Remembrance: Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
It's been ten years? Time sure does fly.
From Nancy Drew, to Shirley Chisholm, and back to my own mother, I had a lot of she-ro's growing up, and Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes was wedged in there somewhere. Hell, I'm still in awe. As one third of TLC, Left Eye carved a niche for herself as the out-spoken, 'crazy' member of the trio, and with this persona she brought a quirk, spunk, a panache like no other to the music scene around that time---and boy was she right on time for a precocious girl like me. Her feminist forward thinking and sexual empowerment attitude had her challenge the 'boys club' of Hip-Hop and R&B with lyrical displays that continue to echo to this day. A bold soul sister she was.
Penning mega hits like "Waterfalls" and "No Scrubs", her flows were the focal points, the 'open your mind and get some knowledge' segments, and preachy they weren't. During the lulls in TLC's career, she also managed to extend her talents out, by discovering and nurturing the group Blaque, and guest spotting for the likes of *NSYNC to Melanie C (who was a part of another female forward brigade), not to mention, dropped her only solo debut, the ambitious yet sketchy, Supernova in 2001. Like Aaliyah and Selena, with Left Eye I often wonder the 'what if', what if she was still kicking around? What would she be doing now? What would her flows, her music sound like now? During her lifetime she aligned herself in the same power market as MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, and the ladies of Salt N' Pepa, and where would women in Hip-Hop today be without her?
The aftershocks of Left Eye and TLC are present. Just look around at the female music scene. Just graze blogs of all variance powered by forward thinking females (like this one!) who lived and thrived during the tenure of 'crazysexycool'---we wouldn't be so out-spoken, honest, and diverse without this prime model, kid you not. Sure she caught a case of the crazies and torched a home and wasn't the best role model when it came to tact, but her ability to speak out, her roll with the punches attitude, and her confidence to be truly all herself still continues to pulse, and thankful I am that I got to experience that.
Dig the scene and pay remembrance with some of my favorite Left Eye musical moments after the cut.