The TLC revival is now in full swing. During a press conference on Thursday, the R&B legends confirmed they’ve inked a new record deal with Epic, the label run by Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who originally signed the Atlanta trio to LaFace Records in 1991. According to Consequence of Sound, that in-the-works follow-up to 2002’s 3D is actually a new greatest hits collection that features updated versions of TLC classics.
Surviving member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins reportedly said that the upcoming record will also include new songs written by Lady Gaga and Ne-Yo, as well as fresh contributions from Drake and J. Cole. Group co-founder Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas is on board as well, of course. Longtime producer Dallas Austin oversaw the project, which is set for an October 15 release.
Speaking to Rap-Up TV recently, Austin said the compilation is meant to commemorate TLC’s 20th anniversary (never mind that their debut LP Ooooooohhh…on the TLC Tip is now actually 21 years old). “We took a lot of the old songs and remastered them,” Austin said. “We mixed them just to tweak them, make them better.”
T-Boz and Chilli also unveiled a trailer for the upcoming biopic Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story. The VH1 movie, which airs on October 21, stars Keke Palmer as Chilli, Drew Sidora as T-Boz, and Lil Mama as the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. A press release from February promised a look at the group that would “go beyond the headlines and into the surprisingly personal, never before told stories of these groundbreaking women.”
Of course, judging from the preview above, Crazy Sexy Cool (not to be confused with new jack swing icons’ 1994 album CrazySexyCool) barely moves past the trio’s music videos. Much of the two-minute teaser is nothing more than recreations of TLC’s iconic clips for “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” “Waterfalls,” and “No Scrubs.”
Interestingly T-Boz and Chilli announced that rappr Lil Mama will join them onstage Saturday, July 27 at the Mixtape Festival in Pennsylvania. The fast-approaching gig marks the group’s first U.S. performance since a brief reunion in 2009. It was previously reported that Left Eye would make an appearance at the concert by way of projected archival footage. Thankfully, she won’t be resurrected as a hologram à la Tupac, Coachella 2012.