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New TLC biopic premiering Monday on VH1
There's a scene in the VH1 movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story that is reminiscent of the female bank heist film Set It Off.
Upset that they had not been appropriately compensated for the sales of their sophomore album, CrazySexyCool, the members of TLC held hostage Clive Davis, then president of Arista Records, demanding payment.
They stormed the label with a group of female convicts, and confiscated any TLC paraphernalia in site.
The scene is one of the shocking moments in the film premiering on VH1 Monday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The depiction is based on a true story, members Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins told Yahoo Music Friday in an exclusive video interview in their publicists' office in Hollywood.
"First of all it's funny because people get to see that in the movie, but I personally would have liked it if it would have showed a little bit more of that because that was a serious thing that we went through," Thomas said. "We talked about that."
Late group member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who died in a 2002 car crash, recruited their tough girl backup from the halfway house where she served five months in 1994 for burning down her ex-boyfriend Andre Rison's million dollar mansion, the surviving members said.
Frustrated with being given conflicting information regarding who controlled their payments, the women sought out the man in charge.
"'Cause we got tired of it," Thomas said. "It's like, 'OK, is it Arista? Is it La Face [Records]? Who is it?' So we go to the top, right on up there to Clive and we really did. We told [the girls] if you see anything that says TLC, I don't care if it's a picture it's ours."
The CrazySexyCool album made $75 million but the three members of TLC were only paid $50,000 each, Watkins told Mo'Nique in 2009.
When their financial disputes lead them to court, they were asked to return some of the items they confiscated from the company offices, Thomas told Yahoo Music.
"When we filed bankruptcy, we were in court, Arista wanted their plaques back, and we said, 'Well, go to the hood. Get it. Good luck with that,'" Thomas said.
"We gave them away to everybody in the projects," Watkins said. "They were so excited."
"So they kinda take that as a loss," Thomas added.
Thomas and Watkins open up about several other aspects of the movie in the three-part interview, including casting Lil Mama as Lopes, KeKe Palmer as Thomas and Drew Sidora as Watkins. Lil Mama's audition impressed them.
"We thought it was going to be harder to find Lisa, but that was the easiest," Watkins said. "Her real eyes are like hazel and she came in with these black, big contacts like Lisa's real eyes, beautiful."
The cast remade many of the videos for their hits, "Waterfalls," "No Scrubs" and "Creep," but it was the recreation of their 1992 debut "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" that impressed them the most.
The movie culled a lot of emotions, some so strong that Thomas and Watkins elected not to come on set for three scenes: an abortion Thomas had at the start of their career, Watkin's Sickle Cell anemia scare, and Lopes' funeral.
"Just going through the script with the ladies, we had to relive it enough just doing that," Watkins said. "Just past the words, we wanted to make them understand the feeling behind each of the scenes, why we were angry or passionate about certain things so they could play better roles."
- 3D is their best album. Girl Talk was whack but the rest of that album is very underrated.
- 3D did have a lot of nice cuts, with "Damaged", "Hands Up", "Good Love", and "In Your Arms Tonight" being my faves.
- I saw a preview and was blown away by LIl' Mama in this film. She really delivered 100%.
- They're saying she really brought it. It's uncanny how much they all resemble TLC.
- The actress playing Chilli is about twice her size. She's not fat or anything, but she's a big woman.
Did anyone see their medley on GMA? What a shit show. I don't expect much of the comeback.
- Can't wait to see this. Pebbles is pissed and had a twitter rant earlier this week, as the movie makes her look awful, though TBoz and Chilli say they went easy on her lol Watch the firt 10 minutes or so of this interview if you want to hear some of the scoop on how bad Pebbles was to them:
- If you ain't swingin' just put yo toooooooongue in it...
- Maybe Lil Mama should give up music an stick to acting full tie.
- Evan Ross as Dallas Austin wasn't a great pick though. They look nothing alike. Obviously being Diana's son helped him get the role.
- While I'm familiar with Austin's work of course, I nevertheless had to to google him to see what he looks like. I imagine a lot of viewers are the same, so I don't think it was important to cast someone that looks like him.
- Here is a pic from the era of when TLC were on LaFace and managed by Pebbles. TLC with Pebbles and LA Reid:
- Hollywood is just so fake. Last year, Pebbles and Chilli were hugging while appearing at Essence Fest and now Pebbles is threatening to sue Chilli and T-Boz for slander and defamation:
- They are so pretty and T Boz has a perfect nose. Did she have the same Dr. as Janet? I feel really bad for them- blame it on youth and the greediness of the heads of music companies. Show Biz- yuchhhhh.
