Where is the love? Not in the Black Eyed Peas' next single.
The hip-hop group will follow up their hit Justin Timberlake collaboration with the breakup song "Shut Up."
Along with allowing Will.I.Am, Taboo and Apl de Ap a chance to vent over real-life relationship struggles, the song showcases the newest Pea, singer Fergie. She begins the up-tempo tune by repeating the title so much it becomes a part of the beat, then sings the chorus, "We try to take it slow, but we're still losing control/ We try to make it work, but it still ends up the worst," and finishes by staging an argument with Will.
"Fergie in the group has completed us in a way," Will said last week. "We've always collaborated with different vocalists, like Esthero and Macy Gray, and a lot of our songs on the first record have a lot of singing in the hooks, but it was always a person, it wasn't a member. So Fergie's completed us with the fact that when we tour and when you see us now, it represents the music."
Being new to the game, Fergie was worried about plunging straight into arenas on the Justified and Stripped Tour (see "Black Eyed Peas Team Up With Timberlake In Studio, On Tour"), but she has thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
"Transferring what we do in the studio to the stage, it really helps with a live band. I mean, just the ambiance, the spontaneity, you know, not knowing what's gonna come next," she said. "Are we gonna crowd-surf? Are we gonna bust into a freestyle? You never know. So it's an amazing learning experience and just an amazing journey in general."
On off-nights, when the Black Eyed Peas aren't warming up audiences for Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, they've been headlining club shows.
"It's like a double tour," Will said. "So it's very wearing on the physical [side]. My chipped tooth wasn't chipped this much in the beginning, and as the tour goes on, the chipped tooth seems to be getting more chipped."
The Peas are also spending their time on the road writing material for future projects (both Will and Fergie have solo albums in the works) and for other artists.
"We're just writing to write, you know, vibin' the vibe, and creatin' to create, and whoever digs it or whatnot, digs it," Will said, noting that Timberlake is also involved in the action. "I do a beat, shuffle it over to him, he'll write a hook and boom, send it to cats that we think should sing it."
The songwriters should have artists begging for their material, seeing as how "Where Is the Love?" has been such a hit (see "Black Eyed Peas Vow Timberlake Clip Won't Get Dixie Chicks Treatment"). However, the group acknowledges that that particular track came from a special place.
"When 9-11 occurred, that just changed our perspective a lot and our surroundings," Ap said. "It made us look closer at everything that's going on in the world, and that's how that song came about."
(Black Eyed Peas will join Sean Paul as performers at this year's "MTV Video Music Awards Opening Act." The show airs live at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, August 28 on MTV.)