Not Feeling 2000s Black Eyed Peas? will.i.am & apl.de.ap Travel Back To Yesterday (Audio)
A lot has been said and written about The Black Eyed Peas’ early 2000s transformation. From a group with its roots tied to Eazy-E and Ruthless Records, to some of the biggest global hit-makers of the last decade, will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie got in where they fit in—and in turn, grabbed the Grammys and plaques.
For lovers of 1998 A&M Records debut Bridging The Gap, there often seemed to be a disconnect surrounding 2003’s Elephunk. For many, Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson was blamed for the group’s shift. The former “Kids Incorporated” TV sensation brought a sense of fashion, Pop singing, and positioning that arguably pulled attention away from the founding members of the group, and towards a packaged front-woman. Whether the criticisms were valid or not, B.E.P. changed dramatically.
Since 2013, Black Eyed Peas have been on hiatus—not a first in the group’s history. However, the first material heard since 2011 is proof that, as Q-Tip said, “things work in cycles.”
“Yesterday” is will and apl (the two carryover members from Ruthless’ Atban Klann to B.E.P.), with artwork alluding to The Black Sheep’s 1991 debut, A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing. That image is poignant to the music, as will.i.am and apl.de.ap reference a mosaic of ’80s and ’90s Rap hits, from Main Source to Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth to Wu-Tang Clan to N.W.A. to the Sheep’s Dres and Mista Lawnge. While will freaks a chorus that embraces his successful track record of the last dozen years, the playfully reflective song puts rapping back into focus.
Does this excite you about B.E.P., or feel gimmicky? Do you think will and apl are focused on legacy?