In one of the boldest musical turnarounds in recent times, Black Eyed Peas have gone back to their roots - and then some.
Back in the day, Black Eyed Peas were a socially conscious hiphop outfit who made some cool and creative videos with Brian Beletic and others. Then came Fergie, Where Is The Love and massive crossover success.
But in Street Livin', will.i.am makes a powerful statement about the black experience in America, and how little things have changed since the days of Jim Crow. He has also directed the video, which uses iconic photography – including shots of civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X – altered to include lipsync of the powerful words of the track.
"'Street Livin'" was written to show that today's struggles in the inner city is no different from Jim Crow, civil rights issues, heroin and jazz, crack and hip-hop, black-on-black crime vs. black lives matter, prisons vs. education, apartheid and DACA," Will.i.Am has written about the song and video, which is part of a new graphic novel project, Masters of the Sun. "The difference between then and now is the distractions of today. The purpose of 'Street Livin" is to play our part in waking people up and keeping the #stayWOKE movement alive."