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We were truly being ourselves: Chili remember TLC’s debut album on its 25th anniversary


ABC/Lou RoccoToday marks the 25th anniversary of TLC’s groundbreaking 1992 debut album, Ooooooooo…On the TLC Tip.  

The studio project enthralled listeners with hit singles like “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” and “What About Your Friends,” as members Tionne “T-Boz” WatkinsLisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who was killed in a car accident in 2002; and Rozonda “Chili” Thomas became advocates for safe sex and fashion icons for tomboys around the world.  

Chili tells Billboard that the trio had no intention of consciously being unique artists — they were just being themselves. 

“I don’t think we were necessarily trying so hard — we were truly being ourselves, and we fought hard to be that. Especially being young ladies, and not wanting to wear the typical outfits that girls would wear, like tight dresses. Once we found our niche and were really comfortable about it, then we really went on with it,” she says. 

The singer shares her first memories of recording the debut disc with T-Boz and Left Eye. 

“We got in so much trouble back then, during that time in the studio, with water fights and just playing all the time. You hear that in the album with the interludes,” she recalls.

“We would always pull pranks on other people — we were a team for sure. A rep from LaFace Records would take us to dinner and had fake roaches and fake ants. After a while, no one really wanted to hang out with us because they knew we were gonna do something to them — girl or guy, it didn’t matter. It was crazy!” she adds.  

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