The release of TLC’s fifth and final album (June 30th) is definitely a bittersweet moment in music history. While it’s reassuring to know this doesn’t signal the end of the group completely (as they are committed to still performing together now and in the future), it definitely hurts to know this will be the last complete album we get from them. Thankfully, we have an iconic body of work spanning almost three decades to ease our pain with and because of this, we decided to reflect on the TLC catalog (along with feedback from some of the group’s biggest fans) and rank our 20 absolute favorite singles from them to date! Check out our first 8 choices below:
#20 Get It Up
This is definitely one of TLC’s best yet most forgotten cuts in their catalog period! Adding some New Jack Swing flavor to this classic from The Time proved just how versatile and innovative a group they were turning out to be.
#19 I Bet feat. O’So Krispie
Let’s be clear: Left Eye is irreplaceable. Period. However, for what it was, “I Bet” proved that TLC were still capable of cranking out a catchy kiss-off record (shout out to the Usher shade on the bridge) and that they were better off with one-off records featuring a female collaborator instead of a full-time replacement.
#18 Come Get Some feat. Lil’ Jon & Sean Paul
TLC have always been trendsetters vs. trend chasers but when they decided to indulge in the Crunk&B craze of the early ’00s, it’s no surprise they turned out one of the best bangers to come from it, quiet as it may have been kept.
#17 Girl Talk
Fans were probably collectively nervous to hear what TLC music would sound like after Left Eye’s passing but “Girl Talk” was proof enough they were prepared to bring their blunt and candid (shit-talking) brand of female empowerment (that was still catchy enough for the brave men to rock to) into the new millennium.
#16 Dear Lie
TLC may never be known as balladeers but they can lay on the vulnerability and emotion when the right track calls for it as this acoustic pop gem that never got enough credit proves.
#15 Way Back
“Way Back” is everything a TLC record should sound like in 2017: a smooth groove with relatable lyrics, those signature vocals and a contagious bounce that can’t help but be played over and over again. An instant classic!
#14 Hands Up
Krispy Kremes, hoochies, and a playa that don’t even dance are obviously the makings of a low key TLC classic.
#13 I’m Good at Being Bad
The most self-explanatory song title in their catalog and a perfect representation of their “street but sweet” dichotomy in lyric and sound. One listen is all it took to confirm what we already knew: there have been nor will they ever be any bitches in music quite like them.
#12 Hat 2 da Back
The original TLC manifesto! Boundless feminine energy packaged in backwards hats, baggy jeans with a rugged, hip-hop flavored sound (middle finger to gender norms and expectations) that kicked the door wide open for them and others to follow in the industry while also leaving an unforgettable impression in its wake!
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