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"No Scrubs" is a song recorded by American girl group TLC for their third studio album FanMail (1999). The lyrics posit that a man who does not own an automobile is a "scrub" (also known as a "buster") and is undesirable as a romantic or sexual partner. LaFace Records and Arista Records released it as the album's lead single on February 2, 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 Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas took the sole lead vocals on any TLC single.

"No Scrubs"
Tlc-noscubs2.jpg
Single by TLC
from the album FanMail
B-side"Silly Ho"
ReleasedFebruary 2, 1999 (1999-02-02)
Format
RecordedDecember 1998 (1998-12)
Studio
GenreR&B
Length
  • 3:34 (album version)
  • 4:00 (main mix with Left Eye)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)She'kspere
TLC singles chronology
"Diggin' on You"
(1995)
"No Scrubs"
(1999)
"Unpretty"
(1999)
Music video
"No Scrubs" on YouTube

"No Scrubs" 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 Award 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. On the decade end chart for 1990–99, "No Scrubs" was ranked at number 33. The single was certified 2× Platinum in the UK and Platinum in New Zealand.

Contents

Critical receptionEdit

In 1999, "No Scrubs" 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 and number 45 in the NME 100 Best Songs of the 1990s.[3][4] Rolling Stone ranked the song at number 10 in their list of the 50 Best Songs of the Nineties.[5] Additionally, VH1 listed the song at number 22 in their list of the 40 Greatest R&B Songs of the 90s, ranking behind TLC's 1995 international smash "Waterfalls" which placed at number 6.[6] Billboard named the song #42 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[7]

Chart performanceEdit

"No Scrubs" climbed into the U.S. top ten as an airplay only song[citation needed] and jumped to number one upon the single release.[8] The single stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks from April 10, 1999, to May 7, 1999.[9] The single stayed in the top-10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 consecutive weeks. "No Scrubs" airplay was at the time astonishing; it was the first song to peak with over 140 million audience impressions and was crowned the Top Airplay Song of 1999.[10][11][12] It holds the record for most weeks at number 1 on the Rhythmic Top 40 with 15 weeks.[citation needed]

In Australia, "No Scrubs" was a huge success, spending seven consecutive weeks at the summit of the Australian Singles Chart from May 2, 1999 to 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.[13] The song was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.[14]

Music videoEdit

The futuristic music video, directed by Hype Williams, 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 fameEdit

After TLC released "No Scrubs" in 1999, Sporty Thievz made an answer song called "No Pigeons" that same year.[15][16]

In 2013, DJ and producer Le Youth sampled the song in his single "Dance with Me", reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Chart.[17]

"No Scrubs" was played on "The Prom" episode of Moesha.

Gemmy Industries made one of their Frogz line of toys that sings this song. It was sold at Walmart, Hot Topic, and Spencer Gifts from 2005-2008.

This song was played (and sung along to by Meadow Soprano and her friend in her kitchen) during season 2 episode 3 "Toodle-Fucking-Oo" of the HBO series The Sopranos.

In 2019, the song was used for a Lipsync For Your Life in the eleventh episode of the eleventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race.

CoversEdit

Track listingEdit

  • US CD single
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) (dirty) – 3:39
  2. "No Scrubs" (instrumental) – 3:37
  • EU CD single
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) (clean) – 3:37
  2. "No Scrubs" (main mix w/ Left Eye) (clean) – 4:00
  3. "No Scrubs" (instrumental) – 3:37
  4. "Silly Ho" (album version) (dirty) – 4:16
  • UK CD 1
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) (clean) – 3:37
  2. "No Scrubs" (main mix w/ Left Eye) (clean) – 4:00
  3. "Silly Ho" (album version) (dirty) – 4:16
  • UK CD 2
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) (clean) – 3:39
  2. "Waterfalls" (radio version) – 4:19
  3. "Creep" (radio version) – 4:26
  • French CD single
  1. "No Scrubs" (album version) (clean) – 3:39
  2. "Waterfalls" – 4:36
  • US vinyl single
  1. "No Scrubs" (main mix w/ Left Eye) (clean) – 4:00
  2. "No Scrubs" (main mix w/ Left Eye) (dirty) – 4:00

Charts and certificationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "1999". The Village Voice. October 18, 2005. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "1999". NME. October 10, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
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  5. ^ Sheffield, Rob (August 8, 2016). "50 Best Songs of the Nineties". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "40 Greatest R&B Songs of the '90s (Complete List)". VH1. June 28, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. July 10, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Faison, Datu (April 3, 1999). "Datu Faison's rhythm section". Billboard. 111 (14): 40. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Bronson, Fred (July 17, 1999). "Distaff Destiny: Leaders of the Pack". Billboard. 111 (29): 118. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio; Patel, Minal; Jessen, Wade (January 19, 2002). "Singles Minded". Billboard. 114 (3): 77. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 30, 2018. The record now reverts to Arista, which was the first label to surpass the 140 million audience mark in May 1999 with TLC's 'No Scrubs.'
  11. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio; Patel, Minal; Jessen, Wade (January 12, 2002). "Singles Minded". Billboard. 114 (2): 83. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 30, 2018. In two prior years, only TLC's 'No Scrubs' in 1999 topped the 140-million listener mark, but three had such weeks in 2001's chart year, including 'Independent Women.'
  12. ^ Bronson, Fred (December 25, 1999). "The year in charts". Billboard. 111 (52): YE-12. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Myers, Justin (March 28, 2014). "Official Charts Flashback 1999: TLC – No Scrubs". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "BRIT Certified" (enter "No Scrubs" into the "Keywords" box, then select "Search"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  15. ^ Century, Douglas (May 9, 1999). "A Hip-Hop Battle of the Sexes". The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
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  68. ^ "Italian single certifications – TLC – No Scrubs" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved May 7, 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "No Scrubs" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
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  72. ^ "British single certifications – TLC – No Scrubs". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type No Scrubs in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  73. ^ "American single certifications – TLC – No Scrubs". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit