Black Eyed Peas are keeping it real real. With hip-hop music influenced by soul, jazz and Latin rhythms. With pumpin' live shows that inspire Black Eyed Peas to bust into acrobatic movements and that drive audiences to a frenzy!
"Just cuz we dress the way we do and perform with a band doesn't mean we're not hip-hop", begins Will.I.Am, Black Eyed Peas' co-founder and lead rapper." That's who we are and we're not about fronting. This isn't about an image; this is about the music, whether it fits in the current scene or not." Behind (as in beyond) the fronting, behind (as in to the rear of in) the surface skin, behind (as in advocating) the music are three MC's: Main mic man Will.I.Am, acrobatic Apl.de.Ap (apple-d-ap) and hypnotizing Taboo. Add a four-piece band plus one stunning back-up singer the sexy Fergie-Ferg!
Black Eyed Peas' Interscope Records debut was produced by Will.I.Am.; the 16-song collection is very upbeat and makes you want to get up and dance! Black Eyed Peas, turns positive words and phrase into refreshingly novel styles, styles that set them apart from their peers and leave them accessible to fans of music of all genres. "We made songs that could be understood by the normal listener, where you don't have to be a part of the scene to understand what we're talking about," asserts Taboo. Continues Apl: "I know the hip-hop world will be feelin' the Peas and so will fans of all types of music. I think that's not only because of the live sound, but because our music crosses musical boundaries as well as cultural boundaries." We interviewed Apl.de.Ap and here's what he had to say.
JUICY BANDS: Has life changed at all since you guys blew up?
Apl.De.Ap: Oh yeah, I've got to do some many neat things and travel to so many places, it's unbelievable. We've been nonstop touring and doing stuff on the side so we've been really busy doing everything from touring, to hitting up the studio, to writing new hits.
JUICY BANDS: Has it been weird to be the go-to group that everyone wants to see?
Apl.De.Ap: For me personally, I was adopted from the Philippines and my main goal was to help out my family, and I never expected to be this big. But at the same time, we've put in a lot of hard work and we played everywhere when we started and put everything into it.
JUICY BANDS: Hip-hop fans have known about Black Eyed Peas for a long time - has it been an odd transition to see more and more people jump on the bandwagon?
Apl.De.Ap: It's a little overwhelming, but I guess we like to do shows and that was one of our weapons and that caused awareness to people.
JUICY BANDS: Has your approach to music stayed the same?
Apl.De.Ap: Always the same. Integrity. We've always taken different kinds of music and incorporated that with hip-hop.
JUICY BANDS: Did Black Eyed Peas get signed right away and how did you guys as a band actually sign with such a huge record label?
Apl.De.Ap: It wasn't easy, we actually came out with 2 albums before we were approached to be signed. It's funny because most of our fans haven't even heard our very first two albums we cam out with. People started hearing our music after we became mainstreem and they think these are our first two albums we came out with and these are actually our third and fourth albums.
JUICY BANDS: Did Black Eyed Peas continue to play songs off all 4 albums at concerts for the fans?
Apl.De.Ap: yeah, when we play on stage and do an old song from the first and second album that a lot of people haven't heard of-they are like, "What is this?" You can see it in their faces when they go blank. You'll see spurts of people who've been around from the beginning and know all about all the albums and they're like, "Yeah I know this."
JUICY BANDS: Is it still as exciting to perform now as it had been early on?
Apl.De.Ap: Yeah, it actually got more exciting, because we got more crazy onstage and we came up to mainstreem from undergournd. We have a live band and every night it's never the same. It's different everytime. We can improvise, too, and that keeps it fresh for us.
JUICY BANDS: What are your thoughts on hip-hop today going towards a more violent style - especially since Black Eyed Peas is the complete opposite?
Apl.De.Ap: Hip-hop has always been the same. Back in the day, you had NWA and A Tribe Called Quest and those different types of hip-hop, and that is how it is today. Today, you have Black Eyed Peas and 50 Cent.
JUICY BANDS: Back when there was NWA, you also had Public Enemy who was political. It seems hip-hop isn't as diverse today.
Apl.De.Ap: We got into hip-hop when it was a different time and music style and that is what we kept in our style. We love the B-boy style and keeping that alive.
JUICY BANDS: What do you listen to?
Apl.De.Ap: Old school and new stuff, from Coldplay to Bob Marley to Stevie Wonder, what ever i'm in the mood for.
JUICY BANDS: What has changed about Black Eyed Peas? I ask because, with the last two albums, you've had some huge hits.
Apl.De.Ap: Well, the first two albums were a little more experimental and stuff, we were learning what works and what doesn't. We have grown as writers and producers since then and we have been able to capture what we really like and our own sound and style technique. We got to capture what is going on in the world and what's going on in our lives. It makes us feel like people know what we are feeling and what we are all about. That's done a lot for us.
JUICY BANDS: Do you write a lot of stuff?
Apl.De.Ap: We all write our own stuff.
JUICY BANDS: Do you write together?
Apl.De.Ap: We always write together in one room. We jump around and sometimes we even try to see the stage when we are writing. We are traveling so much that we'll do some music making on the plane and on a bus with a studio.
JUICY BANDS: Is it easier to improvise onstage because you've been doing it for so long?
Apl.De.Ap: We are all different. Will likes to put his lyrics down right there and I like to sit down and write on paper, and Taboo is the same. Will just likes to jump around.
JUICY BANDS: You went to Asia to perform, how was that?
Apl.De.Ap: Yeah, we got to play in the Philippines, where I'm from. It was great.
JUICY BANDS: It had to be amazing.
Apl.De.Ap: Hell, yeah! The President gave me a medal. There are only three people who have been given medals. They gave BEP a special date, which is July 24th. It's crazy.
JUICY BANDS: What do you think about Fergie going off on her own and doing her own thing?
Apl.De.Ap: I think it's great, she's our main catch of our band but I feel nothing but love for her and she's came a long way. I wish her best of luck.
Juicy Bands: It seems as though Fergie has been busy working on her solo career. Is there going to be a Black Eyed Peas reunion tour anytime soon?
Apl.De.Apl: Yeah, we're going to wait until it's unexpected and we're gonna come back in full force. We're all just trying to do our all with all we got and see what we come up with. We're all experimenting with doing our own thing but when you least expect, we'll be coming out with a new album with new rymes and a complete new energy style.
Juicy Bands: Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Apl.De.Ap: Thanks for keeping us alive and keep listening.