Music Notes

The Black Eyed Peas' New Song And Video Come With An Important Call To Action

"A just future is only achievable if we come together."

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The Black Eyed Peas are no strangers to music with a message. As much as we still love to dance along to their track "Let's Get It Started," the group also had a big hit in 2003 with their socially conscious song "Where Is the Love?" In 2016, they released a remix of the hit for a new generation. 

Now, the Peas are back with a brand-new single — the first since their 2010 album The Beginning. "Street Livin'" features will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo, with Billboard reporting that Fergie is taking a break from the group to promote her own new solo music. The song, as well as its accompanying video, addresses various relevant social issues, including police brutality, the prison industrial complex, and immigration.

"We have the POWER to make change together," the Black Eyed Peas shared on their Twitter account with the release of the song. "Stay Woke, Take Action Now."

The music video features the group's mouths superimposed onto black-and-white images that demonstrate the issues addressed in the track, including photographs of figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as prison inmates and protesters, as they rap lyrics such as, "Another brother got shot by the sarge / Another cop got off with no charge / If you're Black in the hood, you at large."

"The life you choose could be the life you lose," declares the final verse, which ends on the lyrics, "Listen, you can get fucked by the system / Or you can say fuck the system."

The Black Eyed Peas aren't just rapping about these issues — they're also calling on those listening to help make a change. Fans can sign a pledge to receive alerts on the group's website, which includes statistics about mass incarceration, gun violence, and more.

The group is joined in their cause by such organizations as Hip Hop Caucus, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and United We Dream. "In a world where our most basic human rights are often ignored and the system doesn't respect us," reads the group's message, "a just future is only achievable if we come together and use our collective power to make change."

According to Rolling Stone, "Street Livin'" is a companion to the group's graphic novel Masters of the Sun: The Zombie Chronicles. They will reportedly also debut a virtual reality experience at the Sundance Film Festival this month, with narration from Stan Lee and music from Hans Zimmer.

Check out the full music video below (warning for some NSFW language):

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