If I Was will.i.am, I Gotta Feeling I’d Sell Out, Too
Say what you want about will.i.am, but him, Fergie and the other two guys in the Black Eyed Peas got it right! I remember back in the late ’90s when the BEPs released their debut album, Behind The Front, with their lead single “Joints & Jam” and then that other song “Fallin’ Up.”
Back then—before Fergalicious came into the picture—the Peas were just a three-man group on some true school, hip-hop shit. They were pretty good at what they were doing, too. Granted, I was more of a Black Star fan at the time, but the BEPs could’ve had a respected underground career. I’m a underground head, no doubt about it, but if The Roots wanted to switch their sound up to something more pop and profitable, I wouldn’t be mad at them.
Behind the Front sold a little over 300,000 copies to date and their second album, Bridging the Gap, sold even less than that. So what does will do? He adds the half-singing, half-rapping, half-good looking Fergie to the group and sells more than three million copies of the group’s next album Elephunk.
Still, as I watched the Grammys last night, while simultaneously browsing Twitter (aka Comedy Central), many hip-hop fans griped about the BEPs’ pop performance. Actually, Black Eyed Peas had the most hip-hop performance of the night, IMHO. You think that mask that will.i.am wore was by accident? He was paying homage to Q-Tip’s scene in ATCQ’s “Hot Sex” video, (CLICK HERE for a refresher) or maybe will.i.am got jumped by Wreckx-n-Effect too, who knows? All I know is, I wasn’t mad.
I remember reading an article where will.i.am was complaining (I’m pretty sure it was in SCRATCH magazine—R.I.P.) that he didn’t get enough hip-hop props, so he went out and did some tracks for Nas and the Game. Those pretty much got him nowhere. Fuck it, he should just stay making pop music, selling a shitload of records and winning Grammys. If you noticed the Black Eyed Peas weren’t even nominated in any of the hip-hop or rap categories. I wouldn’t wanna be in the rap category either, you see how the Grammy committee screwed that up—word to Flo Rida. (CLICK HERE for the XXL Real Rap Ballot.)
Let’s not get it twisted now, I didn’t go out and buy The E.N.D., I’m more of a Deeper Than Rap kinda dude, but I won’t front “I Gotta Feeling” is a good song. Depending on the New Year’s party you were at there either played BEP’s or LMFAO’s “Shots” at the strike of midnight. Wait, wasn’t LMFAO once an underground rap group, too? Interesting how that works, isn’t it? —Rob Markman, The Deputy!