Will.i.am Says It ‘Hurts A Little Bit’ That Black Eyed Peas Is Not Considered a ‘Black’ Group
The Black Eyed Peas were formed in 1995 and through the years, the group has gained nationwide and international success.
Still, will.i.Am says he feels as though the group’s mega success is what has made it not be considered a Black group.
He said in a recent interview:
“In 2004, Black Eyed Peas, we were just trying to get on. I’m a Black dude, but when you think of Black Eyed Peas, we go so big that…and it hurts, it still hurts a little bit that we’re not considered a Black group because we got that big.”
“When you think of Black Eyed Peas…it’s no longer urban or Black culture, which is…it’s not good for the black community that Black Eyed Peas is not looked at as a Black group because we had international success.”
He then started to name different genres that used to be considered Black but no longer are.
“…That should be credited to the Black community more so than letting it be adopted. That’s just a thing that we suffer from all the time. When you think of Jazz, you no longer think of Black anymore. When you think of Rock n’ Roll, you don’t think of Black anymore…I don’t know why we have that. When you think of even country, you don’t think of Black. A lot of the things that we create and we invent, we dispose of or it gets stolen from us to the point where it’s not associated to its origins.”
Current members of the group include will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and J. Rey Soul, who replaced Fergie. For many years it was unknown why Fergie was no longer a member of the Black Eyed Peas. Chatter about her exit started after the group released their first single without Fergie, titled “Street Livin’” on January 9, 2018. One month later, will.i.am confirmed that Fergie would not be featured on the group’s seventh studio album. Instead, Jessica Reynoso (stage name “J. Rey Soul”), former The Voice of the Philippines season 1 finalist and Team Apl.de.ap member, joined the group as the female vocalist and “semi-official” member.
Will.i.am, Taboo and Apl.de.ap previously said that they are still on good terms with Fergie. will.i.am said she left to,
“devote more time to parenting her 6-year-old son, Axl.”
“We love her, and she’s focusing on being a mom. That’s a hard job, and that’s what she really wants to do and we’re here for her, and she knows how to contact us for a retreat or a breakaway,”
“We try to keep in touch. We reach out every once in a while and say our hellos and happy birthdays and Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. She knows where we’re at! We’re at the studio.”
Apl.de.ap added, that the group’s schedules didn’t mesh with Fergie’s desire to be a present mom for her child.
“Fergie is our sister, so even with these small connections, she’s always going to be our sister. But unfortunately our schedule is displaced by (her) wanting to be a great mom, and she wants to focus on that. And like Will said, we support her 100%.”
Would you consider Black Eyed Peas a Black group? Let us know in the comments!