"Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" was the first single and first hit for TLC. It introduced the group and explained who represented each letter: Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas.
In this song, the ladies of TLC know exactly what they want, and they're not too proud to beg for it. It all came together when Lopes came up with the line, "Two inches or a yard, rock hard or if it's sagging," a reference to a man's endowment. Even if it's just two inches, they'll still beg for it when they need it bad.
This was written by Dallas Austin, except for Left Eye's rap which, like the majority of what she sang, she wrote herself. Austin also produced the track.
Janean - Cincinnati, OH
This contains samples of "Escape-ism" (James Brown), "Jungle Boogie" (Kool & the Gang), "School Boy Crush" (AWB), "Fly Robin Fly" (Silver Convention), and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" (Bob James).
The video made sure to introduce each singer. When each girl sang her part, her name flashed on the screen. Like many of their songs, T-Boz sang the lyrics, Left Eye did the rap, and Chilli sang on the chorus.
This song is about sex, but TLC made it clear that they advocated safe sex by prominently displaying condoms. Lopes wore one over her left eye in their early days.
This is not the same song as the Temptations classic of the same name
. In that song, a man swallows his pride and begs his girl to come back to him. In this, the girls state that they are not afraid to ask a man for sex.
It took a long time for radio stations to figure out what this song was about, but when they did, a lot of them censored the line, "Two inches or a yard, rock hard or if it's sagging - I ain't too proud to beg." The line was part of Left Eye's rap.
The Ooooooohhh...On the TLC Tip album sold over 4 million copies. Their next one, CrazySexyCool, sold over 12 million, but TLC still managed to go broke and had to file for bankruptcy in 1995. Their contract paid them only 7% of revenue from album sales, which wasn't enough to cover their expenses when split three ways.
At first, the singing parts were going to provide the song's hook, which is a traditional structure, but Dallas Austin decided to feature Left Eye Lopes' rap, giving the song a harder edge.
This song earned TLC a spot opening for MC Hammer on his 2 Legit 2 Quit tour, which kicked off in April 1992. By the end of the tour (in September), their next single, "Baby-Baby-Baby
," was a big hit and Hammer had vanished from the charts. Another opening act on that tour had also swelled to stardom: Boyz II Men, whose song "End Of The Road
" went to #1 during the trek. Like TLC, Boyz II Men introduced themselves with an uptempo, new-jack banger ("Motownphilly
"), but had their biggest hits with slower songs.