The ladies of TLC took to the stage with a very special guest this Sunday, November 24 at the 2013 American Music Awards, and while we knew Lil Mama (who plays the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in the VH1 biopic CrazySexyCool) was the likely choice to join T-boz and Chilli for a performance of "Waterfalls," we can't help but feel like the ladies should have let Left Eye sing her memorable verse on the track. Imagine if a hologram of the late singer was projected on stage, Tupac-style — would that have been better than Lil Mama's performance?
Sure, it sounds a little crazy, but think about it. T-boz and Chilli have said numerous times that no one can ever truly replace Left Eye, and they owe fans (and Lisa's family) a proper tribute after re-recording "Waterfalls" this summer with J-Pop star Namie Amuro. Plus, let's not forget that the idea to immortalize Left Eye digitally has already been on the table once before…
There were, however, some legal issues that most likely prevented Lisa from making her triumphant return to the stage, even via hologram — the surviving ladies revealed that they don't own the rights to any of Lisa's verses.
"We don’t own the master recording rights to Lisa’s raps on any of our music, and our requests to gain the rights so far have been denied,” Chilli said in a statement to Yahoo! Music following the release of the new version of "Waterfalls."
Though a Left Eye performance was a long shot (and a bit of wishful thinking on our part), it's not because we don't have the technology. Tupac, who was tragically gunned down in 1996, was recreated for a performance at Coachella 2012, and to this day some fans aren't entirely convinced it wasn't 'Pac himself.
According to Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts and the man responsible for projecting the eerily lifelike hologram of Tupac, absolutely anyone can be brought back from the dead. "You can take their likenesses and voice and ... take people that haven't done concerts before or perform music they haven't sung and digitally recreate it," he said.
Don't believe us? Take a look at this video of Tupac (by which we mean a hologram of Tupac) performing alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Kind of creepy, but also kind of amazing.
Could you imagine seeing Left Eye busting a move one last time with T-boz and Chilli? As much as we appreciate Lil Mama for stepping up, no one can compare to the female rapper herself. Let's just leave Lisa's verse to Lisa, shall we?
What do you think? Should TLC have performed alongside a hologram of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes at the 2013 AMAs? Sound off in the comments!