Saturday, February 5, 2011

OC-Ed: When the Black Eyed Peas Were Good

The Black Eyed Peas
I know a lot of people who will be turning the channel when the Black Eyed Peas take the stage for the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday. My ears burn now whenever I hear “I’ve Got A Feeling” and it’s not by the Beatles. The Peas are ubiquitous now, and the songs get dumber as the grooves get bigger and the sales get higher. “Let’s Get It Started” was originally “Let’s Get Retarded,” one of the few instances of censorship making a song better.

But it wasn’t always like that. Years ago, when the Peas first came out, they were a great band, in the vein of Arrested Development or De La Soul. They used to brag about being a band that didn’t wear Tommy Hilfiger or baseball caps. “We don’t use dollars to represent” they rapped on “Falling Up.”

They found fame and enormous success after Fergie joined the band in 2003 and they started cranking out more product-placement friendly tunes. Hard to begrudge them their living, but the music changed considerably, and for the worse.

So for those who don’t remember the old Peas and want to dismiss them outright, here’s a reminder of better, leaner times.

1 comment:

Mike said...

You can almost picture the meeting at Sony HQ: "You know what would sell a lot of records for you guys? A half-naked white girl!" Then the guys in the band look at each other, and sigh deeply, knowing they've already made a decision they'll have to live with for a long time.