Will I Am and the rest of the Black Eyed Peas is bringing positivism back into the world of hiphop culture. Instead of joining the assembly line of rappers whose songs were heavily laden with gangsta style and violence-driven songs, the group, whose name at that time was Atban Klann, opted to thread the straight and narrow path even if it meant being downgraded by record labels.
At the time of their debut, it was as if they were swimming in a vast ocean filled with sharks. The early years of the group were filled with struggles primarily due to the fact that they stood out amidst a crowd of gun-toting and cracked-sidewalk gangsta rhythm. When they finally got a break from Ruthless Records owned by hiphop mogul, Easy-Z, record producers were skeptic about whether or not their group could remain afloat and survive the business. On the other hand, Easy-Z found genuine potential and talent in Will I Am and Apl de Ap, so he made a decision to make compromises in order to take in the group under his label's wings. The recording of the album took place, but because of pressures from other producers about the record's ability to fly on the charts, the album was shelved. Ruthless felt adamant to market the group
Will I Am and Apl de Ap's career as Atban Klann became all the more uncertain with Easy-Z's death in 1995. Despite this, the two didn't lose sight of their goal, and eventually bounced back as Black Eyed Peas after rigging in another member, Taboo. The three members all share the same views when it comes to societal issues; hence their projects together reflect a positive take on hiphop. However, that was still considered as a deviation from the prevailing style of the period.
Soon, the socially conscious group, Black Eyed Peas, started gaining a huge fan base in Los Angeles, where they played most of their gigs. They amazed both hiphop fans and regular music lovers alike with their talented mike work, dance moves and flair during their performances. Finally, they were able to release their 1998 debut album, Behind the Front, and its success paved the way for a sophomore effort, Bridging the Gap.
In 2003, they were joined by a fourth member, Fergie, in charge of doing the female vocals for the group. They soon released their 3rd album, Elephunk, a definitive record that made them skyrocket to the stratosphere of success. Singles from the album like Hey, Mama, Where's the Love?, and Let's Get Started stormed music charts all over the globe. Two years after, the world heard another chart-topping album from B.E.P., Monkey Business, which featured the hit single, My Humps. Black Eyed Peas is soon to release their fifth album, and according to Will I Am, it will feature a different and more powerful sound from the group.
Black Eyed Peas is not your generic hiphop act. With Will I Am shaping the group's musical direction, the quartet is expected to create a whole new feel and background for hiphop which will not only be about the head-bopping beats, but also be coupled with social consciousness.
The author is a freelance writer that is fascinated by things that are simple and minimal. He likes minimalist art, lives a simple lifestyle and writes things that are light and easy to read.