This past April marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic passing of TLC member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. TLC became one of the top reigning R&B groups of the decade and one of our favorite girl groups of all time. T.Boz, Chilli, and Left Eye each brought their own individuality and style that we loved then and now. But “Left Eye” was something special. She was bold, crazy, spiritual, a trailblazer, and a feminist. Her influence is still felt in hip-hop today. Let’s look back a bit at some reasons why we still love to love Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes:
1.) Her Unabashed Fashion Style-
It is easy to recognize TLC by their coordinated outfits. But Lisa’s fashion sense helped made the group stand out. Like Chilli and T.Boz, Left Eye’s looks were tomboyish. Yet, Lisa was never overtly sexual and often added daring quirkiness. Her hairstyles were unique. There were moments she wore hair in two pig -tails and took them to the next level by making them look futuristic. It was her style that made TLC’s feminist and safe sex message come across. Who could forget her famous signature of a condom over her left eye in their debut music video “I ain’t Too Proud To Beg”?
2.) Her Fierce Attitude-
Lopes was the heart and soul of TLC. Much of the group’s fire came from her confidence and her ability to be unpredictable. In some cases, she was also controversial. Much like with her fashion choices and her in her lyrics, she was not afraid to get in your face and be real with you. When TLC took on their record label for not paying their fair share, Lisa was the most outspoken. Despite her troubled nature, Lisa often maintained a positive attitude. Lopes’ personality was the definition of perseverance.
3.) She Was a Giver-
In the documentary “The Final Days of Lisa Left Eye Lopes” the rapper went to Honduras. She was focusing on her spiritual journey. Lopes showed a calmer and peaceful side, compared to her wild TLC days. The documentary also showed how big a giving heart she had. She was in the middle of creating a children’s educational center in Honduras. Lisa was also a mentor to younger aspiring music artists, such as the R&B group Egypt. She also paid a visit to kids at local hospitals whenever she returned to her home state of Georgia. Today, her family still runs the Lisa Lopes Foundation in her honor.
4.) One Of The Best Rappers of Her Time-
Left Eye remains one of the most influential female rappers to date. Her influence exists through female artists today, like Nicki Minaj. T.Boz and Chilli wooed us with their slick melodies. Meanwhile, Left Eye wowed us with her empowering lyrics. She inspired us through her lyrics in the group’s biggest hit “Waterfalls”. She showed a more aggressive tone in one of the best feminist anthems ever “No Scrubs”. It was her unique rap ability that helps TLC become the group we still love today.