2018 has been yet another memorable year, in music. As well as being introduced to new talent we also welcomed back old favourites.
Black Eyed Peas – a group that much dominated the noughties as a pop phenomenon made a welcome comeback.
Celebrating 20 years since the release of their first album Behind The Front – the trio consisting of will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo returned to the socially conscious jazzy hip hop sound of their first two albums.
In this review, we take a look back and commemorate the Peas’ last 12 months.
Let’s take it back to the beginning of the year. Just a few days in to January, and the guys dropped the powerful ‘Street Livin’ which explores important issues centered around the subject of Police brutality.
Supporters were also encouraged to sign a pledge on the group’s website in order to recieve further alerts on the issues spoken about on the track.
The unexpected release brought speculation that a new album was incoming, further fuelled by their appearance at the UK premiere of Black Panther in February. The trio were in London town for The Voice UK‘s knockout stages where Tab & Apl were recruited as Will’s guest advisors.
Fast forward to May and we have have more new music from the group, in the form of the dynamic ‘Ring The Alarm (pt1, pt.2, pt.3)’. Urging us to ‘wake up’ and ‘sound the alarm’ The Peas had once again tapped into their social consciousness in this symbolic release. The track also introduced us to the the newest member of the family – the talented Jessica Reynoso who was founded on The Voice Phillipines by Apl. Reynoso contributed her vocals on the track and would soon become an integral part of their future releases.
Peabodies were delighted when the group announced their European tour dates, in July. The Masters of the Sun Tour was scheduled to take place throughout October and November visiting cities such as London, Paris, and Brussels, this would be their first European jaunt in 8 years. The same month the collective continued their quest in educating the masses and unveiled the hard hitting ‘Get It.’
From July onwards, the trio dropped new music more regularly and provided us with at least one visual per month.
In August,we were treated to the nostalgic ‘Constant Part 1 & 2’ – one of their most exciting releases yet. Featuring Slick Rick, the song starts off with a simple throwback vibe before building into some soulful house. The jam is definitley a nod to the OG Peabodies and includes the notable lyrics: “Don’t be upset when BEP out/Ain’t no quartet, they just three out/ It’s the trio, one amigo, Filipino, and a negro.”
September saw the group announce ‘Big Love’ as their lead single from upcoming album Masters Of The Sun Vol. 1. The track continued along the line of their previous socially conscious release and can be described as something akin to the ‘little sister’ of 2003 anthem ‘Where Is The Love.’
The visuals are incredibly moving as the members depict and question the stark realities of gun violence that lie within the US.
Later that month, Will, Tab. Apl & Jessica (aptly nicknamed ‘J ReySoul’) headed to Australia for a few promotional duties. Perhaps their most important appearance down under was a prestigious performance spot at the grand finals of the Australian Football league.
October was by far the busiest yet most exciting month in the BEP calendar.
We were lucky enough to have a chat with bandmate Taboo about the new era of the band and what was coming next.
The group unveiled the video to ‘Dopeness’ featuring Korean pop star CL.
Then there was the release of their hotly anticipated seventh studio album.
The release was followed by the tour which ran through until November. The show was nothing short of a spectacle of course and was a perfect mix of both old and new material. The relationship between the group and the fans continues to be something spectacular and fans from far and wide to watch their idols in action. The addition of J ReySoul was a plus as she has proved herself a talented and charismatic performer, who has molded perfectly within the group.
Meanwhile the group continued with providing for fans, dropping not one but two visuals from their latest record in November.
December saw the performers share their latest video, unveiling the Nas assisted ‘Back To HipHop’ as their latest release. The joint is reminiscent of hip hop in the early days and the addition of ‘Nasty Nas’ only just solidifies it as one of the best rap songs of the year.
In a fitting way to end this succesful year – ITV just recently hosted a 20th anniversary special in their honour which was hosted by Joanna Lumley.
The programme filmed in front of a studio audience in Manchester included intimate conversations with the band as well as performances of some of their biggest hits, and special appearances from Nicole Scherzinger, Danny O’ Donoghue and Sir Tom Jones.
What a year it’s been for both Black Eyed Peas and the Peabodies. What is next you ask? The trio have promised to continue touring the world in 2019 and teased two new albums. The group are expected to release a ‘party’ album early this year with Vol 2. of Masters Of The Sun expected later on.
The Peas’ latest musical output has been one of our musical highlights of 2018 and their return to original form has rejuvenated the industry. We can’t wait to hear what’s next.