TLC’s ‘Creep’, on January 28, 1995, became the first of four top five Hot 100 hits that cemented the trio’s ‘CrazySexyCool’ album, making it the biggest-selling album by a female pop group in history.
The hit single was released a little over 25 years ago but today marks 25 years since it topped the Billboard Hot 100 list.
At the time, the group rose to Diamond status making it part of a close circle of artists to have sold over 10 million copies of an album.
The album’s success was not enough to salvage the group’s financial owes and it filed for bankruptcy. However, it bounced back to its feet and later gained the status as one of the most influential groups both in music and fashion of all time.
‘Creep’ to date remains one of TLC’s signature singles. Here are some three fun facts about the song you probably didn’t know.
The song was inspired by true events
T-Boz, the group’s lead singer, had recently experienced infidelity. Dallas Austin wrote the song for the group putting his own spin to it and retelling it from a female’s perspective.
At the time, T-Boz’s boyfriend Delvin was a member of the group Jodeci. It was in a 2015 interview with Billboard that the concept of the song was made public.
“‘Creep,’ unfortunately, was one of my true stories,” T-Boz said. “You’re with a guy and he’s not showing you attention, so another guy comes along and you’re like, ‘Hey, if you were where you were supposed to be, he couldn’t be showing me attention right now!’”
TLC’s first Grammy win was ‘Creep’
‘Creep’ was a hit despite a few oppositions prior to its release. People were open to changing the narrative of how women behave when they are cheated on. Fans particularly loved the song for taking a strong side against patriarchy.
The single hit a certified gold after selling over 500,000 copies in its first month of release. It then peaked at number one in the top 10 charts and remained so for four consecutive weeks.
At the 38th Grammy Awards, the song got nominated twice, for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and they impressively won both.
Their album ‘CrazySexyCool’ churned 4 to 10 singles. ‘Creep’ began their good luck streak and soon after they started getting hit after hit, with “Waterfalls” ended up becoming their biggest career success.
Left Eye and their label head hated ‘Creep’
Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes was an avid risktaker who made the group wear condoms on their outfits to promote safe sex. Nonetheless, she was not a fan of ‘Creep’ as she revealed in a VH1 Behind The Music special.
“If a girl is going to catch her man cheating…this was my thing, instead of telling her to cheat back, why don’t we tell her to just leave?!”
Left Eye protested the song to the teeth. At its video shoot, she showed up fashionably late and had spats of tantrums here and there.
Also, as a way of taking a stance against the song, she put black tape over her lips indicating she didn’t agree with the message of the song. Interestingly, the group didn’t like the first video unanimously and it had to be shot again.
T-Boz said L.A. Reid, head of their record label LaFace Records, “flipped out” when he listened to the song.