Music that I Hate: The New and Un-Improved BEP

15 Oct

I remember, in my youth, forming my musical identity.  These influences were wide ranging: from The Beatles to Busta

Would you believe this group actually used to not suck?

Would you believe this group actually used to not suck?

Rhymes, Wyclef to Mariah Carey, Jay-Z to Chicago, I soaked in everything.  But it wasn’t just those getting major radio play.  I found myself introduced to regional acts; The Roots, Gorillaz and No Doubt all surfaced in my consciousness before they were media darlings.  The groups I’ve named have solidified their identities by now, but looking back on their past, you could see in their early work more or less who they would become.

In fact, one of the small groups that made me love independent and lesser touted groups (you can trace back my pre-teeen yuppie roots to these experiences), hailed from Los Angeles.  I first saw their music video for Joints & Jams not on MTV, but at 2am on a local public access station.  It was so good, I bought their first CD, Behind the Front.  In fact, it was so good it propelled me to buy their second album, though not as sharp, Bridging the Gap.  But by the time the next album, Elephunk, dropped, something was changed.  The Black Eyed Peas were no longer who I thought they were.

Instead of smooth, soulful and sultry vocals, an obnoxious harpy descended upon my ears.  The creative storytelling was lost amid thumping beats built for the club or NBA playoff commercials.  This madness gave way to a Fergalicious fever dream.  It didn’t get better.  This summer, they took over the pop charts, dubiously earning the distinction of becoming one of a handful of groups to hold the #1 and #2 songs on the chart (“I Gotta Feeling” and the pitifully named “Boom Boom Pow”).  It would be bad enough if they had stopped there.  Instead, they released a new music video for their latest single on Tuesday, which I couldn’t help but be bombarded with as I watched my favorite TV drama Sons of Anarchy.

Now take a look at this monstrosity:

There are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to begin.  The elephant?  The space safari? The levitating bedouin?  Fergie’s existence?  I honestly just don’t know what is going on in it.  It’s as good a case for the war on drugs as I’ve ever seen.  It makes me yearn for a simpler time – when they were good.  So please, join me in pouring one out for the original Black Eyed Peas.  This is what could have persisted.  In all honesty, I blame Fergie.  It all started going wrong when she showed up.  Let us remember:

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2 Responses to “Music that I Hate: The New and Un-Improved BEP”

  1. tksama October 15, 2009 at 12:29 PM #

    Dude. I seriously forgot how at one time the BEP seemed to be the spiritual successors to A Tribe Called Quest…*tear

  2. Ryan December 17, 2009 at 7:17 PM #

    Yeah. Women ruin a lot of good things.

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