The Black Eyed Peas

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This article is about the American hip-hop group. For the vegetable, see black-eyed pea.

Template:Infobox band The Black Eyed Peas are an American hip-hop (musical styles crossover rap/hip hop and alternative rap/hip hop) group from Los Angeles, California, who have enjoyed international pop success. The group is currently composed of,, Taboo, and Fergie.



The Black Eyed Peas dates back to 1989, when eighth graders and met and began rapping and performing together around Los Angeles. By 1992, the 16 year-olds had developed a name for themselves. The pair signed to Ruthless Records (run by Eazy-E) after catching the attention of Eazy-E manager Jerry Heller's nephew. Along with another friend of theirs, they called their trio Atban Klann. Their debut album was never released because Ruthless did not consider the positive themes reflected in the group's music to be marketable to their audience.

After Eazy-E died of AIDS in 1995 (see 1995 in music), Atban Klann reformed as the Black Eyed Peas, replacing their original third member with Taboo, and having Kim Hill as a steady background singer. After releasing their debut, Behind the Front (1998, 1998 in music) the group (and their accompanying live band) earned critical acclaim. The hit single from the album was "Joints and Jams", and featured on the Bulworth soundtrack. Their second album was 2000's Bridging the Gap (2000 in music).

Their breakthrough album, Elephunk, was released in 2003, featuring a new female vocalist, Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson, previously a cast member of Kids Incorporated and a member of teen pop band Wild Orchid. She is the replacement of background singer Kim Hill, who departed the band during 2000. As well as the change in line-up, there was also a subtle change in name — since Elephunk the band have styled themselves as "The Black Eyed Peas".

From Elephunk came the anti-war anthem "Where is the Love?", which became their first major hit, peaking at #8 on the US Hot 100, but topping the charts practically everywhere else, including six weeks at #1 in the UK where it became the biggest-selling single of 2003. The album subsequently spawned "Shut Up", which peaked at UK #2 (despite being referred to by one reviewer as "the single most vacuous, pointless, vile and generally loathsome song in a generation") and topped the charts in many other European countries including France and Germany. Indeed the band have enjoyed greater mainstream success in Europe than in the US with Elephunk going Top 10, gold and (sometimes multi-)platinum in the UK, Germany and many other European markets, yet ultimately failing to break the US Top 10, although it did go platinum there. The third single from the album, "Hey Mama" hit the Top 10 in the UK, Germany and several other European countries, and reached the Top 30.

During The Black Eyed Peas' concert tour in Asia in 2004,'s life story was featured in a weekly Filipino TV drama special called Maalaala Mo Kaya (Do You Think You Can Remember), which explained his childhood with his poor family in Pampanga, Philippines, back then when he was teased "baluga" (a derogatory word for Negro), before sadly parting with them to live a better life in the US at the age of 14. "The Apl Song", with the chorus written in Tagalog (Filipino), from their album Elephunk, tells the story of The Tagalog lyrics and backing melody were based on the song "Balita", an original composition of the 1970s Filipino folk rock group Asin. The group eventually produced an exclusive video of the song in the Philippines while touring the country as part of their album promotion.

The Black Eyed Peas' song "Let's Get Retarded" was restyled as "Let's Get it Started" for an NBA Finals worldwide commercial. New, less offensive, lyrics gave the tune a basketball theme, as opposed to the original's theme dealing with getting heavily intoxicated and partying, and the spot featured Carlos Santana. The revised song had great success as a single, particularly on the iTunes music download service. The Black Eyed Peas are also featured in The Urbz: Sims in the City videogame as characters. They re-recorded "Let's Get it Started" and "Shut Up" as well as other songs in "simlish" for the game also.

