Dialect Magazine

CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story

 The original TLC circa 1992


They wrote the hits that we still love to sing. They were the fashion trendsetters that kept all eyes on them. Through each smile shown and each tear shed, the, seemingly, invincible Tionne T-Boz Watkins, the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chili” Thomas, gracefully exemplified and embodied the strength that every woman should have.

With so many to choose from, it’s hard to tell which song is more catchy. Is it the New Jack Swing vibes of Aint 2 Proud 2 Beg and What About Your Friends, the R&B groove of Creep, the slow, soul-tinged Red Light Special, or the sassy R&B/hip hop fusion of No Scrubs? With TLC, the possibilities were endless as the hits continuously cascaded like waterfalls (pun intended).

On Monday, October 21, 2013, VH1 aired the long-awaited original television movie, CrazySexyCool: the TLC Story. TLC fans everywhere tuned in to watch intently as singer/actress Drew Sidora, actress/singer KeKe Palmer, and rapper/singer-songwriter/dancer Niatia “Lil Mama” Kirkland, brilliantly portrayed the Grammy Award winning 90s trio.

Set in modern-day Atlanta, CrazySexyCool showcased the group’s glorious highs and devastating lows. The compelling two and a half hour biopic chronicled the group’s early lives, including how they met, their meteoric rise to fame, personal heartbreaks, bankruptcy, and health issues (T-Boz’s Sickle-cell anemia). It, also, featured a not-so-detailed imagery of the tragic death of group mate and friend Left-Eye, whom rapper Lil Mama portrayed, flawlessly.

photo credit: stafresnnyc.org

photo credit: stafresnnyc

For TLC fans – old and new – the VH1 depiction was pretty much on point, in terms of the different circumstances that took place and the ways in which they occurred. One of the moments that shocked viewers the most was the group’s personal/professional relationship with their former manager Perri “Pebbles” Reid, who was classily portrayed by actress Rochelle Aytes. The film sheds light on Pebbles’ alleged shadiness, as she made millions from the group’s success while they endured financial troubles. (Carl Payne plays L.A. Reid)

From greed to bad contracts, from manipulation to those infectious sing-along hits;infused with narration from actual members T-Boz and Chili, CrazySexyCool: the TLC Story is a striking, yet mind-boggling portrait of authentic nostalgia at its finest.

Ashly is a freelance writer and poet from Baltimore, MD.

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