Honoring TLC: 10 artists who have sampled the trio's classics

  /  04.05.2017

Two years ago, TLC‘s T-Boz and Chilli launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to fund their final album as a group. A successor to 2002’s 3D, which was released posthumously following the death earlier that year of third member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, the new album will be the first without her contributions.

Despite T-Boz and Chilli’s initial goal of raising $150,000, fans passionately backed the project, pledging more than $430,000 and made the dream a reality as, earlier this week, the duo finally announced the release date for the album: June 30.

But before they retire TLC for good, we’re remembering the trio’s longstanding influence with a round-up of all the artists who’ve sampled their timeless classics.


Ed Sheeran, “Shape of You”

Just last month, Ed Sheeran gave Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle (former XSCAPE members and co-writers of “No Scrubs”) songwriting credits on his “Shape of You” hit upon the discovery that its pre-hook sounded eerily similar in rhythm to the chorus of the 1999 juggernaut. Hear the similarities below at the :36 mark.

Tory Lanez, “T.L.C.”

Lanez slows TLC’s lyrics down to a warped and woozy deep-voiced drawl, but they’re still immediately identifiable.

Ta-ku, “BrokeAs”

Though the Australian singer-producer chops and pitch-shifts select lines from the TLC hit, while also adding key chords and pulsing synths, Chilli’s voice is easily detected and drives much of the newly-electronic, dance-ready revision.

Next, “Wifey”

Next capitalized on the familiarity of the TLC smash when, the very next year, they revised a choral lyric to fit one of their own “Wifey” verses: “Saw you outside / Passenger side / ‘Cause I let my best friend drive / You was in line / That’s when you caught my eye.” Hear it at the :48 mark.


Jay Z, “Ain’t No Nigga”

A small nod to the trio’s 1994 hit “Creep,” Jay literally stopped the music on his Foxy Brown-assisted classic two years later to utter the titular phrase: “You know these hoes be making me weak / Y’all knows how it goes b and so I creep.” Hear it at the 1:33 mark.

Zendaya, “Something New” ft. Chris Brown

Despite its title, this 2016 track largely leans on something old: the three-note horn blow that the original’s groove is entirely built upon. It’s worth noting that Babyface, who wrote and produced three of the tracks off CrazySexyCool (from which “Creep” spawns) also went behind the boards for Zendaya on this.


Jay Z, “Hovi Baby”

Jay borrows the instrumental crescendo (think: big horns, thrashing drums, twinkly keys) that opens the music video for TLC’s “Diggin’ On You”—filmed at a concert and officially dubbed the “L.A.’s Live Remix”—for his own grandiose, Just Blaze-produced introduction on “Hovi Baby.” Hear it at the :23 mark and throughout.

Kaytranada, “Flippin On You”

Per its title, Kaytranda flips the original track to give it a dreamy, house beat that sinks, resurfaces, and grounds itself with a percussive pulse. For more familiarity, he sparsely incorporates the trio’s vocals, now shifted to squeal.


Drake, “I Get Lonely Too”

As the first offering from his promised, but never-released 2010 mixtape It’s Never Enough, Drizzy covers the titular intro of TLC’s third album. Ambient and melancholy, it gave us one of our earliest introductions to #SadDrake.


Chris Brown, “Mirage”

A sample so small even the biggest fans could miss it, the fast-paced triple-thud that proceeds the signature “wah-wah” throughout the then-omnipresent “Waterfalls” (hear it at the :07 mark above) was reused by Brown on the eerie Nas-assisted “Mirage” (hear it at the :15 mark below).


Bow Wow, “You Can Get It All”

Produced by Jermaine Dupri, who briefly appears in the “Baby-Baby-Baby” music video (at the :02 mark in a Yankees jersey), Bow Wow’s cut borrows the original’s playful piano chords and strings strikes.


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