will’s Power: The 15 Best will.i.am Beats


Today, super-producer/fashion icon/sometimes-hologram will.i.am put out a new record, #willpower, a dance-pop supernova of an album that features Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, k-pop stars 2NE1, and a long list of other huge acts. The album is pretty much what you’d expect – a lot of rave beats and huge anthemic hooks and simple one-liners sprinkled throughout. And the truth is, it works for him, for whatever he’s become in the past few years.

will.i.am wasn’t always like this, though. When he started out, will was signed to Eazy E’s Ruthless Records and made jazzy beats as the producer for Black Eyed Peas, who were then a backpack rap outfit from LA. By the time Fergie came along and helped the BEPs transition into a global pop super-squad and headline the Super Bowl halftime show, will’s hip-hop roots were all but long gone.

But, there was a stretch there in the mid-2000s – up until 2009, when the Peas released their career-defining The E.N.D. – when will re-emerged as a premiere hip-hop producer, working with everyone from conscious minds like Talib and Common to money-getters like The Game and Flo Rida. To celebrate will’s new album and take a look back at his hip-hop history, we’ve compiled a list of will.i.am’s best beats. — Additional reporting by Sean Ryon.

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  • BrianRaider

    Doctors Advocate Games Best Album? C’mon Son. I Would Say The Documentary, Or Even LAX. Opinions Opinions

    • Hannya

      I sorta liked Doctor’s Advocate a little better than The Documentary, only because it sounded more “West Coast” to me. Game lost me with the R.E.D. Album though.

      • BrianRaider

        Awww Man I Liked The Red Album It Was Dope!

        • Hannya

          Oh don’t get me wrong I do like the R.E.D. Album. My only issue with it was that it had a lot of filler tracks in my opinion. I finally listened to Jesus Piece. I thought it was better than a lot of the critics thought. I’m hoping with his next album he features more of the newer West Coast cats that have been making noise. Time will tell I guess.

  • BrianRaider

    Doctor’s Adv Was Bangin Though This Is A Good Article!

  • http://twitter.com/trillNes Ness

    Boobies was bouncing on my head.

  • Hannya

    I always thought Will was extremely underrated as a producer. I commend him for branching out and trying something new but this techo-dance stuff is starting to sound the same. I hope he goes back to a more hip-hop sound.