TLC’s In-the-Works Album Is Set to Feature Drake and Ne-Yo
R&B trio's two surviving members also tease tour plans
TLC’s first album since 2002’s 3D is really happening, and some big-name guests are on board. According to Rolling Stone, Drake and Ne-Yo collaborated with the Atlanta group’s two surviving members, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, for the still-untitled album, which is reportedly being finished. Drake, in particular, is a logical but likely polarizing choice, considering his posthumous track with Aaliyah and his recent, Destiny’s Child-quoting “Girls Love Beyoncé.”
T-Boz and Chilli are also set to give their first U.S. performance since a brief 2009 reunion. They’re on the bill for Mixtape Fest, which goes down July 26 and 27 at Hersheypark Stadum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Third TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died 11 years ago in a gruesome car accident at age 30, will be there, but thankfully, not in the form of a dreaded, Tupac-style hologram: T-Boz confirmed that, as RS puts it, “projections of archival footage of the late rapper will appear on a screen behind the stage while the group performs.” Whew.
In the meantime, VH1 biopic Crazy Sexy Cool is set to premiere this fall, starring KeKe Palmer as T-Boz, Drew Sidora as Chilli, and Lil Mama as Left Eye. According to RS, T-Boz and Chilli recently re-recorded the bulk of their hits for the made-for-cable movie’s soundtrack, and two brand-new singles, overseen by their usual producer Dallas Austin, are on the way this fall.
The two TLC singers were reportedly coy about long-rumored plans for a full tour, but Chilli is quoted as saying: “Trust me. It’s going to happen!” We’ll be first in line for tickets, right there along with Marnie Stern, Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington, and the stars of Portlandia. Considering both SWV and the surviving members of Hi-Five returned with new music last year, the ’10s are turning out to be a fine time for ’90s R&B vocal groups.