Apr 25, 2012

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I was and continue to be one the biggest TLC fans there every was.  I remember back in the day how T-Boz was my absolute favorite, that is until I met her.  Let's just say the meeting didn't go over too well and she was no longer the top dog when it came to TLC.  That position was bestowed on the very humble and down to earth Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes.

To meet Lisa and have a brief conversation with her was the best.  She wasn't on no diva-type stuff, she was just a regular chick who was very relatable.  She felt like a sister much in the same sense as Aaliyah.  She was just that chick that other chicks like.

So you can imagine how devastated I was to learn of her passing while in Honduras on April 25, 2002.  It was exactly eight months to the day in which the world had learned that we lost Aaliyah.  Both deaths were and continue to leave a lasting effect on my life.

Recently, the surviving members of TLC sat down with Essence.com to share memories of their fallen band member and friend.

Here is a snippet of that interview:

ESSENCE.com: Today marks 10 years since we lost Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in a tragic car accident. What do you remember about that day?
T-BOZ:
She died a day before my birthday. I remember everything. I was with security in my Porsche and I said to them, "I feel like I’m going to get in a wreck and I want to go home." The driver said: "Well, that’s on the other side of town." I didn’t care; I wanted to go home. I just felt something was going to happen to me, but it wasn’t me — it was Lisa. I was sitting in a rocking chair in my daughter’s room after putting her down when I got a call from Chilli. She was screaming. I had just gotten out the hospital from fighting sickle cell so I had to be careful about getting upset. Everybody was trying to keep me calm.

I remember staying up all night and Patti Labelle and Missy Elliot calling me. Whitney Houston was at Lisa’s funeral. She sat behind me and rubbed my shoulders for two hours, while telling me, "It’s going to be okay, it’s going to be all right." Right before that, I remember Lisa played a trick where she went missing and nobody knew where she was. This was the one time I wish she was joking and doing one of her stunts, but she wasn’t.

ESSENCE.com: People playfully identified her as the crazy one in the group because of the notable fire in 1994, among other things. What’s the biggest misconception about Left Eye?
T-BOZ: That’s the part that sucked. The fire could’ve even been stopped if they stopped acting like little girls and put the fire out. That really could’ve been settled differently. I just really wish people would’ve known her for the sweet passionate person she really was. She was very creative, too. I remember I was in the hospital for four months and she sent me a clock that she made and the clock read: “Take all the time you need.” She really put thought into things.

CHILLI: People didn’t understand how much of a heart she really had and how passionate and giving she was. She might have come across as someone who wanted to start trouble all the time, but that wasn’t it; she just had a lot to say. Sometimes when you speak what’s on your mind — I’m talking everything on your mind, and people can get a misconception of you. So because she spoke her mind, all of the time, it caused people to misjudge her.

ESSENCE.com: A lot of people believe TLC was feuding when Left Eye passed. What was your relationship like at the time?
CHILLI: It was actually very good; we had started working on the last album. We all had solo deals. I was just like, “We have to do another record” — I was willing to put everything on hold. That was the last time we got to spend quality time together before she passed. The relationship was good; she was acting silly again, playing pranks on people. Her death was very devastating for us, but I can look back and say I was happy about what our relationship was like, at that time.

T-BOZ: No matter what, everyone will go through a disagreement — that’s what makes us all different. So it’s unrealistic to tell anybody that we all agreed with everything that everyone did or said. That doesn’t happen in a real relationship. At the time, she just didn’t agree with what the record company was doing with the project, so she felt strong about standing up about it. It had nothing personal to do with the group members. I didn’t have a problem with that.

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