- Pebbles and Chilli were always gorgeous and Lefteye was cute. I can't find anything online about T-Boz getting a nose job, but she did start looking prettier starting at their third album. Maybe it was just choice of makeup/hair?
- I think Fanmail was an excellent/bizarre pop album. Of course, Tionne and Chilli had basically nothing to do with it other than contributing vocals. The title track "Fanmail" was a strange and complex tune with fax machines, bleeps and bloops and lush vocals and lyrics about emails and being horny. Of course, lil' miss thang Drake had to go and cover it.
- [quote]I think Fanmail was an excellent/bizarre pop album.
I LOVED that album! The futuristic electronic R&B sound on the album was so new at the time. I'll never understand why the title track and "Silly Ho" were never released as singles.
- It's a shame that Lefteye was so difficult to work with. TLC should have made more albums but she held up the process in the late 90s.
- LSA claims she had several abortions, which is funny considering she wore a condom in front of one eye for a couple of years. Though in hindsight, perhaps she just didn't know where to put it...
- So wrong, yet funny, r18. LOL.
- R18 who knows if that's true, but we do know Chilli had an abortion when she got pregnant by Dallas Austin as TLC was just starting out. She felt pressure (hinting at Pebbles and the label) to not keep the baby. Several years later she would get pregnant by Austin again and this time kept the baby.
- I remember in back in the early '90s they announced T-Boz sickle cell condition like she only had a few years to live and would be lucky to make it to 30. Tionne is a fighter.
- If They Knew is yet another great song on Fanmail. They have so many great album tracks.
- Dear Lie and I'm Good At Being Bad were the best songs on Fanmail.
- Tionne is definitely a fighter. A few years ago she had a malignant brain tumor and, after the surgery, had to learn to speak and walk again. I believe the steroids she was taking were the cause of her weight gain, but she looks likes she's starting to shed the pounds. As for Chilli, the woman does not age. She looks just like she did when TLC first hit the scene.
I cannot pick a favorite album of theirs for me because they all have great cuts. The first one has the excellent HISSTORY and all of the singles (except for the less-than-stellar HAT 2 DA BACK). "CrazySexyCool" was a blockbuster for a reason--it's just a great R&B/Hip-Hop/Pop album. Their cover of Prince's IF I WAS YOUR GIRLFRIEND is just everything, and Chilli's vocals shine on the sexy TAKE OUR TIME and RED LIGHT SPECIAL. "FanMail" is great for its futurisitc appeal (AUTOMATIC, SILLY HO and the title track are standouts), and once it hit, every single from every black female group sounded like NO SCRUBS (Destiny's Child's BILLS, BILLS, BILLS comes to mind). "3D" had the excellent "Hands Up", "Damanged", "Good Love" and "In Your Arms Tonight".
As for the movie's casting, I think Evan Ross, with some facial hair and bohemianing-up, will make a good Dallas Austin.
- [quote]Tionne is definitely a fighter. A few years ago she had a malignant brain tumor
It was benine, NOT malignant!
- The 3D album was a piece of shit, and obviously the fans thought it was shit too considering the album and its' singles flopped. The only good song on it was "Over Me", which should have been the lead single if they actually wanted a chance for things to go decently.
- I haven't heard it, but 3D seems to be quite a divisive album.
- I thought "Over Me" was one of the weaker 3D tracks.
- Fire! Fire!
- Their first 2 albums were amazing and so different from other music at the time.
Can't wait for this movie. I agree though that more of the Pebbles moments should have been included. I want to know just how bad things got and why she wants to sue them again.
- This biopic might have been interesting 10 years ago. Now? Not so much.
- R31 is the douchebag in the Joe Jonas/Mike Bayer thread. Get out of my TLC thread, shitstain!
- R33 not our problem if you have good taste in music but poor taste in men.
- On tonight! Get ready for it! Can't wait.
- I can't wait to watch it either. I loved loved loved T-Boz so much back in the day, she was too cool for school. Her raspy voice is so unique and was the focal point of a lot of their hits.
- [quote]every single from every black female group sounded like NO SCRUBS (Destiny's Child's BILLS, BILLS, BILLS comes to mind)
These songs were both written by the same songwriter (Kandi from RHOA).
- [quote]These songs were both written by the same songwriter (Kandi from RHOA).
Yes, she was a part of the R&B girl group XScape at the time. I always thought of them as a second rate TLC rip-off.
- This Xscape album cover always make me laugh. They look like three 5 dollar hookers with a female pimp. Props for putting the fat one in the foreground though.
- The movie's on!!
- Loving it so far
- Me too.
- WEHT Salt 'N Peppa?
- haha @ the Pebbles story line. SHe's definitely going to sue.
