[Editor's Note: In this new column, award-winning music critic/goofball (and hip-hop coloring book purveyor) Shea Serrano writes about his life and times. Better put on your shoes because your socks are about to be blown off.]
On Monday night I watched the movie about TLC, the most important all-girl rap group of all time. It came on VH1. I was excited.
TLC was all over radios when I was growing up. They helped, in part, to shape my existence. Surely the most player thing I ever did was sing "Red Light Special" to a girl while sitting at my family's kitchen table on the house phone, hoping no one else in the family would hear me. That's a little thing called being in love.
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Three things about that:
1. "Red Light Special" came out in 1995. That means I was fourteen. That means that while I was singing this I weighed about 80 pounds. Can you imagine an 80 pound dude singing to some girl about giving her the red-light special all through the night? Gross, gross, gross. How'd that girl let me get away with that shit? (Oh, that's right. Because she was SUPER ugly, is how. Eighth grade wasn't so great for me.)
2. I'm extra disappointed that my sons won't ever get to talk to a girl on the house phone. They'll probably be snapchatting their penises by the third grade. I just have the fondest memories of telling girls things like, "Hey, yeah, but just call me on the house phone. My dad'll answer. He's cool. But if my mom answers then hang up. Like, FOR REAL. Hang up immediately." #RIPtheHousePhone
3. While TLC was popular in San Antonio, where I grew up, more popular was this awful brand of music called freestyle. It was like house music, but an earlier version. I knew in my bones that it was the worst, but that synthy nonsense called to me. We used to go to these quinceaneras, and they'd play it, and we'd dance battle other bros. That was a thing that we actually did. It was very much like You Got Served, except minus all of the cool.
OK, but anyway. So the movie is now starting.
0:01: T-Boz, Left Eye and some very scraggily looking girl are auditioning right now for the group. I've never auditioned for anything. I wonder what that feels like. Probably hella nervous. I've tried out for basketball teams, but that was easy though. Where I grew up, it was basically all Mexicans. Have you ever been to a basketball tryout for an all Mexican team? The coach walks in, scans the nine guys sitting in the bleachers, two of whom are overweight and one who just came because his friend came, purses his lips, shakes his head, then concludes, "Congratulations. You all made it." Blam-o.
0:02: Dang. Left Eye's dad just died. Sucks, sucks, sucks. "Congrats, you just had a great audition. Oh, also, but your dad is dead now." The universe is a cold motherfucker sometimes.
0:08: Oh snap! Cole from Martin is playing LA Reid. Ahahahahahahaha. Love. I hope Tommy is here somewhere too. Maybe he'll play Andre Rison???
0:09: Andre Rison, FYI, is the receiver for the Atlanta Falcons whom Left Eye dated. She set his house on fire after she caught him cheating. I don't know. We'll see when we get there, I guess.
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