My 10 Favorite Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Moments

Today marks the tenth anniversary of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ unexpected departure from this earth, and it just wouldn’t be Thought Catalog if we missed an opportunity to bust our load over one of the ’90s greatest female performers. In vaguely chronological order:

1. TLC releases their first single, “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.”

This is almost too much swag for one video. We’ve got Left Eye rapping both the chorus and her own verse; we’ve got outfits that look like wedding photographer props; and perhaps most importantly, we’ve got the immortalization of the condom eye patch.

2. Left Eye gets androgynous on “Kick Your Game.”

“Kick Your Game,” in my completely irrelevant opinion, was one of the finer songs on CrazySexyCool. Left Eye’s verses were of particular interest to me, because I couldn’t figure out what was supposed to be happening — was she having an identity crisis? Kicking game or being kicked to? Who the hell is Nicole?

3. Left Eye takes “Burning Down the House” literally.

Left Eye’s tumultuous relationship with then-Atlanta Falcon Andre Rison made headlines after Left Eye set fire to Rison’s tennis shoes in the bathtub, in effect burning his mansion to the ground. Left Eye claims the fire was retaliation for Rison beating her. You know what? When this story broke I thought Left Eye was just a crazy bitch, but I kind of enjoy women who call people on their nonsense in extreme ways. I mean, setting a fire is a little team extreme, but we all go a little mad sometimes.

4. The “Waterfalls” rap.

Was the rap in “Waterfalls” not the hottest thing in the summer of ’94 for tweens across America? There wasn’t a child in the United States who abstained from learning that verse word for word. That rap was FIRE. That rap was more fire than… well, Andre Rison’s tennis shoes I guess.

5. Left Eye disses FanMail.

The trio’s third studio album FanMail was released in 1999. It was supposed to serve as a ‘thank you’ to the fans, but Left Eye was kinda all, “This album is garbage.” She told Vibe, “I’ve graduated from this era. I cannot stand 100 percent behind this TLC project and the music that is supposed to represent me.” Um… that’s real. It sucks being associated with art you don’t believe in. Good on her for having the balls to say something.

6. Left Eye challenges T-Boz and Chilli to a duel.

T-Boz and Chilli were kinda butthurt over the whole FanMail thing and went to Entertainment Weekly with their side of the story. Of course, because LLL is a total boss, she responded by challenging them to release solo albums so that the public could decide who the best member of the group was.

I challenge Tionne ‘Player’ Watkins (T-Boz) and Rozonda ‘Hater’ Thomas (Chilli) to an album entitled “The Challenge”… a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums. Each [album]… will be due to the record label by October 1, 2000…I also challenge Dallas ‘The Manipulator’ Austin to produce all of the material and do it at a fraction of his normal rate. As I think about it, I’m sure LaFace would not mind throwing in a $1.5 million dollar prize for the winner.


7. Lopes guests on “U Know What’s Up” by Donell Jones

If you were a 13-year-old girl in the early aughts and didn’t have a total girl boner for Donell Jones, I’m not sure what to say to you. I know we’re talking about Left Eye, but I just had to throw that out there. Anyway, this was one of Lopes’ first solo endeavors, and flows like this prove she was probably right when she said she could kill it on her own.

8. “Space Cowboy” happens.

Every musician needs to have that celestial WTF moment where they borrow David Bowie’s aesthetic and write a song that absolutely no one relates to or understands, and “Space Cowboy” happened to be that for not one, but two of my favorite performers. Who the hell is talking about Jerusalem? How did Left Eye get involved in this mess? What the frick is a Space Cowboy, anyway? I think I recall rumors that Left Eye was banging one of the *NSYNC boys on the No Strings Attached tour (which I attended, THANKYOU). I was side-eyeing our girl hard for that, though I wouldn’t have if I knew how little time we had left together :(

9. Lopes produces girl-group Blaque.

Under “Left Eye Productions,” Left Eye discovered Blaque, whose self-titled debut album she produced. Grateful for “808” and “Bring it All to Me,” thanks babe.

10. Left Eye song drops ten years after her fatal car accident.

Definitely missed a ton of amazing Left Eye moments, but her song “Fantasies” with hip-hop artist Bootleg was officially released yesterday as a very timely reminder that we haven’t seen the last of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. MISS U. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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