How do you feel about the ’90s wardrobe you’ve been thrown into?
I think the ’90s are coming back. I grew up in the ’90s, so as far as the hairstyles and the music–we listen to ’90s music in the trailer when we’re getting ready. The ’90s were just an era of freedom of speech, fashion, and fun, so the fact that we’re able to bring that to the screen right now, I think people are really going to enjoy it immensely.
Do you have a favorite look or period in T-Boz’s career?
I love all my looks, but definitely the “Waterfalls” video. It was right in between her being kind of tomboy-ish, but moving into young womanhood, [with] sexuality and sensuality. She started to dress a little sexier, and her hair! You know she still had the short, short hair but she had the sideburns that I think we all remember her for.
As a fan, what’s your earliest memory of TLC?
Growing up, when I heard “Creep,” man, we used to walk around, everybody in their silk pajamas and just videotape ourselves singing all the songs. We knew all the lyrics–even with “Waterfalls,” I love the song, but I don’t think it was until I grew up a little bit that I understood the lyrical content. I think I was definitely inspired [by them] to have the career that I have today.
Speaking of their lyrical content, do you think there have been female groups since TLC that have really made that a priority, or is that something music is lacking right now?
I don’t think anyone has done it. I mean, they are still the biggest-selling female [R&B] group of all-time. I think they paved the way for other girl groups–Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child–but the fact that no one has outdone their numbers pretty much lets you know that no one’s been able to reach their magnitude. Their lyrical content and the way their fashion was so innovative, I don’t think anyone has touched that and that’s why this is so historical.
How important is it to shed light on the negative–the tougher moments in their lives and careers?
To be able to portray them and share this part of history with the world is powerful, because even though they didn’t make any money and they were done wrong on the business side, what they went through changed the music business as a whole. Nowadays artists think about having their own labels and their own production companies. I don’t know that if TLC hadn’t gone through what they went through, and told the public–they made an announcement at the Grammys, “We’re broke”–that today’s artists would have an understanding that this is what could happen and you better get smarter.
What do you hope people take away from this film?
There’s so much untold truth to their picture that I think people want to find out what was really going on. There’s still so much confusion and different stories that have been told. To hear it from Chilli and Tionne and their families, I think it’s going to just allow for people to understand and grow closer to them. They have new music coming out, so it’s just a great time; their twentieth anniversary is really a great time to celebrate them and what they’ve done.
Catch the premiere of CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story on Monday, October 21 at 9 pm ET/PT
[Photo Credit: Blake Tyers/VH1]