Not Feeling 2000s Black Eyed Peas? & 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,,, 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 and 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.

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Does this excite you about B.E.P., or feel gimmicky? Do you think will and apl are focused on legacy?

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