While will.i.am used to cut a rug, these days, when he and the rest of the [artist id="30064"]Black Eyed Peas[/artist] hit the stage, will's dancing skills are noticeably absent from the show, which usually includes a slew of other eye-catching props like over-the-top costumes and lasers.
"I'm the only one dancing now," apl.de.ap laughed to MTV News when we caught up with the group at Terminal 5 in New York, where they were taping a show set to air Friday at midnight ET on MTV.
But will.i.am has a good reason for his recent lack of dancing: competition with himself.
"I like to allow the old me to have the crown somewhere, because me versus the old me — I'm a better businessman now than when I was 22, I'm a better producer than I was when I was 23, so I got to let the old me beat me somewhere," will.i.am said.
Fergie, meanwhile, had this explanation: "The pants got tighter."
The MTV special might not show off too much of will's dancing, but it will feature some of the group's biggest hits. "Before we had 'I Gotta Feeling,' it was like, 'We know we gotta play "Pump It" and "Let's Get It Started," ' " will.i.am explained. "We used to do 'Let's Get It Started' at the end, because that was our big finale, which didn't really make sense. And for a while, [we did] 'My Humps' and then it got to the point where we didn't want to play 'My Humps' no more. You know, 'cause 'I met a girl down at the disco,' I just didn't want to say that no more, lyrically.
"It wasn't like my best lyrically, but it was fun," he continued. "It wasn't lyrical miracles, but the beat was rocking, so we throw the beat in there and just let the beat linger, but now 'I Gotta Feeling' is like 'What?' and when we perform it, in my mind, I'm like, 'Where did that song come from?' I can't believe this is us, and look at all these people singing it like it's theirs."
Don't miss the Black Eyed Peas' performance Friday at midnight ET on MTV.