A Retrospective on 90s Hip Hop: Black Eyed Peas (Bridging the Gap)

The Black Eyed Peas, who reintroduce the world to crazy dance numbers, old school b-boy moves and the ever so glamorous Fergie help to merge to the two aforementioned items in their debut album, Bridging the Gap.

This side of the Black Eyed Peas seems to have been forgotten or not discovered by audiences introduced to the band on Elephunk. Key tracks such as “Lets Get Retarded” and “Hey Mama” delighted the masses with the rap/ soul infusion and the vocals of a former member of the girl group, Blue Orchard.

The Peas came in full force on their most current album, Monkey Business. “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” and “My Humps” help propel the solo career of Fergie and once again captivated new audiences for the canned food group with junk in the trunk.

Bridging the Gap shows the band testing the waters of making rap sort of a playful funky piece of art and trying to contain the respect of the rap community.

Instead of resorting to flamboyant outfits, distasteful haircuts and creating innovative nicknames such as will.i.am and ape just yet, the Black Eyed Peas decide to go towards a musical experimental approach.

“Request+Line” is the first result of this newly designed music. Vocals from Macy Grey lend assistance to the track. As we are told to call up the request line, echoes of futuristic rings and chimes are sown in to play a part of this creative style of rap.

“Rap Song” insinuates that a woman can be linked to a rap song, due to the hips that has and how just like a rap song, you’d even like to bring it with you on a car ride. The former Refugee All Star, Wyclef Jean insightfully grants his broken proper English voice to add a bit of Haitian flavor.

The favorable song of the album would have to be “Bridging the Gaps”. Throughout the song, bits and pieces of musically genres such as calypso, jazz, and rock are somehow bridged together and the gaps that were once so spread apart are now tightly knit.

The Black Eyed Peas really hit the mark with this album, as they were so boldly brave enough to take rap to another level and add a creative and playful twist to the genre. With the addition to a female counter part, the Peas can now go about experiment with even crazier and wilder bells and whistles and maybe even create a whole new genre of music.


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