Their next album, Monkey Business, was released on June 7 2005. The album's first single, "Don't Phunk with My Heart", was a hit in the U.S., reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100. This is the highest peak yet of their career. The song also reached three in the U.K., and five in Canada, and number one in Australia. (Some radio stations, skittish about complaints of obscenity, play an alternative version, "Don't Mess with My Heart".) "My Humps", another song from the album, immediately achieved commercial success in the U.S. and fairly substantial radio play despite the sexually suggestive content. The album Monkey Business itself debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, selling over 295,000 copies in its first week.

Some commentators have noted the consistent theme of black men and blonde women in Black Eyed Peas videos, raising the question of racial fetishes or jungle fever. Whether or not it has been a conscious decision, more recent videos have featured a wider range of racial groups.

In September 2005, The Black Eyed Peas released an iTunes Essentials playlist of their greatest hits, as well as some that were re-recorded especially for purchase through iTunes. The playlist includes popular songs such as "Don't Lie", "Shut Up", and a new version of "Where Is the Love?". It also has small stories containing info and commentary about the songs and how the group first met.

On November 27, 2005, The Black Eyed Peas performed the half-time show at the Canadian Football League's 93rd Grey Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia.

On December 8, 2005, the band was nominated for four GrammyAwards, including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals, for the song "Don't Lie"; Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals, for their collaboration with singer Jack Johnson on the Monkey Business track, "Gone Going"; Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group, for the song "Don't Phunk with My Heart"; and Best Rap Song , also for the song "Don't Phunk with My Heart". The awards ceremony will be held on February 8, 2006, in Los Angeles.

On December 10, 2005, a Peas cover of the John Lennon classic "Power to the People" was released by Amnesty International as part of the Make Some Noise campaign to celebrate human rights. The same day, The Black Eyes Peas performed their version live on the UK television program The Record of the Year together with John Legend and Mary J. Blige.

The band is also going to make the Germany 2006 soccer world cup song, along with British musician Brian Eno


Studio albums

Album information
Behind the Front
  • Released: (1998)
  • Chart Positions: #129 US
  • U.S. Sales: 91,430 (WW: 350,000)
  • RIAA Certification: No Certification.
Bridging the Gap
  • Released: (2000)
  • Chart Positions: #67 (U.S.)
  • U.S. Sales: 100,000 (WW: 450,000)
  • RIAA Certification: No Certification
  • Released: (2003)
  • Chart Positions: #14 US; #3 UK ; #1 AU
  • U.S. Sales: 2.6 million (WW: 7 million)
  • RIAA Certification: 2x Platinum
Monkey Business
  • Released: (2005)
  • Chart Positions: #2 (U.S.); #4 (U.K.); #1 (AU); #1 (CAN)
  • U.S. Sales: 2.6 million (WW: 4 million)
  • RIAA Certification: 1x Platinum

US Sales: 5.4 million WW Sales: 11.8 million


Year Title Chart Positions Album
US Hot 100 US R&B/Hip-Hop US Rap UK Singles Chart
1998 "Joints & Jam" - - - #53 Behind the Front
1998 "Fallin' Up" - - - - Behind the Front
1998 "¿Que Dices?" - - - - Behind the Front
2000 "BEP Empire" - - - - Bridging the Gap
2000 "Weekends" - - - - Bridging the Gap
2000 "Get Original" - - - - Bridging the Gap
2001 "Request + Line" #63 - - #31 Bridging the Gap
2003 "Where Is the Love?" (feat. Justin Timberlake) #8 - - #1 (6 weeks) Elephunk
2003 "Shut Up" - - - #2 Elephunk
2004 "Hey Mama" #23 - - #6 Elephunk
2004 "Let's Get It Started" #21 - - #11 Elephunk
2004 "The Apl Song" - - - - Elephunk
2005 "Don't Phunk with My Heart" #3 - - #3 Monkey Business
2005 "Pump It" #70 - - - Monkey Business
2005 "Don't Lie" #14 - - #6 Monkey Business
2005 "My Humps" #3 #86 #10 #3 Monkey Business

See also

External links

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