Super Bowl championship football player Andre Rison sat down for an interview, in which he spoke about his life in relation to one of the world’s biggest women-led pop groups, TLC. Many may remember Rison from his famously explosive, short-lived relationship with Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes but he’s sharing more insight into the missed star’s story.
TLC has seen a resurgence in chatter during the quarantine about their history, group members and more. One of the original architects of the Atlanta R&B scene, Jermaine Dupri, has been having a bit of his own walk down memory lane and has been sharing pieces of his history with the iconic group.
He recently came under fire by group member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins for some errant remarks that he made, in which the internet seemed to read more into his history of working with the group and “discovering” their talent. On T.I.’s ExpediTIously show recently, Dupri claimed that he “discovered” T-Boz’s famous low register singing voice, which she denied when calling in.
“It wasn’t like he looked at me and was like, ‘Oh, this blonde girl, I’mma make her sound deep. The reason he knew I could sing deep is because the night that I sang in the audition, I was singing deep and I sang Guy then.”
While Jermaine may not have discovered her voice, he can make claim to the fact that he was one of the first producers to give the group a chance before they get signed to their now legendary record deal, good or bad, that jumpstarted their careers.
Recently on Instagram, Dupri was asked if there was a group that he regretted passing up on, and in a lengthy answer, he responded TLC. At the time, he felt unable to split his time between TLC and Kriss Kross, the other young group that many remember Jermaine rocketing to fame – but Dupri does credit group member Left Eye for inspiring his work with Kriss Kross.
In March 2019, Dupri told TV One’s Uncensored that Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes being the inspiration behind Kris Kross’s backward style.
“TLC was my group before they got signed to La Face. Left Eye was living at my house when I found Kris Kross. The backwards clothes came after we started getting more and more songs… The backwards clothes actually came from being around Left Eye. ‘Cause Left Eye was around here trying to cut her sleeves off of every shirt and she had me—I shaved my whole eyebrow off. I only had one eyebrow and I was walking around doing wild sh*t. I had a nose ring. We was just doing whatever we could do to get somebody’s attention.”
Sounds similar to Lopes burning down of famed baller Rison’s home, which definitely qualified as “wild” at the time.
Rison, sitting down with DJ Vlad, reminisced about how he, even at 20 years old, was supporting a lot of Black talent that were broke – because of their label deals and otherwise.
“Here they go together, but one got some money and other one don’t got no money,” speaking on how both he and Lopes were breaking records at the time – him as one the greatest receivers of all time at 20 years of age, and her with TLC’s success but famously dealing with money issues.
DJ Vlad stated at the beginning of the interview that Lopes met Rison one night in a club with Tupac and from there, she never went home. When speaking on the label’s famed groups and how all of them had money issues, Rison was empathetic to Lopes and the rest of the group.
“So, I’mma hold her down. So I’m holding it down for Left Eye, Chilli, T-Boz, Pac, [MC] Breed…” Rison did share that he enjoyed his time with Lopes. “She was a beautiful person…we shared some shit from a mental standpoint.”
See the clip below.