It took a while for me to get into “Creep”. TLC’s debut was so unique and left that the image and musical shift “Creep” heralded took me by surprise. I guess I was expecting “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” part 2 and was thrown for a loop when I didn’t get it. But…I guess you could say that “Creep”, uh…crept on me. Heh.
Dallas Austin (who wrote and produced “Creep”) is an unheralded master of ‘90s pop. He came of age in the new jack swing era, but was able to successfully adapt to the duskier, more mature and polished synthesis of hip-hop and soul that “Creep” was a product of. The song’s production is so crisp and in the cut. Those snares pop, and that slowed-down Slick Rick sample weaves in and out of the mix. There’s your hip-hop. The funk guitar that supports T-Boz in the verses adds an element of R&B class, and the result is a glorious, and seamless, fusion.
I do miss Left Eye on “Creep” (the song; I mean, her crazy ass is all over the video), but there was a special kind of stank on this song that only T-Boz would’ve been able to provide. Off-key vocals and all.