Yes, the Black Eyed Peas haven’t done any form of music that the average visitor here has enjoyed since… what, their “Joints & Jam” era? While I’m not pointing my finger at one particular female who joined the group in the early Aughts, I will say that it’s not a coincidence that once she did their sound drastically changed from a neo-Native Tongue revivalist one into something that’s more soccer mom friendly.
I remember, back when the festival used to exist, the BEPs were a “special guest performer” at Rock The Bells one year. Naturally, this was during their “let’s remake the theme song to Dirty Dancing” years and most of the crowd – the so-called “real hip hop” (that’s such an oxymoronic term, but that topic is for another discussion) fans – either stood quietly and stationary while they performed or headed for the vendors. However, I sat there and actually enjoyed their entire set. Why? They were without Fergie, and as soon as they took the stage they announced that they were only going to perform songs from their first two albums: 1998’s Behind the Front and 2000’s Bridging the Gap.
With their latest video, they bring back those Fergie-less vibes as they cut her from the entire picture and take viewers on various trips down multiple memory lanes where the likes of Onyx, Black Sheep, N.W.A, the Wu-Tang Clan, The Beastie Boys and a host of others reside. It’s essentially another version of Erykah Badu’s 2008 video “Honey,” but I’m not mad at this at all.