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About Black Eyed Peas

If it’s possible to condense the evolution of hip-hop into a single entity—embodying its street perspectives, pop dominance, and global multicultural appeal—it’d be the Black Eyed Peas. The union of rappers will.i.am (William Adams) and apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo) dates back to hip-hop’s early-’90s golden age, when their L.A.-bred jazz-rap crew A.T.B.A.N Klann signed with N.W.A. icon Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. After Eazy’s death in 1995 derailed the group’s momentum, the duo teamed up with MC Taboo (Jaime Luis Gomez) and supporting vocalist Kim Hill to form Black Eyed Peas, whose 1998 debut, Behind the Front, offered a progressive, neo-soul-infused antidote to West Coast gangsta rap. But when Hill departed in 2002, the group didn’t just find a replacement, they acquired a new figurehead in girl-group exile Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson). Her seductive swagger pushed the Peas to the top of the pop charts with mid-2000s bangers like “My Humps,” while recasting the Peas’ social commentary as inspirational post-9/11 uplift on “Where Is the Love?” And as EDM went overground at decade’s end, the Peas were waiting in the festival dance tent with beat-pumped thumpers like “I Gotta Feeling.” Following an extended hiatus in the 2010s—during which will.i.am decisively established himself as a multimedia mogul—Fergie left the group to tend to her solo career, prompting the Peas to reclaim their alt-rap roots on 2018’s Masters of the Sun Vol. 1. However, 2020’s Translation shows them to be as savvily on-trend as ever, rounding up Latin stars like J Balvin for a set of sweaty reggaetón.

ORIGIN
Los Angeles, CA
FORMED
1995

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