Fresh off the release of their powerful new single “Street Livin’,” the Black Eyed Peas unleash the politically-charged visual.
The black-and-white clip features moving images of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and more. Each scene makes it look like the subjects in the photos are rhyming along to the track, which focuses on several societal ills.
BEP released a short statement to go along with the video. “Prison Industrial Complex. Immigration. Gun Violence. Police Brutality. These issues are critical for our families, friends, communities, and world. Stay Woke, Take Action Now.”
ap.de.ap opened up about the song’s inspiration. “Growin up black in two countries…has been a unique experience and while thankful for everything God has given me I’ve never been blind to the disadvantages that come with ebony skin,” he wrote. Taboo celebrated the song’s success while at Standing Rock. “I am at #standingrock doing a lot great work with the Lakota people especially the youth,” he wrote. “it’s pretty powerful how much love this amazing place has to offer from the Rez to the block to prairie to the Rock …. I have been rejuvenated.. #goodmedicine thru arts music and culture …. I am truly honored to be on this land thank u to all.”
Meanwhile, will.i.am said that “Street Livin'” is the start of a new journey for the group’s post-Fergie era. “In 1992 me and @apldeap was signed to @eazyeog & #RuthlessRecords,” he wrote. “in 1995 we started @bep and brought @taboo into the mix…The music we made then felt just like this…conscience and electric soul with a touch of jazz…I’m so happy to return to our roots and speak on issues that’s has been plaguing our inner cities.
“This new @bep project starts now with #StreetLivin,” he continued. “This is the opposite of pop and my soul feels at peace with a fiery purpose…It doesn’t matter. If a billion people hear it or if 10 people hear it as long as we wake up 1 person with this message…#stayWoke and #wakeUP is the movement…#letsgo.”
The Black Eyed Peas are back in the studio working on a new album, their first since 2010’s The Beginning.