One could have been forgiven for pegging TLC as a flash in the pan when their debut single, the deliriously silly, decidedly raunchy "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" ruled MTV's airwaves, with the threesome frolicking in a cartoonish graffiti world. While the song bordered on novelty, it showcased the other elements that placed TLC among the more appealing hitmakers of the 1990s, with Chilli's soulful vocals playing off Left Eye's distinct, somewhat coquettish raps, and the sex-drenched growl of T-Boz bringing it all together. TLC would later prove diverse as they skulked sinisterly on "Creep," delivered a message song smoothly with "Waterfalls," and riffed hilariously on "No Scrubs," all of which deservedly topped both the R&B and pop charts. NOW & FOREVER: THE HITS compiles all the hits from the talented trio, and many lesser-known tracks spanning their too-brief career. The collection also features two new tracks; TLC brings a welcome new flavor to crunk (with Lil' Jon's aid) on "Come Get Some," and delivers some trademark hip-hop-drenched, harmonized soul on "Whoop De Woo."
Entertainment Weekly (2/6/04, p.142) - "T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli pumped sass-itude into some of the catchiest hooks of a generation....[T]heir best work still bubbles with the pride of independent women." - Rating: B+
Q (11/03, p.140) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...They were, quite simply, the best all-girl R&B act of the modern era..."