The Black Eyed Peas are ready to get it started again.
The shape-shifting band has started the year off with a surprise new tune, the politically charged “Street Livin.’” It marks a drastic departure from their most recent music — don’t expect the electronica/pop of “Boom Boom Pow” — and brings us back to the early era of BEP, when socially conscious hip-hop was their M.O.
Will.i.am., Taboo, and apl.de.ap (Fergie is taking a break from BEP to promote her solo music) each take the forefront for a verse on “Street Livin,’” which revolves around social issues like police brutality and the prison-industrial complex. It’s accompanied by a hard-hitting video in which the group’s mouths are superimposed over sepia images of prisoners, protestors, and immigrants. The song ends with a powerful message (“Listen, you can get fucked by the system, or you can say fuck the system.”), and the group shared a similar call-to-action on Twitter. “We have the POWER to make change together,” they wrote. “These issues are critical for our families, friends, communities, and world. Stay Woke, Take Action Now.”
“Street Livin’” is the first Black Eyed Peas single in seven years; the group’s most recent album was 2010’s The Beginning. All four members did, however, briefly return in 2016 with a remake of “Where is the Love.” Stay tuned to see if even more new music is on the way.