Book The Black Eyed Peas for a Private Performance

The Black Eyed Peas burst onto the music scene in 1998, drawing attention not only for their music but for their politically and socially conscious lyrics that shied away from the more predominant gangsta sounds of the day.

Apl.de.ap, born November 1974 and will.i.am, born March 1975 met in that Los Angeles in 1989 when they were in the eighth grade. They became instant friends, discovering a mutual interest in dancing—especially street dancing—and singing. They joined a break-dancing group, Tribal Nation, which was something that would later inform their stage shows after they created the Black Eyed Peas. After high school, they formed their own group, Atban Klann. The Atban part of the name stood for A Tribe Beyond a Nation and was a nod of respect to their starting group Tribal Nation.

will.i.am and apl.de.ap decided to start a new band with an additional member, Taboo, whom they had met at a break-dancing club named Ballistics. Taboo had been dancing and singing for just as long as the pair had themselves. He gladly joined the two friends and together they started the first incarnation of the Black Eyed Peas. The new trio began to play around Los Angeles. As luck would have it, two college students who were interning at different record labels heard the group and brought representatives from their companies back with them to hear the Black Eyed Peas perform. The group was soon invited to sign with Interscope Records in July of 1997.

Looking for a new sound to add to their record, they got singer Kim Hill to perform backup vocals and in 1998 the Black Eyed Peas released their first album, Behind the Front. The band consisted of the four front-liners and then four musicians in back playing live. Upon the album’s release, the band was compared to the Roots, another hip-hop group that used live musicians rather than recorded tracks and synthesizers. The Black Eyed Peas preferred to do their music live, and it was this live sound that gave the group a more spontaneous and fresh sound that listeners appreciated.

In 2000 the Black Eyed Peas released their second album, Bridging the Gan and soon in 2001 Hill had left, allowing the trio to stumble upon Fergie. She was an instant success, as was the band’s third album, 2003’s Elephunk. This album was not only successful, but it also made it to number one on Billboard ‘s Top 40 list. The record went gold in September of that year. She was seen as having added the depth of her vocals to the band’s already hip sound.

Monkey Business, the band’s fourth album, was recorded while the group was on tour for Elephunk. It was the first album the quartet wrote and designed together. In 2005 the Black Eyed Peas won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for “Let’s Get It Started.” Fergie was working on her own solo album, which had been in the works before she joined the group and has since left the group. The Black Eyed Peas are available with the original trio excluding Fergie.

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