“Dreams ae hopeless aspirations, in hopes of coming true, believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you.” – Lisa “Left Eyes” Lopes in “Waterfalls”
As one-third of one of the biggest female groups of all time, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes delivered relevant rhymes in a sassy voice that endeared her to millions worldwide. In the 90’s TLC took the world by storm with their music, dancing, overly creative and highly budgeted videos, strong personalities, but most importantly the messages embedded within their music. Left Eye, as we her fans and the public came to know her as, was a natural stand out of the group with her outspokenness, tattoos, and much talked about romantic and personal life that covered the tabloids of the time. She gave TLC’s already bold songs that extra umph of attitude in such a sweet voice. She dared to stand out from the crowd with her signature left eye accessories which is most famously the condom she covered it with to promote safe sex but also the black stripe she wore underneath it. As a child listening to her rhymes and watching her in the videos I didn’t always understand what she was doing and why. But her actions and words sparked dialogue amongst teens and adults which couldn’t have happened at a more relevant time. She put the topic of safe sex in the face of a young generation and in the face of an older generation that didn’t have that conversation with her parents. She did this as a member of TLC using her music to help spark a safe sex revolution. Left Eye was beautiful both inside and out and sexy without overly exposing her body. She made being a tomboy cool and attractive amidst the rise of the devaluation of women within the hip hop environment. She tragically left us way too early but her messages and music live on and are still relevant today. Rest in peace Left Eye.