- Lefteye was crazy as fuck.
- Thought this movie was great for what it was. I bet the ratings will be amazing.
- I enjoyed it too. I wonder why there has yet to be a biopic about Aaliyah.
- Great movie. Who knew Lil Mama could act?
I knew most of the story from Behind the Music, but they had so much more drama. Could have been another hour.
Why did they gloss over the who Chili Usher romance? That kept her relevant for years.
- The R. Kelly business is still a mystery.
- Lil' Mama was great as Left Eye. I knew they cast her for a reason. $25 a week? It was worse than I thought
- Wow black twitter is going HAM on Pebbles. Do a search of Pebbles on twitter and you'll see the fans are tearing her apart. It will be very interesting to hear her response to both the movie and the fans this week. I think she's definitely going to sue. This movie makes her look terrible lol
- omg Pebbles' daughter https://twitter.com/ashleyreidphoto is having a meltdown fighting with her mother's haters on twitter. Entertaining as fuck.
- The anti-Pebbles Twitter comments highlighted on this website are hysterical. Makes DL sound like a ladies garden club in comparison!
- Pebbles' daughter is reading people. Her mother should have had her man her Twitter tonight. Pebbles was getting dragged!
- Did y'all see Ashley's (Pebble's daughter) tweet to Chilli?
I cannot WAIT to see you around honey! That means she wants to have words with her.
It's just weird because in the last year, we saw Chilli hanging out with Pebbles and being a guest judge when Pebbles was judging "the next Essence r&b star". Obviously Pebbles and Ashley thought T-Boz and Chilli were on good terms with them but this movie changes everything. T-Boz and Chilli said last week in interviews they hold no grudges but there's no way they can be close right now after this movie.
I'm fully expecting Pebbles to sue. I believe what T-Boz and Chilli are saying about Pebbles, but still, Pebbles seems adamant that they're lying.
- Just to clarify the tweet was only
[quote]I cannot WAIT to see you around honey!
not the rest of what I posted.
- Checking twitter accounts tonight, pretty much most of the famous female black singers from the late 80s to 90s who posted today were watching or recording this movie!
Toni Braxton + her sisters, Jody Watley, Karyn White, Brandi, Monica, Kandi Burruss, Kelly Rowland and more.
So this movie has likely turned a lot of people, from other entertainers to the press to the public, against Pebbles. As horrible as she was to TLC, I kinda feel for her.
- [quote]It's just weird because in the last year, we saw Chilli hanging out with Pebbles and being a guest judge when Pebbles was judging "the next Essence r&b star".
You obviously don't know how black folks who don't like each other act. They act very two-faced to each other; they'll act nicey-nice to each other's faces and then talk shit about each other the minute they leave. It's never made sense to me because if you don't like someone, why pretend to like them?
- Wow- Lil' Mama hit it out of the park-was almost like watching the real Left Eye. The other 2 were good but she was outstanding.
- She ought to give up on music, and really go for acting. Her performance was a hell of a lot better than any song she ever put out.
- They should have beat the shit out of Pebbles.
- Oh yeah R58 - this is exclusive only to Black folks..... (sarcasm)
- The casting was great except for Evan Ross as Dallas Austin.
- Agree, r63.
- Don'tcha wish you could get back at some of the evil people in your lives this way? I have two people in mind...
- bombshell! Original member Crystal (before Chilli replaced her) gave an interview to an Atlanta music station this morning. According to her, she wasn't kicked out of the group because she didn't sing/perform well; it was because she didn't sign the contract! Crystal wanted her mother to read it and Pebbles wouldn't allow it. Obviously there's no way to prove Crystal's story, but very interesting indeed. She's also planning on writing a tell-all about her brief time with the group.
- Chili said recently Pebbles was actually toned down. Wow
- I wish they didn't tone down anything. I want to know EVERYTHING about how awful Pebbles was.
- everyDAMNbody is talking about this movie today!
- It was the highest-rated cable movie of the year. Congrats TLC!
- The scene of Pebbles giving those 3 bootleg cars out after telling the girls that their singles went platinum...wow
- Now VH-1 should tell the story behind Envouge. You KNOW they had some drama.
- R72 yaaaaas hunty! The problem is, people won't agree. Terry + Cindy have their version, while Maxine and Dawn beg to differ. Given Dawn's attitude on r&b divas, I'm inclined to go with Terry and Cindy's story.
- and Ashley Reido (twitter.com/ashleyreidphoto) was at it again last night vs. her mother's haters. Hilarious to read.
Seriously with so many of the public, press and industry people/entertainers watching this movie, Pebbles must feel so awkward going about her business this week in Atlanta. A lot of people who watched this are also in Atlanta.
