No Scrubs

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"No Scrubs"
Single by TLC
from the album FanMail
B-side "Silly Ho"
Released January 23, 1999
Format
Recorded December 1998;
D.A.R.P. Studios[1]
(Atlanta, Georgia)
Genre
Length 3:34 (album version)
4:00 (main mix w/ Left Eye)
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) She'kspere
TLC singles chronology
"I'm Good at Being Bad"
(1998)
"No Scrubs"
(1999)
"Unpretty"
(1999)
Music video
"No Scrubs" on YouTube

"No Scrubs" is a song recorded by American girl group TLC for their third studio album FanMail (1999). It was released as the album's first single on January 23, 1999. The song was written by Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs alongside former Xscape members, Kandi Burruss and Tameka "Tiny" Cottle. The single version containing self-written rap by Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was not included on the album FanMail, and later appeared in a slightly shorter edit on Now and Forever: The Hits and 20. "No Scrubs" was the first time for Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas taking the sole lead vocals on any TLC single.

"No Scrubs" was met with international success. It became TLC's third number-one single and eighth top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100. It also earned them their second Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. "No Scrubs" is one of TLC's signature songs and was the second-biggest Hot 100 single of 1999 in the U.S., only behind Cher's "Believe", according to Billboard's Year-End Charts. The single was certified 5x Platinum in the US, and 2x Platinum in the UK and New Zealand.

Critical reception[edit]

In 1999, the song was listed on The Village Voice's annual poll Pazz & Jop at number one.[2] The song also came in at number two in the NME Top Tracks of 1999 [3] and number 45 in the NME 100 Best Songs Of The 1990s. [4]

Chart performance[edit]

"No Scrubs" climbed into the U.S. top ten as an airplay only song and jumped to number one upon the single release. The single stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks from April 10, 1999, to May 7, 1999. The single stayed in the top-10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for 24 consecutive weeks.

"No Scrubs" airplay was at the time astonishing; it was the very first song to peak with over 140 million audience impressions and was crowned the Top Airplay Song of 1999. It holds the record for most weeks at number 1 on the Rhythmic Top 40 with 15 weeks.

In Australia, "No Scrubs" was a huge success, spending seven consecutive weeks at the summit of the Australian Singles Chart from May 2, 1999 - June 20, 1999.

In the United Kingdom, "No Scrubs" peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, becoming TLC's highest-charting single in Britain. The song was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.

Music video[edit]

The futuristic music video, directed by Hype Williams, was shot on March 18, 1999, and also received massive airplay on MTV and BET, and won the group the 1999 MTV Video Music Award for Best Group Video, beating out favorites NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. Each member had a set in the video. The video also has a dance sequence where the women dance in front of the "TLC" logo. The Main Mix is used in the video instead of the album version.

The video features the women in three different outfits: white, black, silver and Left Eye in blue. When there are shots of the women together they have two different outfits: black and silver. T-Boz's hair is fuchsia in the video. It also features a scene of Chilli on a swing singing. It also features T-Boz dancing as well as Left Eye. As Left Eye's rap begins, she is in a garage-like place with white clothes on while rapping. It also shows her practicing fighting moves in a futuristic blue outfit. One of the final scenes shows TLC fighting each other, while also dancing and having fun. The video is stylistically similar to Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson's music video "Scream".

Legacy and pop culture fame[edit]

After TLC released "No Scrubs" in 1999, Sporty Thievz made an answer song called "No Pigeons" that same year.[5]

In 2013, DJ and producer Le Youth sampled the song in his single Dance with Me, reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Chart

No Scrubs was played on The Prom episode of Moesha.

Covers[edit]