Atban and The Peas: The Fall, The Route Back


Black Eyed Peas

BEP Empire
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.

Enjoy!

-Matt B (Its cold as fuck in Londontown)

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  1. i agree that ‘like that’ isn’t bad, but i think it gets more attention because of how it starkly contrasts their current material.

    anyone who has heard will i am’s production outside of the last two bep albums knows that he’s doing his current stuff for the cheques which is a shame because the track he did called ‘lay me down’ from his bbe album a few years ago was excellent. who knows, when bep disband after this album has been milked dry as they said they would, maybe he’ll start making some interesting music again.

  2. Hum,

    I like that “BEP Empire” especially with that Premier beat- which is classic.

    I like Esthero. She was nice on “Final Home” with Krush and adds some soulfulness to this track as well.

    Fergie??…I know they were smilin’ every time a NBA commercial came on, so, saying that, the BEP took the wrong turn with her. The BBE shit is quality, but all this other ya-ya can get the gas face!

    Oh, “Like That” is okay…my last good memory was the Behind The Front LP…next.

  3. You’re right about it getting more attention because of the contrast to their current current material… Maybe on a real BEP album, minus Fergie it wouldn’t be as good.. The line up is very dope though.

    Word on Esthero, I dunno.. what would you call her style of music? I’m thinking about Windmills Of Your Mind and Breathe From Another.. which she raps a few bars in… That’s not the forbidden neo soul I hope?!

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