Backstage News, Front Row Pics

A Musical Beginning… with Help from TLC’s O0ooOooHHH…on the TLC Tip



By Farah Minzy


In grade eight, I discovered magic.


TLC 12 for 1

After looking through a seemingly endless array of album choices, I was given a super power. I was granted the ability to transform a medium-sized, rectangular magazine insert into 12 tangible musical treasures. After performing this initial feat, I was deemed worthy of selecting a monthly music choice…with bonus albums. “The cost,” you might want to ask? Minimal and entirely insignificant. What did really matter was the fact that this time in my life set the foundation for my love of music.


FARAHThe process of unearthing new melodies really took hold of me. Each month, I waited in anticipation of the featured album reveal. It was at this time that I was able to decide which album I would purchase. It was also at this time when I really began to connect with my authentic self. In addition to band names, I studied cover art and album titles, determining what might make my ears smile and my soul frolic. This song and dance made me rethink the lesson of never choosing a book by its cover. By combining my limited knowledge of “good music” with funky pictures and catchy titles, I had begun my CD collection. Silverchair, Stone Temple Pilots, Everclear, Violent Femmes, and Jane’s Addiction started flooding in. My spare time was now more valuable.


TLC tipAmong the CDs I scored during this defining era was an album I still hold close at heart: O0ooOooHHH… on the TLC Tip. When this compact disc first arrived, I eagerly began my usual method of analysis. The three beautiful women smiling at me from the cover represented all that was funky and fresh, bright and right in my world. A profound connection with the colorful display of fun that I held in front of me was established before I even popped open the disc, and it’s one that continues to resonate with me to this very day…


Anyone who has ever known me is aware that I love color. I have always been one to rock the brightest closet with loud accessories that tie it altogether. I have never followed trends, I just know what I like. This same approach is what put early TLC put on full blast. Super baggy threads with random found objects adorn the front and inside of TLC’s debut album cover. What the inside sleeve also contains are the lyrics to all tracks, a rare and cherished bonus. 


TLC back

As for the layout of the CD, I appreciated it at an early age. The work of art has an intro, two intermissions, and a conclusion, each noted. This breakdown lets us know that we won’t be hearing just unrelated songs, but an actual story as well ~ a concept reinforced by the track titled “His Story.”


Once I listened to and read the lyrics to this masterpiece, a beautiful theme emerged. Simple yet profound, TLC represented powerful women doing their thing. These ladies “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” for what they call their own, and “Bad by (Their)self” T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli are confident and comfortable in their skin. With song titles like “Das Da Way We Like ‘Em” and “This Is How It Should Be Done,” it’s clear that these artists each depended on herself (the last track of the album/story is, after all, “Depend on Myself”). There is another strong message conveyed on this record: song number 11 talks about the classic lesson on rumors. One should find out “…from the horse’s mouth…” before making assumptions.


TLC What about Your Friends


And of course, there is the mega hit “What About Your Friends,” emphasizing the true definition of the word “friend.”


True friends, through it all...

True friends, through it all…

In addition to the “story” told through the lyrics, other musical elements were very much alive. My affection for these ladies was further increased by the three unique and distinguished voices they possessed. Those, along with the sick-as-shit beats, all combined to create a recipe for long-lasting love still felt deeply by yours truly.


The warmth in my heart is activated each and every time I hear a rap by my favorite females. No matter the circumstance, if I hear the sounds, I will get down. And there are three words that I think about as I get ready for the day, the same adjectives used to describe Left Eye, Chilli, and T-Boz respectively: Crazy, Sexy, Cool.