Justin Timberlake was a standout voice on the 2001 all-star cover of "What's Going On," so it's fitting he's contributed to what could be the song's sequel, the new Black Eyed Peas single "Where's the Love."
"It's like if Marvin Gaye was alive today," Will.I.Am said of the tune. "It's classic soul, some thinking sh--. And it's got a 40-piece orchestra, so it's some big sh--."
Black Eyed Peas recorded "Where's the Love" in January 2002 and added Timberlake's vocals in July. The song — "a tear-jerker," according to Will — addresses recent evils in the world, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, and includes personal reflections from Timberlake and Will.
After the two met through the Hollywood club scene, Will gave the track to the 'NSYNC singer, who wrote his own parts. "He said, 'Wow, it's amazing you chose me to do it,' because he was going through some stuff in his life and I was going through some stuff in my life and it just so happens we were going through some thick sh--," Will said.
"Where's the Love" will be included on the Black Eyed Peas' third album, Elephunk, which is due June 10 despite having been finished since last summer (see "Black Eyed Peas Exhibit New Breed Of Elephunk On Upcoming LP").
Will wouldn't comment on what caused the delay except to say it had nothing to do with the music. During the yearlong wait, the group recorded several new songs that have taken the album in a different direction. "A lot of the songs ain't about breaking up no more; we got over that," Will said. "Only one song is, that's called 'Shut Up.' We got out of that heartache."
Instead, the record returns to the Peas' signature upbeat hip-hop. One new track, to be called either "It's a Holiday" or "Labor Day," is "the ultimate party song," Will said. He described another, "Get Retarded," as "a college anthem for the next 10 years."
Also new is a sexy number called "Kama Sutra" with Brazilian lounge singer Sergio Mendes, and "Fly Away," which is sung by the group's new member, Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson.
"Had to Do It," a track featuring Blink-182's Travis Barker on drums, may end up getting cut, but the Papa Roach collaboration "Anxiety" will definitely be included, Will said.
Black Eyed Peas, which also includes rappers Apl.De.Ap and Taboo, will promote Elephunk on Timberlake and Christina Aguilera's Justified and Stripped Tour, which kicks off June 4 in Phoenix (see "Black Eyed Peas Team Up With Timberlake In Studio, On Tour").