I'm so three-thousand-and-eight
You're so two-thousand-and-lateThe Black Eyed Peas are a Los Angeles-based rap group, initially composed of members will.i.am, Taboo, and apl.de.ap. Formed in 1995, they began as a less violent, socially conscious alternative to the gangsta rap acts of the time, though ironically signed by Eazy-E of N.W.A. fame. Two albums were released in 1998 and 2000, to critical acclaim and modest sales.In 2002, they were joined by a fourth member, Fergie, formerly of the girl group Wild Orchid. By the time Elephunk and Monkey Business were released in 2003 and 2005, the group had changed entirely, moving towards a pop sound with Fergie placed front and center, and much simpler lyrical content. Their new style earned them numerous #1 hit singles and multi-platinum sales, to the point where some people didn't know they did anything pre-Elephunk.Fergie, will.i.am, and Taboo have also branched out into acting careers. Meanwhile, apl.de.ap works to alleviate poverty in the Philippines through a foundation made in his name.
—"Boom Boom Pow"
- Behind the Front (1998)
- Bridging the Gap (2000)
- Elephunk (2004)
- Monkey Business (2005)
- The E.N.D. (2009)
- The Beginning (2010)
Tropes found in their music include:
- Album Title Drop: "Pump It"Girls be all on us from London back down to the US
S-S, we rocking it (contagious)
Monkey business (outrageous)
- Analogy Backfire: "Imma Be", in which sperm banks are for withdrawals only, and not deposits.
- Buzzcut of Awesome: Taboo, since 2015. The reason why he shaved his long black hair off was due to battling testicular cancer at the time and has since got into remission, which he stated in a November 2016 interview with People.
- Black and Nerdy: Downplayed in the case of will.i.am.
- Blind Musician: apl.de.ap was legally blind due to nystagmus, which was surgically corrected in 2012.
- "Let's Get Retarded" was changed to "Let's Get It Started" on the radio. This version became so ubiquitous that quite few people don't know the original name of the song.
- "Hey Mama" was also edited quite a bit for the radio.
- "The true niggas know that the Peas come through" was changed to "the true people know...".
- "And then drop bombs like we in the Middle East" was changed to "and then drop bombs 'cuz we shaking to the beat".
- "Don't wanna squeeze triggers, just wanna squeeze tits" edited out "tits" and replaced it with a female moan, of all things.
- Broken Record: Todd in the Shadows decided to count how many times "Imma Be" is Title Dropped. It goes 106 times.
- Really, most choruses from The E.N.D. are this.I gotta feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night, that tonight's gonna be a good night, that tonight's gonna be a good night... (repeat 12 times)
- Really, most choruses from The E.N.D. are this.
- "Days of the Week" Song : "I Gotta Feeling"
- Fun with Acronyms: The E.N.D., which stands for "The Energy Never Dies".
- Genre Shift: Compare "BEP Empire", released in 2000, to "My Humps", released in 2005. Yikes.
- See also: "Beautiful Dangerous," Fergie's collaboration with Slash.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Bebot and The APL Song have lyrics in a Filipino language (Tagalog), which also makes them understandably popular in the Philippines.
- And it's not really gratuitous, considering that apl.de.ap actually grew up in the Phillipines and is currently working on charitable efforts there.
- Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The video for "Pump It".
- Irony: The song the page quote belongs to? It was released in March 2009. Who's two-thousand-and-late again?
- Also, the alleged reason for Kim Hill's departure from the BEP (and subsequently from the record label) was because of her music not being 'black' enough. She was replaced in the group, of course, by Fergie...who is white.
- Kids Rock: "Where Is The Love?"
- Lesser Star: Taboo and apl.de.ap, at least now - in their pre-Fergie days, they did just as much as will.i.am.
- Mostly Taboo, both have been reduced to a rap part in the songs (his ostensibly small role is spoofed by the Key of Awesome), but Apl has more of them, and has even made a couple songs that feature only him with will doing the music.
- Todd in the Shadows tagged them as "Andrew Ridgeley" and "Pras" in his review of "Imma Be".
- Ms. Fanservice: Fergie.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: "Tagalog".
- Bebot, too.
- New Sound Album: Elephunk, which featured a more radio-friendly pop sound; and The E.N.D., which sees them incorporate dance and techno music.
- Parenthetical Swearing: "Don't Phunk With My Heart".
- Potty Failure: Happened to Fergie in a really embarrassing incident. She's still embarrassed about it.
- Protest Song: "Where Is the Love?"
- Rhyming with Itself: "Where Is The Love?" rhymes Mama with... Mamas.
- I Gotta Feeling rhymes up with up! They seem to do this trope frequently.
- Scatting: "Ga Ra Ta Da" and "Friddy Dope", both for Urbz: Sims In The City.
- Shout-Out: The wireframe heads in the video for Boom Boom Pow and the cover of The E.N.D. is an allusion to Kraftwerk's Musique-Non Stop and cover to "Electric Café/Techno Pop".
- Skyscraper Messages: The music video for "Where Is The Love?" has lights spell out a question mark.
- Spin-Off Babies: The Superbowl commercials for Chatter feature them as this with apparently a whole series of it at an associated website.
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "My Humps".
- Take That: A possibly unintentional example in the beginning of the music video for Imma Be, where the group has an argument about computerized "AI" music, which acts by inputting one's voice and the lyrics, and the process taking all the soul out of the music. Sounds pretty familiar, huh?
- Those Two Guys: Taboo and apl.d.ap.
- Three Minutes of Writhing: Fergie in most music videos.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Imma Be", "The Time (Dirty Bit)" and "Just Can't Get Enough" all feature (slightly unexpected) song changes.
- Visual Pun: Guess what the cover art◊ for the "Imma Be" single is. Go on, guess.
- Vocal Tag Team: Both Fergie and will.i.am have had several turns on lead vocals, while apl.de.ap and Taboo sometimes throw in a rap too.