” made the trio out to be some of the most versatile threats to the music industry..ever.
We’ll leave you with one of her finest collaborations. A timeless R&B song with Donell Jones titled “U Know What’s Up” in which she politely asked the producers to extend her rap from the standard 16 bars to a small bit more of an allotted timeframe because she had written too much. The end result? Absolute lyrical fire featuring line after line of optimistic fury and self-motivation that Lisa and the rest of TLC were most noted for.
“My eyes don’t lie, see how they glisten when you pass me by?
You and I don’t need permission to be unified.
Surely, I done seen and heard a million places.
Then, I traveled around the world, seen many faces.
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’re serious, I’m curious to see what you got.
My love is furious cause I believe in blowing up spots”
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes – May 27, 1971 – April 25, 2002.
Supernova was released August 14th, 2001. [Amazon]