- What does going "ham" mean?
- hard as (a) motherfucker! it means intense
- Thanks r76, I honestly hadn't thought of that so appreciate your response
- R75 going HAM is usually used when people are upset and they go crazy on someone but you can also go HAM in a workout too. Twitter "going HAM" on someone means a lot of people on twitter are attacking someone. It's now wednesday and people are STILL dragging Pebbles lol.
Check out both pages of these Pebbles memes (the only one I don't agree with is the weave comment, as Pebbles always had her natural hair):
- Watching the movie and following along with the comments on Twitter was very entertaining. I haven't laughed that much in a while.
While I agree that the actresses did a good job, I disagree with those who think that they are prettier than the real TLC. Tionne, Rozanda, and Lisa are all quite beautiful while the actresses were ok looking (the girl who played T-Boz), not very good looking (the girl who played Chilli) and dog-like (Lil Mama as Lisa).
"Are you resentful of my diamonds and Chanel bag???"
- Anyone else think that the woman who dissed Left Eye and was told to shut up by T-Boz and Chilli at the awards' show was Lil' Kim? On the IMDB cast list, the character is simply labeled "Bleached Weave Girl" lmao
here is the pic of the scene from the movie: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXOMNG4CMAIIbyl.jpg
and here is how Lil Kim looked in the late 90s/early 2000s (think "How Many Licks" video) JUST before she started fucking up her face: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXJnJW3IUAAIgct.jpg
Now I think that was Lil Kim. The interesting part is Lil Kim was part of a major female rap collaboration along with Left Eye and Da Brat, Missy Elliot and Angie Martinez. Who knows if they had a falling out.
Most people on twitter also think it was Lil Kim in the scene, though others threw out the idea of Beyonce, Blu Cantrell and even Mariah. I don't see how it could be anyone but Lil Kim.
- R80, now that you mention it, the whispery "sweetness" of that woman with the blonde afro does seem a little Mariah-esque.
- R20, when I was on Twitter, it seemed as though most people thought it was Blu Cantrell, for some reason. I initially thought it was Yo Yo, who was still making music in the late 90's. But then came up with the most logical choice that it was Lil Kim.
- OK now I definitely think it was Lil Kim. She was there in 2002, and won an award. The grammys in 2002 were in march, a month before Left Eye died. Her debut album Supernova came out in the summer of 2001 and tanked. Lil Kim was riding high on her 2000 album/singles and also the remake of "Lady Marmalade". It makes sense. Here is a pic of Lil Kim, wearing green and with a lightened weave that is similar to the girl in the movie:
- Pebbles and LA Reid's daughter has been my favorite revelation of this biopic. She seems primed for round 3 vs. the haters later tonight:
- LSA has some funny stuff about Miss Ashley. She seems batshit.
- R85 what do they say about her?
I'd love to find out who Ashley's biological father is. It's not LA Reid. He adopted her, but Pebbles already had her before meeting him. Pebbles gave birth to her in the early 80s when she was trying to break into the business and was doing backup singing and co-writing for the group Con Funk Shun.
- I hope this thread never dies!
- lol Ashley is back at it tonight. This time, she's answering a lot of her replies with instagram pic messages. LSA must be right-she's kinda cray cray.
- In Ashley's background image on twitter, she looks older than her mother. So much for her photographer skills.
- The more I think about this documentary, the more amazing it seems.
- R90, this was biopic, not a documentary.
- So with TLC's 4.5 million rating, it's the biggest tv movie of the year. That's great for people who haven't really been in the spotlight for the better part of the last decade.
If you look at all of their twitters, everyone from T-Boz & Chilli to Pebbles has seen a massive increase in followers thanks to this movie lol
- It was Lil Kim. She looked EXACTLY like that back then.
- Who cares about Lil Kim? She's always been on the fringe (meaningless). So the star who dissed Lisa at the awards show was major. Otherwise it wouldn't have been included in the movie.
- Just got around to watching it. Wowsers. Popcorn city. And Pebbles got off easy.
- I'd forgotten "Silly Ho" was on FanMail and not 3D. FanMail was just perfect. And it's true - everyone tried to clone "No Scrubs" after that, but too few picked up on just how futuristic "Silly Ho" and the title track were. They're very relevant today, production-wise.
- The awards show incident had to have been Lil Kim. No one else who was famous looked like that in 2001-2002. It's just weird, as Lil Kim tweeted she was watching the movie and that she and Left Eye were friends. Maybe it's more hollyweird fake friendship...
Nicki Minaj's kookiness is such a rip-off of people who came before her such as Left Eye and Missy Elliot. I wonder where she got the idea for "Stupid Hoe"?
