TLC Rally Behind J. Cole: ‘He Deserves To Be #1′

Iconic girl group tells MTV News how they ended up working with the MC on 'Crooked Smile.'

As soon as TLC saw an early glimpse J.Cole‘s “Crooked Smile,” they knew they wanted to work with the chart-topping MC.

The feel-good message of theBorn Sinner track fits right in line with the message the girl group has been spreading for two-plus decades.

“He called for us. It just made sense it has the kind of message that we stand for,” Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins told MTV News at the VMAs Sunday night. “He’s an amazing artist. I actually have a newfound respect for him. I didn’t know he was so deep lyrically, [and as a] producer. So he’s a really great artist and he deserves to be #1 like he is.”

A video for “Crooked Smile” is being shot this Thursday, but the ladies remained tight-lipped about what fans are going to see in the visual. The J.Cole collaboration comes hot on the heels on TLC’s resurgence— they’ve appeared at various music festivals and will be the subject of an upcoming VH1 biopic, “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.” But, T-Boz warns that this isn’t a reunion.

“We never broke up, but we came back out ’cause we’ve always been together,” she explained, noting that Lil Mama (who has performed with them and will be in the biopic) will be the first of many people to fill in for Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in tragic accident in 2002. “We’ll have different guest appearance paying homage to Lisa.”

Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas added, “The reaction has been so amazing. It just makes us feel really good and happy about that too.”