The Black Eyed Peas, ‘STREET LIVIN’ | Track Review
A ‘Fergie-less’ The Black Eyed Peas makes a surprise comeback with a surprisingly serious, socially-conscious and relevant single, “STREET LIVIN’.”
Ask yourself this question. How long has it been since The Black Eyed Peas were relevant? The correct answer is honestly closer to a decade than not. The pop-rap collective’s 2010 album, The Beginning, marked their decline, following hits with projects Elephunk, Monkey Business, and most of all, The E.N.D. Despite long being out of the spotlight, 2018 brings a new single, “STREET LIVIN’.” Addressing the “elephant in the room,” “STREET LIVIN’” arrives, sans Fergie. Yep, it’s just will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo.
“STREET LIVIN’” is fueled by a lovely sample, “Pouca Duração,” performed by Eumir Deodato. Like The Black Eyed Peas of old, the beat is adventurous and punchy. Will.i.am produces, alongside Keith Harris. While there are some sound similarities, what is different is the subject matter. “STREET LIVIN’” is a socially-conscious number, dealing with black issues. Will.i.am kicks off the rhymes, dropping ‘real talk,’ and relevant societal issues.
“So, forget about the statue of General Lee / Because the status of blacks are generally / Gonna end up in some penitentiary / Systematically, that’s how they made it to be.”
Apl.de.ap follows with the second verse, referencing the infamous police shootings that have impacted the black community.
“Another brother got shot by the searg’ / Another cop got off with no charge / If you black in the hood, you at large / You’re guilty until you prove you’re innocent / If you’re ivory, they treat you different / If you’re ebony, they assume your temperament.”
Will.i.am returns with the hook, which only appears once through the course of the song. Taboo closes out strong, spitting:
“You can get fucked by the system / Or you can say ‘fuck the system.’”
Serious, socially-conscious, thoughtful Black Eyed Peas? Yes please! No, “STREET LIVIN’” isn’t the stupid blast of “My Humps” or “Imma Be,” but it’s definitely much more meaningful, particularly in times such as these.
The Black Eyed Peas • STREET LIVIN’ – Single • Interscope • Release: 1.12.18
Writers: Taboo, apl.de.ap, will.i.am, Joshua Alvarez; Producers: will.i.am, Keith Harris
Photo Credit: Interscope