This Black Eyed Peas’ Video Shows What A Horrible Mess Our Country Has Become
It is no secret that the Black Eyed Peas, throughout the last 20 years, have taken their Hip-Hop talents to Pop music pursuits. The shift would lead millions upon millions of music fans across the globe to the group that began as a product of the 1990s Underground Hip Hop movement. Dating back to Behind The Front 20 years ago (and even earlier days as the Atban Klann on Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records) the crew built on a foundation of truth-telling and spreading awareness in their music. It’s a theme that B.E.P. is returning to in their recent releases.
Previously, the founding trio has dropped visuals for their new songs “Street Livin'” and “RING THE ALARM pt.1, pt.2, pt.3.” Now, they’re returning with another video that vividly represents the mistrust between law enforcement and the communities they police.
Directed by Ben Mor, “Get It” the gripping visual opens with a custom wall piece featuring the names of some Black men killed by law enforcement. Look closely, and you’ll see Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and others on the wall. On the same memorial, the Peas also salute early mentor, Eazy-E. As a man in a motorized cart (with the American flag) rides along the vigil-filled street, some more art declares “God bless us all. Pray for peace.”
As his cart turns the corner, police descend in trooper fashion on what appears to be Black street protesters. Yellow caution tape warns that “Freedom is not free.” As the camera moves and catches will.i.am on a bench, viewers can see cops pointing pistols behind him and arriving to wrestle with a Black teen. Nearby, a group of ICE officers is putting cuffs on shirtless Latino men. The camera is relentless, moving to a fatally shot Black man in a car seat with a white LAPD officer looking on with her pistol drawn. A young kid on a scooter in a Public Enemy t-shirt throws the finger at the camera, as he passes a squad team breaking into a residence. Not unlike Childish Gambino’s show-stopping “This Is America,” the nonstop sequences are filled with gruesome imagery, action, and symbolism—along with literal warning signs.
While all the dramatics play out, will spits some very blunt lyrics about how his own life has changed. “All I wanna do is win / Man, I’ve been winning since way back when,” he raps. “In my ma’s eyes I had a Maybach then / Fast forward now Maybachs weren’t in / In and out the project was a project / Mama said ‘progress is the process’ / I was penniless shopping at the Payless / Now my ass living at a nice address.” Nodding to BEP’s hook from 20 years ago, the group declares they’re “Fallin’ up, never ever fallin’ down.” Among more arrests and vandalism of property from the greater community, the video concludes with protesters picketing police violence—as “Donald Trump” (whose eyes are covered to protect his identity) watches on from his motorcade. Like West Coast peer Snoop Dogg (who, along with actor Michael Rappaport, famously mocked Trump last year—and got a reaction), these California O.G.’s are calling out the LAPD and this country’s officials.
Along with the new single, the revamped B.E.P. is announcing their first European tour in eight years. Beginning on October 27 in London, the group will hit five cities, including Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow before wrapping up in Milton Keynes on November 3. See the full tour schedule below.
10/27: London @ Eventim Apollo
10/29: Birmingham @ 2 Academy Birmingham
11/1: Manchester @ O2 Apollo Manchester
11/2: Glasgow @ The SSE Hydro
11/3: Milton Keynes @ Arena MK