Eight years after the release of “The Beginning,” the Black Eyed Peas are back with their seventh album “MASTERS OF THE SUN VOL. 1.” This album marks a change of pace for the group. Though it is a departure from the more upbeat electronic-pop, hip-hop mix that the group has been known for in their previous few albums, “MASTERS OF THE SUN VOL. 1” does go back to the group’s roots in hip-hop and rap. Additionally, the group itself has gone back to its own original members after Fergie left the group earlier this year.
While the Black Eyed Peas are known for electro-pop songs like “Imma Be,” “I Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow,” most of the songs on this album are rap. While I have never really listened to the Black Eyed Peas before, it is nice to hear a different style of music from them. The songs on “MASTERS OF THE SUN VOL. 1” seem more authentic and socially conscious.
The album’s closing track, “BIG LOVE,” deals with many problems in modern-day American society, for example. The song especially focuses on children and young adults in America and how they should not have to live with the violence that goes on in society. The music video graphically portrays a school shooting, as well as the separation of immigrant families at the border, and warns that the video’s content may be hard to watch but that it is so much more difficult to actually live through. Lyrics like “Life is a blessing/ Knowledge is a weapon/ You should choose love instead of being reckless/ Candle in the darkness, help change the heartless,” aim to motivate people to fix the problems in society.
Similarly, “RING THE ALARM pt. 1 pt. 2 pt. 3” focuses on political corruption, the education system and police violence and how these issues affect people of color and those in lower-income communities. In an interview with Complex, will.i.am talked about the inspiration for the song and stated that many problems in lower-income communities begin because of a poor education system. To change the environment, the education system must change.
“The revolution is a community, togetherness, education and building a freaking army of entrepreneurs,” Will.i.am said.
Of course, other songs on the album focus on less heavy topics. “BACK 2 HIPHOP” focuses on the group’s return to their original genre. The lyrics of this song let the Black Eyed Peas’s audience know that they’re still on top of their game even though it’s been a while since they released an album, and a true hip-hop one at that. Will.i.am sings that “The funk phenomenon has been reborn and transformed,” while apl.de.ap sings that their music is “Dang credible, original, strong individual.”
There are also many different artists featured on the album. Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls sings “WINGS,” about a romantic relationship, with the group. Ali Shaheed Muhammad and the late Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, as well as Posdnuos, feature on “ALL AROUND THE WORLD.” Nas, CL and Esthero are also featured on other songs.
Overall, the album was pretty good. It was interesting to see what the Black Eyed Peas produced after so long a hiatus, and it was also good to hear a side of the group that most people are not as familiar with.