TLC closed its July 27, Joe Jonas-approved Mixtape Festival performance — its first in North America in a decade — with a reminder of the group’s past and future: a live rendition of “No Scrubs” assisted by Lil Mama, the rapper who plays Left Eye in TLC’s forthcoming biopic and appears on its new album.
When the FanMail hit segued into Left Eye’s verse, Lil Mama leaped into the same moves busted out in the “No Scrubs” video. Her cameo put T-Boz and Chilli at ease, but also inspired a note of clarification to Internet critics. “We said we would never replace her, are we clear?” T-Boz said of Left Eye.
In June a new version of “Waterfalls”, with Left Eye’s verse replaced with another by Japanese pop star Namie Amuro, leaked to harsh criticism. That song, like this reunion performance at the Mixtape Festival, is proof how unnerving Left Eye’s death can still feel — that, and how sorely missed TLC has been since.
“We also said that we’d like to continue moving forward so that we can continue making music for you guys, performing for you guys,” Chilli said. “She will always be remembered by us. She was our sister, she is our sister.” Hear, hear. Watch TLC perform “No Scrubs” up top.