F: Female Empowerment
Much of TLC’s music has been centered around one theme: Female empowerment. Throughout their career, the group produced songs about body image (“Unpretty”). safe sex (“Waterfalls”) and sisterhood (“What About Your Friends”). If that wasn’t enough, they gave fans plenty of anthems to stand up to their men who had done them wrong.
Georgia, in particular Atlanta, was a hotbed of urban music in the ’90s. Many of hip-hop/R&B’s most influential acts came out of the ATL. On the hip-hop side, OutKast, Ludacris, T.I. and Arrested Development. Meanwhile on the R&B side, in addition to TLC, Atlanta was home to Cee-Lo Green, Ciara, Monica, Toni Braxton and Usher.
H: House Party 3
In 1994, TLC had a cameo in House Party 3. They appeared as the group Sex As A Weapon in the romper comedy starring Kid ‘n Play.
I: “I Challenge…”
In 1999, tensions among the group became public as Lopes turned to the media to vocalize her frustrations. Most shockingly, the singer penned an open letter published by Entertainment Weekly that challenged the other members to a solo album competition:
I challenge Tionne ‘Player’ Watkins (T-boz) and Rozonda ‘Hater’ Thomas (Chilli) to an album entitled The Challenge… a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums. Each (album)… will be due to the record label by October 1, 2000… I also challenge producer Dallas ‘The Manipulator’ Austin to produce all of the material and do it at a fraction of his normal rate. As I think about it, I’m sure LaFace would not mind throwing in a $1.5 million dollar prize for the winner.
The challenge never did take place.
J: Jones, Crystal
Without Crystal Jones there would be no TLC. Unfortunately for her, the only reason people know her name is because of Behind The Music when it was revealed that she was the one who put out a call for two more girls to join her group, 2nd Nature. Tionne Watkins and Lisa Lopes responded and eventually joined the group, which was renamed by their then-manager Perri “Pebbles” Reid (see: P). After auditioning for L.A. Reid (Pebbles then-husband), it was decided that Jones didn’t have enough potential. She was replaced by Rozonda Thomas who adopted the nickname, Chilli, to maintain the group’s name.