Shaun Ponsonby gets the lowdown on William and Alex Ferguson reuniting with…erm…you know, the other two.
Originally published on Getintothis
Do you know what I found out this week? The Black Eyed Peas are back together.
I literally had no idea. I admit I don’t pay that much attention to the charts or most of the acts that populate them, but I still didn’t see anyone post about it. I didn’t see it trending on Twitter or Facebook. It’s almost as if nobody gave a shit. I didn’t even see a “For fucks sake, I thought we got shut of The Black Eyed Peas for good”-type comment. Unless my inconsistent internet connection was just down that day.
Apparently this reunion is designed to commemorate – or commiserate, depending on your disposition – twenty years as a group after a criminally short four-year absence from making dirge together. I mean making music together. Or do I?
So, finally, after years of millions of people – well, maybe not millions – some people pleading with them – well, maybe not pleading, more asking matter of factly – to get back together, will.i.am, Fergie and…erm…Oates? Garfunkel? Andrew Ridgley? Well, whatever the other two are called, they’re definitely there. They’d have to be, wouldn’t they? I mean, what else are they doing? They’ve not even showed up on Reality TV as far as I can tell. When Brett Michaels from Poison is having a more substantial TV career than you, something has gone horribly wrong. Basically, what I’m saying is: The Black Eyed Peas reunited.
Fergie isn’t there yet though. Which is bizarre. So far I have been subjected to two tracks from this reunion, and she hasn’t been on either of them. On some extremely low, abstract level that’s kind of like The Fugees reuniting without Lauryn Hill. Surely that would merely make it a Wycleaf Jean track featuring…erm…Keith Duffy? Tito? Michelle Williams? Well, whatever the other one’s name was. The Ghetto Superstar guy. After a quick Wiki search (because that’s the level of research I put into this, folks) it seems that Fergie is putting the finishing touches on her newest album.
Likely spurned by his rapidly declining solo career that has largely tanked in the US and only really works commercially in the UK whilst a series of The Voice is on, which gives him a couple of hours of TV airtime looking powerful every week and a reason for big commercial radio stations to keep him on heavy rotation on their playlists after they’ve discussed the TV events of the weekend, will.i.am (who will henceforth be referred to only as William, because I am ideologically opposed to the concept of purposefully adding punctuation where punctuation doesn’t fucking belong and I think it’s morally wrong to encourage him) seems to have called upon…erm…Ringo…? And…erm…Craig Logan…? Whatever their names are, he’s called on them to get him back into music with the brand name after getting bored being a business man.
Although, to his credit, William has managed to stay in the public eye because he is a good business man. Some of his other activities have been comparatively really interesting and I would argue that he is a much better businessman than he is musician or producer. He may dress like he’s wearing every single stage costume that Michael Jackson ever rejected, but he’s a smart dude.
My absolute main problem with the Black Eyed Peas, and William’s production in general to be frank (can anyone really tell the difference between a BEP track and one of William‘s solo productions?), is that to me they represent the main offender of the late-noughties trend of using two words repeated monotonously and interminably until our inevitable demise in lieu of an actual hook. Remember Imma Be (maybe you don’t, the UK wisely didn’t allow that one to go Top 40, even though it hit the top spot in the US)? The words “Imma Be” are used no less than 106 times in there. 106 times in one song. Just repeated over and over and over again to the point where what tiny little meaning the words had completely disappeared. It would sound like it was stuck if it wasn’t punctuated with the odd “ta-da”-type fanfare.
And, lest we forget, my most anti-favourite lyric in a pop song ever; “Imma be a bank, I be loanin’ out semen”. After a study last week found that Eminem and Kanye have larger vocabularies in their work than Bob Dylan, it’s nice to see William slumming it and giving arseholes like me ammunition.
But, let’s be fair. Imma Be was six years ago. Maybe, just maybe, they’ve taken on a slightly more mature approach.
That does all the same horrible things that Imma Be did. It’s laughably boastful in the most unconvincing, cringeworthy way, William is making horrible noises with his mouth that an actual singer could probably do very easily, its rhymes are horrible and – once again – you’ve got a monotonous phrase being repeated again and again until the END. OF. TIME..
Why is that a thing? Am I the only one whose ears find that about as attractive as Donald Trump in a see-through nighty, slowly peeling away what little layers he has left, performing a “sexy” dance to the Spice Girls’ 2 Become 1 and seductively telling me I’ve been a “very naughty boy”? No, that isn’t a fantasy I’ve had.
The fact that they’re big, dumb and asinine doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Some people can pull those qualities off. Not everything is supposed to be a defining work of art. In fact, it’s best all-around if some things aren’t. We need decoration as much as we need art, we need to smile, we need to laugh. But, when you have a song called Let’s Get Retarded that you can successfully debate contains some of your best lyrical work, it’s probably time to ask some serious questions about what you’re doing with your life.
And it’s not as if this material is delivered with much irony. Biz Markie had a song called Pickin’ Boogers. It was not delivered with the kind of self-conscious attempt to be “cool” as the Peas’ material. Ergo, it works. Other than the time Fergie infamously wet herself on stage, the Peas have never really been funny.
So, in conclusion…actually, I don’t think I have a conclusion. I guess I just wasted your time. Oh, well.
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Lenny Kravitz. That is all.