- "CrazySexyCool" is one of the greatest albums of all-time, and that was their peak.
- Ashley and Aaron Reid have this ustream cast show and tonight they're talking about the TLC movie...I didn't catch the beginning part.
Ashley said her mother "picked their dusty asses (T-Boz, Chilli and Left Eye) off the corner and made them into a group".
"Don't be lying, stank ass bitches".
"chitlin circuit made-for-tv-movie" I can't lol
They went into the finances and economics of all this and how much money Pebbles invested in TLC.
They also said part of it was their fault for not going on tour more
- and Ashley went in on Chilli, saying "I won't even talk about the fact that you sucked my father's dick and almost everyone else's in the industry".
"I just want to clarify-when I said on twitter 'Chilli, I can't WAIT to see you around, honey,' I meant to bash your fucking face in".
The only thing Ashley said about her mother's reaction is that she told her to stop threatening people and that she was worried about people coming after Ashley and Aaron but she loved them of course for defending her.
- WHERE CAN I DOWLOAD THIS MOVIE? YES, I WILL PAY FOR IT!
- R101 it's on youtube for free, at least for now.
lmao Pebbles is back on twitter tonight with this delusional message:
Thank you for your support! I'm proud of our legacy at Pebbitone and look forward to sharing my story. Love y'all!
People are already attacking this post. I love how she's pretending people are supporting her. I'm sure she's searched her name on twitter this week to see how many negative posts are about her.
- Today Ashley explained her nasty tweets and tweet-threat to Chilli last monday with a non-apology-apology (accompanied by a nice pic of her with her mother to evoke sympathy):
- Isn't VH1 the new BET? Watching the promos for their other shows, it sure seems like it.
- VH1 did a TLC Behind The Music episode when the group was making Fanmail. That episode did reveal the Pebbles drama and at that time Pebbles filed a lawsuit against them. Does anyone know what happened with that?
- R105 the lawsuit was from 1994 to late 1996. TLC took LaFace and Pebbitone to court to try and renegotiate a better deal by declaring bankruptcy. LaFace and Pebbitone countered that TLC were not in financial danger. Pebbitone then sued LaFace (during this time Pebbles and LA Reid were also going through divorce). TLC and LaFace settled with Pebbitone (aka Pebbles got paid big time) and Pebbles agreed to remove herself from the picture. TLC then signed a new contract with LaFace.
In order to own the name TLC, Pebbles made the group members pay $3 million ($1 million for each letter).
- Did Pebbles burn through all the money. It's hard to believe that she's still rich considering that she's resorted to peddling (pebbling?) religion.
- R107 doubt it. Even after she left the business, LA Reid made a lot of bank off of TLC, Toni Braxton and others. He adopted her daughter and they also had a son together so she was getting nice child support checks for a while and probably alimony too (when she wasn't married).
- r80/r83 thanks for figuring out that it was Lil Kim who dissed Lisa at the Grammys! This is the SECOND biopic that Lil Kim has gotten dissed in. She also got shade in NOTORIOUS lol. Apparently she is the kiss of death! :/
I never doubted that Lil Mama could pull this off, and I really dont see why people did. She was practically born to play Left-Eye if there was a biopic about her and she got her chance. Lil Mama also lost a parent right when she became famous like Lisa, so I'm sure she had a lot to pull from. The other girls did a great job as well.
This movie could've gone on forever if they went into the side stories of the ladies, and the music scene back then in Atlanta. It was like the new Motown in the 90s. Jermaine Dupri was not depicted in the movie, and he was the person that told Tionne to sing in her low raspy voice that ended up being their trademark sound.
Chilli and Usher's relationship, Tionne's abusive relationship with Mack 10, their lives were filled with drama. Tionne seemed like the glue that held them together when Chilli got pregnant and Lisa went crazy. She is a very resilient person.
- R109 totally agree about what you said. Babyface should have been included, and more about the Pebbles drama would have been SO good too.
Overall I give the movie a 7.5/10. It was decent but of course not perfect.
BTW that Lil Kim 2002 grammys bet link is broken. GO to this link and you can see her hair and outfit are VERY similar to the character in the movie known only as "Bleached Weave Girl" lol:
- it's just odd because Lil Kim had Left Eye as 1 of the featured female rappers on the remix single of "Not Tonight", released in 1997. Who knows if they had a falling out or if Lil Kim was just a frenemy of her.
- Finally caught it Saturday night. Not saying what their management did was right, but those 3 girls would have acted the fool and blew any money they got anyway.
- Pebbles is suing for defamation!
- Can we give her the benefit of the doubt?