Black Eyed Peas return to their hip-hop/R&B roots with “Street livin'”
While Fergie focuses on other projects hosting a new singing competition “The Four: Battle for Stardom” on Fox, bandmates Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap and Taboo reunite for their first single since “Yesterday”, a homage track, and their 2010 album “The beginning”.
The song, called “Street livin'” has a strong political message and it marks a drastic departure from their most recent music. No electro-pop-dance sounds but a return to their original sound.
The single’s accompanying music video features the faces of Will.i.am & co. placed into a number of politically charged historical photographs. We can see black men from different generations in prison, protesting for basic rights, and suffering at the hands of white police officers.
Black Eyed Peas recently worked on the sci-fi Marvel graphic novel, Masters of the Sun ― The Zombie Chronicles. It tells the story of a California hip-hop crew that must fight back against an alien God who comes to Earth to continue a Black Curse that turns drug dealers and gangsters into zombies.
Street livin’, caught in a trap
Guns or books, sell crack or rap
Be like kings or be like pawns
They called us coons, now they call us cons
Street niggas be packing pistols
Terrorists be blasting missles
Crips and bloods and retail thugs
CIA planes bring Columbian drugs
Don’t push me cause I’m close to hell
And compare to them, prison guards get payed well
Ten years no bail is 4 years at Yale
So, forget about the statue of General Lee
Because the status of blacks are generally
Are gonna end up in some penitentiary
Systematically, that’s how they made it to be
Listen, they derailed the soul train
And put a nightmare into every Martin Luther kING
And private complexes are owned by the same
Slave masters that owned the slave trade game
And racists no longer have to be racist
Cause niggas kill more niggas than the KKK did
Now, every time I hear a new def jam
Niggas killing niggas like they Ku Klux Klan
I understand what’s a nigga to choose?
Be the killer or be the dead dude in the news
I get it, what’s a nigga to do?
No education in the hood, got a nigga confused
Street livin’, tough conditions
Brainwashed by the television
We lost in the war we live in
Double cross love lost no religion
Street livin’, oh my gosh
Another brother got shot by the searg’
Another cop got off with no charge
If you black in the hood, you at large
You’re guilty until we prove you’re innocent
If you’re ivory, they treat you different
If you’re ebony, they assume your temperment
Well, be vigilant, and they call you militant
You’ll get shot, and they’ll say the incident
Is because you’re beligerent
What a coincidence?
If you ain’t dead, you can see imprisonment
It’s more niggas in the prisons than there ever slaves cotton picking
There’s more niggas in the prisons than there ever slaves cotton picking
So, how we gon’ get out the trap?
Guns or books, sell crack or rap
Street livin’, hustle or hoops
Guns or books, get shot or shoot
Street livin’, ain’t no rules
Revoke cause the streets are broke
Now, they wanna take away our dreams and hopes
Street livin’, no economics
No way out of the Reaganomics
Infected by the black plague, bubonic
No comprende, we speak ebonics
Street livin’, what’s your position?
Here to take action or take a dick
Listen, you can get fucked by the system
Or you can say fuck the system