Yesterday on the morning groove for Kwame’s “Ownlee Eue,” I referenced a game my friends and I play that determines whether or not a song is hip hop or not. Another game we play is based on the Twitter game #1GottaGo, where you are given four choices and you have to choose one to drop, never to be thought of ever again.
So on the way to Deep Creek a few weeks ago, we played that game with female groups of the 90s. I gave the nominees, then my friends and I decided which one had to get dropped. The groups I named were En Vogue, SWV, Xscape or TLC. After some hemming and hawing, two votes were given to TLC, with one for En Vogue. My vote, and it wasn’t easy to choose, was one of the ones for TLC.
My reasoning had nothing to do with their songs—TLC had plenty of good songs and hits, one of which I am featuring today for the morning groove. My reasoning went like this: out of all the singers in all the groups I named, T-Boz of TLC was clearly the weakest of the bunch. To me, that is not even debatable; it’s just not that close. Left Eye, in an era with great female MC’s was average at best in my eyes. Chili was alright, but she didn’t get a whole lot of leads with T-Boz around. TLC was a group where the whole was greater than the sum of the individual parts. And it worked for much of the 90s. Even all the drama that En Vogue dealt with through the years just wasn’t enough for me to run them off that listing.
So this morning, I present TLC with “Creep.” A great song, written and produced by Dallas Austin. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t like this song when it was out. And still, T-Boz gives it that indescribable something that makes it a hit, even as her voice doesn’t move all that far or have that much range.
Enjoy, y’all. Happy Hump Day! Thanks for reading, and listening.