My passion for this girl group all begun with a trip to Christchurch in 1999 to visit my sister who was at boarding school at the time. I used to get excited as we got closer to the ‘big’ city as we would be able to tune into radio stations that actually played recent top 40 hits rather than overplayed recurrent tracks by cockrockers who had one hit song four years earlier. As the car radio static turned into music I remember the announcers saying that on this evenings countdown it was either Shania Twain or TLC who would take the number one that spot. I was hoping that Shania would own it however much to my juvinial disappointment a song titled ‘No Scrubs’ took out number one. As we drove around the city that weekend I heard the song over and over again and by Monday had convinced my mum to purchase the Fanmail album for me. I think she regretted that decision as both my parents were forced to listen to it all the way home and then on repeat from my bedroom boombox for months to come.
Fast forward 15 years all the words to the Fanmail album are still firmly engraved in my memory. I know this because since the announcement of the Australian tour I have been giving the album a revisitation. My memory has surprised me, especially given the time that has past and the fact I can still recall most of the lyrics to Left Eye’s raps (R.I.P).
We arrived just seconds before Chilli and T-Boz came on stage hollering ‘Hey MEL-BORN,’ ‘We love you Mel-BORN.’ The whole experience of seeing these women I had loved for a good chunk of my life was rather over whelming TBH. I just wish I had perfect teeth to show off on account on the massive grin that I could not wipe from my face.
T-Box and Chilli mixed it up with tracks from ‘Oooooohhh on the TLC Tip,’ ‘Crazy Sexy Cool’ and of course my fave ‘Fanmail.’ There were plenty of hits sung, backed by a number of hip hop dancers that only Chilli had time to learn the routines to dance along while perhaps T-Boz was too busy filming her own reality show. They saved the best two tracks for the end with ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Waterfalls.’ The finale being a new one, however it was hard to pay much attention after the hype of the previous two gems.
The best thing about the show is that the remaining two members of the group proved that they both still have it, there was no lip synching to be heard and the attitude and spirit the girls had in the 90’s was still present and showed when they would get into banter with the crowd.
The worst was the fact the girls had seemed to have forgotten about the late Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez who died in a car crash in 2002. I just couldn’t believe the lack of acknowledgement she received. They had edited her out of all the videos shown on the big screen and removed her raps from many of the songs performed. The only time her presence was felt was during Waterfalls. I guess the girls can’t always use Left Eye’s death as a way of remaining in the spotlight and they have probably made enough dedications in the past but really girls, a small tribute would have been nice. I mean this is your first time in Australia and we have never had the chance to see Left Eye lay it out.
I guess I felt this disappointment as I went through all the trouble of learning the below rap word for word and never got the chance to bust it out:
See, if you can’t spacially expand my horizon
Then that leaves you in the class with scrubs, never rising
I don’t find it surprising
and if you don’t have the Gs
To please me and bounce me here to the coast of over seas
So, let me give you something to think about
Inundate your mind with intensions to turn you out
Can’t forget the focus on the picture in front of me
You as clear as DVD on digital TV screen
Satisfy my apetite with something spectacular
Shake your vernacular
and then I get back to ya
With diamond like precision
Insatiable is what I envision
Can’t detect acquisition
from your friend’s expedition
Mr. Big Willy, if you really want to know
Ask Chilli, could I be a silly ho?
T-Boz and all my senoritas
are steppin’ on you Filas
but you don’t hear me, no