Black Eyed Peas
Empire Strikes Black (feat. Esthero)
from Bridging The Gap (2000, Interscope)
Like That (feat. Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Cee-Lo and John Legend)
from Monkey Business (2005, Interscope)
After digesting the raw stylings of the Atbann Klann and an early BEP joint, you must be expecting a slump in the quality of the upcoming tracks. That’s understandable. “Bridging The Gap”, played host to a number of enticing guest spots, including a guest production spot for Preemo on “BEP Empire”. It also staged the formal emergence of Toronto vocalist Esthero, who was apparently supposed to join the Black Eyed Peas, but, for whatever reason didn’t. I’ve included the “Empire Strikes Black”, which was a hidden track on this BEP release and It shows what could have been of BEP with Esthero.
Fast-forward to 2003/04 and Fergie has become an uneasy addition. Prior to this, Interscope release the Black Eyed Peas over their humble record sales. The group sign to A&M records. They released the musically/lyrically terrible song “Where’s The Luv” and it became an anthem for the pop kids.. BEP had seemingly turned their backs on everything the art form entailed…OK, the message was a positive one but the song was the personification of bubblegum. Wack single after wack single stormed the charts and in 2005 they released their second A&M record “Monkey Business” which played host to some horrendous tracks “My Humps” & “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” recieving enormous media acclaim.
Discard all of that for a moment though, discard Fergie and listen to “Like That”, a b-boy posse cut sounding joint, overshadowed by dreary club bangers, and hip pop cross over tracks. “Like That” will make you wonder… Q Tip & Talib Kweli drop lyrics and Cee-Lo & John Legend perform the hook… and it’s actually fire!! The Peas hold it down here, without the inclusion of Fergie… You might not think this track is the dopest, but compare, if you will, with their recent singles, and try and deny that “Like That” is a gem.
-Matt B (Its cold as fuck in Londontown)