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Creep (TLC song)

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"Creep" is the lead single by American girl group TLC from their second album, CrazySexyCool. The song became their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained there for four weeks. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards at the 1996 Grammy Awards, winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. It was the third most successful single of 1995, finishing behind their other successful hit, "Waterfalls", on the 1995 Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Charts.

ContentsEdit

  [hide*1 Song information

Song information[edit]Edit

The song was written and produced by Dallas Austin and samples "Hey Young World" by Slick Rick.

Its lyrics are taken from the perspective of a woman who is aware of her boyfriend's infidelity and in turn cheats on him in an effort to appease her need for affection. Lead vocals are performed by TLC member Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins.

In the documentary The Last Days of Left Eye, TLC member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes said she was 100% against the release of "Creep" as a single, and threatened to wear black tape over her mouth in the music video. She thought that when a girl finds out that her man is cheating on her, the girl better leave rather than cheat back.

Music video[edit]Edit

There were three music videos made for this song between June and August 1994, with the third video being released on September 16, 1994. The video features each girl individually in front of a color background wearing silky pajamas, though it was only Chilli who had two different pajamas that were gray and pink (one edited digitally), with T-Boz in blue and Left Eye in red. There are other scenes featuring T-Boz singing into a microphone with Omar Lopez, a previous dancer for Janet Jackson, with an open shirt, playing trumpet behind her and flirting with her. There are also black and white shots of them rehearsing dance moves, being silly and hanging out.

There are two version of this video, one includes more scenes of the dance rehearsals and in favour of some pyjama scenes. The second version also contains more shots of a Chilli in her pink pyjamas as opposed to her grey pyjamas.

Original version

Filmed on location in Atlanta, GA at the beginning of June 1994, this was the original version of Creep. Not much is known about the original version, as it remains currently unreleased in any form, aside from this 1995 video of 3 different versions.[1]

Second version

The second version, shot on location in Los Angeles, CA during July 1994, follows a theatrical depiction of the lyrics. Chilli is in a diner with her boyfriend, T-Boz is in her apartment with her boyfriend and Left Eye is in her apartment on the phone talking to her boyfriend. Chilli later sneaks out of the diner to meet her lover, T-Boz sneaks out of the window when her boyfriend falls asleep to meet her lover, Left Eye's phone call is interrupted by T-Boz and Chilli so she hangs up the phone and leaves to be with Chilli and T-Boz.

A black cat is seen at each scenario, the cat later shows up the Chilli & T-Boz' boyfriends, symbolising the secret that the boyfriends do not know. Chilli returns to her boyfriend, who has fallen asleep at the diner and she wakes him up. T-Boz returns to her apartment just as her boyfriend wakes up. Lisa returns home and picks up the phone again. There are also scenes of the girls dancing with back up dancers in a parking lot.

T-Boz and a Chilli are both seen hanging out with their lovers while Left Eye is dancing to a boom box on her own. Left Eye is seen sporting a mask over her eyes with only her left eye highlighted. This version of the video went unreleased, in favour of the third and final version listed above, and at least two different edits of it were made. One is now available to watch online on director Lionel C. Martin Vimeo account, part of the other can be seen in TLC's 1995 documentary "CrazyVideoCool".

Critical reception[edit]Edit

The song was nominated for two Grammys at the 1996 Grammy AwardsBest R&B Song (for songwriter Dallas Austin) and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, winning the latter.

Official remixes[edit]Edit

  • DARP Mix*
  • Jermaine's Jeep Mix
  • Smooth Mix*
  • Super Smooth Mix*
  • Untouchables Mix*
  • Maxx Remix
  • Tin Tin Out Remix

* – includes a rap by Left Eye[2]

Track listings and formats[edit]Edit

Creep[edit]Edit

EU CD single[3]
  1. "Creep" (LP version) – 4:29
  2. "Creep" (instrumental LP version) – 4:47
US 12" vinyl[4]
  • A1. "Creep" (album version) – 4:27
  • A2. "Creep" (Jermaine's 'Jeep' Mix) – 5:09
  • B1. "Creep" (instrumental album version) – 4:47
  • B2. "Creep" (Jermaine's Acappella Mix) – 5:09
US CD maxi-single[5]
  1. "Creep" (album version) – 4:28
  2. "Creep" (Jermaine's Jeep Mix) – 5:09
  3. "Creep" (Untouchables Mix) – 5:22
  4. "Creep" (Super Smooth Mix) – 4:44
  5. "Creep" (DARP Mix) – 4:50
  6. "Creep" (Untouchables Instrumental) – 5:18

Creep '96[edit]Edit

The single was re-released in 1996 as "Creep '96"

12" single[6]
  • A1. "Creep" (Maxx Remix) – 5:12
  • A2. "Creep" (Jermaine's Jeep Mix) – 5:13
  • B1. "Creep" (Tin Tin Out Remix) – 8:35
  • B2. "Waterfalls" (DARP Remix) – 4:32
CD maxi single[7]
  1. "Creep (radio edit; original version) – 4:28
  2. "Waterfalls" (single edit) – 4:21
  3. "Creep" (Maxx Remix) – 5:11
  4. "Creep" (Tin Tin Out Remix) – 8:35

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Peak positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1994–1995) Peak

position

USBillboard Hot 100 1
US BillboardHot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 1
US BillboardPop Songs 9
New Zealand Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 6
Australian Singles Chart 9
French Singles Chart 23
Swiss Singles Chart 26
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 43
Swedish Singles Chart 56
Dutch Top 40 19
German Singles Chart 39

End-of-year charts[edit]Edit

End-of-year chart (1995) Position
Canada Dance (RPM)[8] 35
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9] 3

End-of-decade charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[10] 21
Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,400,000[12][13]

*sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Preceded by

"On Bended Knee" by Boyz II Men

Billboard Hot 100 number-one single

January 28, 1995 – February 18, 1995

Succeeded by

"Take a Bow" by Madonna

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