The Black Eyed Peas Return with a Re-Release of Where Is the Love?

After a five year hiatus, The Black Eyed Peas have reunited and released a revamp of their 2003 hit, ‘Where Is The Love?’ Profits of the new version will go to i.am.angel foundation: a charitable organisation setup by band leader Will.i.am.

Will.i.am is joined by bandmates Fergie, Taboo and apl.de.ap, as well as a whole host of celebrities and music A-listers. Guest vocalists include, Jamie Foxx, Ty Dolla $ign, Mary J. Blige, Diddy, Cassie, Andra Day, The Game, Tori Kelly, V. Bozeman, Jessie J, French Montana, Justin Timblerkae, DJ Khaled, Usher, Nicole Scherzinger, A$AP Rocky, Jaden Smith, as well as a 40-member children’s choir.

The newly released song, with rewritten updated lyrics also came along with a new sombre, chilling music video. The song was released in response to recent terror attacks, shootings and worldwide tragedies and therefore, the video includes several people affected by such recent disasters.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Will.i.am explains their reasons for revising and re-releasing the hit. “I remember when the Paris attack happened, people would say, we need ‘Where is The Love?’ again…And then Belgium, happened. And then Turkey, and then Orlando, and then Philando, and Alton before him and then Dallas. Everyone was calling on us, like, ‘we need that song again’…I hope this song inspires the millennial to go all out. Scream from the tallest mountain. Care like your freedom depends on it. Pay attention like that is at risk.”

Whilst certainly, the sentiment of the song and the old and new lyrics are as relevant and appropriate as ever, it does seem the release of the song is all too convenient – confirmed by the pretentious (even for his standards) statement by Will.i.am. Although, keen to announce the charitable intentions behind the single, it does feel the band are using the recent atrocities in combination with the sentiment of the 2003 hit as an excuse to revamp the band. Of course how better to revamp than by including sentiments for peace and collaborating with endless celebrities and musicians in a style Bob Geldof would be proud of.

Of course, this view may be overly critical, but it does seem odd that with a single’s sales all going to charity, for The Black Eyed Peas to make it an Apple exclusive for 24 hours. Just as reported by TFNY last week with Frank Ocean, many musicians are providing exclusives to various music services for huge monetary rewards from the service.

Away from the morality issue, many fans have recoiled at the odd robotic style, dark depressing video, monotone vibe and strange and unnecessary choice and use of some ‘celebrities’ in the music video.

I have completely no problem with the re-release, the choice of timing for it and even the song itself. The song is thoughtful, chilling, nostalgic and generally a nice concept. Furthermore, there isn’t a better way at reaching a wide audience than by including the entire range of celebrities and artists included on this track. Moreover, nostalgia is a great tool to reignite the masses – just look at Pokémon Go!. However, I simply find the whole thing too convenient and slightly underhand, considering it’s a wide-scale charitable song. Time will tell if this is the beginning of The Black Eyed Peas reforming and becoming the musical force they were a decade ago. If so, there will be fans delighted worldwide, however, it will be clear that just like many others have done in the past this ‘charitable’ act was nothing more than a PR stunt.

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