Black Eyed Peas began life as the Atban Klan and released the bugged out but not very good ‘Puddles of h2o’ a few years back with little success. They came back 2 years ago with the dope as fuck ‘Joints N Jams’ under the name Black Eyed Peas and had an instant hit gaining commercial appeal. The album ‘behind the front’ followed with a few quality tracks projected by their live presence in production and wacky approach to the mic but there was something lacking to deserve a place in the hip hop honours list. Well its 2000 and the BEP’s have returned and it seems they have ironed out any problems that withheld them from reaching their full potential, its time to bridge those gaps.
Now from the beginning I can tell you this album isn’t for the hardcore, thugged fans or the complex lyric seekers among you. This album is maybe a little too mainstream but not in a bad way, think of the Roots meats De la meets Quest with a few too many female sung hooks. The Black Eyed Peas have never compromised their sound to gain a wider audience, this is who they are. When I say mainstream I mean all you neck snapping beat fiends may not find what your looking for or be put off by the hooks, theres a lot of girlie hooks but they ain’t too cheesy. Take the example of ‘Beautiful People’, the Marge Simpson of Soul, Macy Gray comes through with the chorus to this one so you know it’s a lil off the wall but its just the same old BEP. ‘Hot’ is already one of my favorites on this album and its unexplainable why, maybe it’s the marriage of each emcee with the funkiness of the beat or just because its plain and stupidly brilliant. The same can be said for ‘Little Little’ which although similar is completely different, you can’t wait for that funky hook to come in.
The guests have been selected wisely for this album; they seem to fit in with the Black Eyed Peas vibe. Take De La Soul for instance who do their thing on the excellent ‘Cali to New York’ (Sounding a lot like their Karma remix ‘One way’) it's this vibe that enables the two groups to blend together in a lyrical expedition. Mos Def is joined by Les Nubians for ‘On my own’ to help the Peas out and it seems yet again that they take it back out into space for that bugged out approach as Mos delivers a verse in a way you never heard him before. Even Wyclef helps out with ‘rap song’ a track that compares the ladies to a rap song, if you thought this is a shit idea then you might be right as you get the lines "Come and see me on my planet rock / like daddy kane I can be your smooth op" now a wiser set of metaphors would have ensured this actually worked but I’ll forgive them for now. Ok their definitely forgiven because ‘Go-Go’ with its old skool ‘party people’ ethics and the title track more than make up for it, the title track probably being the best cut here with its laid back guitar lick display the Peas Flow and sound at its best.
If you liked the first album from the Black Eyed Peas then you’ll love this as they have progressed without abandoning the sound that put them on the hip-hop map. This 3 man team have managed to walk that tightrope that divides hardcore and mainstream well so just kick back throw on this CD and just mellow out with some hip hop that reminds you of that good ol’ daisy age.