As many of you may already know, this past week (specifically April 25th) marked the 9th anniversary of the death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, one of the founding members of the legendary girl group TLC.
Now TLC is actually the very first musical group I ever liked (which means quite a lot to a music nerd like myself), and Lisa was undoubtedly my favorite. She was fiercely intelligent and a phenomenal songwriter and lyricist. Left Eye embodied the spirit of TLC; she made them fun, unpredictable, and controversial. I will never forget the first time I heard that she’d burned down then-boyfriend Andre Rison’s mansion. I though it was the coolest shit ever (yeah…I was a special child).
As an artist and member of the group, Lopez was the essential ingredient in the group’s unique blend of R&B, Pop and Hip Hop. Her presence set TLC apart from every girl group that came before them, and paved the way for the one’s that followed. TLC’s trailblazing sound has proven itself to be hugely influential on today’s pop music. Nicki Minaj and Drake would not be here were it not for Left Eye and TLC.
Many people thought (and still think) Lisa was actually crazy. But that’s what I loved about her. She did exactly what she wanted to do, whether that meant wearing condoms on her clothing or publicly criticizing her bandmates in interviews. When Lopez was tired of the bullshit music industry, she chucked the deuce and went to Honduras. Lisa called it like she saw it and never held her tongue. And that’s why she’s an icon.
And more than anything else, that’s why I miss her.
Check out some of my favorite TLC songs below: