Black Eyed Peas Show They Can Still Get It Started Without Fergie (Video)

Black Eyed Peas are a Hip-Hop group, through and through. Despite having reached chart-topping success with Pop hits in what could now be called the “Fergie era,” BEP began as a trio with deep roots to the culture. Early traces began in late-’80s Los Angeles and, in 1992, the group founded by, and Dante Santiago signed to Eazy E’s Ruthless Records (albeit under the moniker Atban Klann). Santiago would eventually be replaced by Taboo and, in 1998, they released Behind The Front.

Twenty years later, the Black Eyed Peas are back to their original formation. With six Grammy Awards under their collective belts, the three are beginning to release the first music of theirs since the confirmation of Fergie’s departure from the group broke earlier this year. For longtime fans, news of her exit suggested BEP might return to its alternative Hip-Hop beginnings. In January, the crew released a visual for the jazzy “Street Livin’,” and now they return with a new video, this time starring a bona fide member of Hip-Hop royalty: Slick Rick the Ruler.

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On the corners of the fictional Hip-Hop Way and Black Eyed Peas Boulevard, the trio and Slick Rick can be seen performing “Constant Part 1 & 2,” the latest rebooted, nostalgia-styled crew. Here and there are sprinkled subdued old-school touchstones (“Tick tock, ya don’t stop”) and the video takes place in the Birthplace streets. Though Rick doesn’t contribute a verse, his presence in the video the intermittent vocals he contributes lend “Constant” some Rap architecture. Near the 2:50 mark, the production goes from throwback Jazz-Hop to straight-up House, a la Jungle Brothers.

Things move while standing still, outfits are contemporary while the lyrics have a classic appeal, and there’s a significant beat change-up. With these combinations, Black Eyed Peas have managed to do what they’ve always been capable of: create music that is both dance inducing yet “boom bap,” forward thinking yet favorable to any purist. (who co-directs the innovative clip with Ernst Weber) celebrates the crew’s diversity, too, rappingIt’s the trio / One Amigo / Filipino / And a negro.

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The Black Eyed Peas are gearing up to kick off their international Masters of the Sun Tour, though North American dates have yet to be announced.