One common trait among most of the bands I identify for their shittiness, is that they are all commercially succesful. You see in today's world if your band actually kicks ass you will probably be relegated to playing at bars in or around your college town, catering to the audience requests of the other 10 people that never graduate/moved. If your band is mediocre, but is somewhat artsy or coveys some sort of pseudo-intellectual appeal they will at least gain a small underground following, be able to book small festivals and club gigs and perhaps gain some critical acclaim as a "smart indie group." To make it to the big time however, you have to truly go the extra mile to make sure that your music completely sucks and only appeals to the bottom 10% of the population IQ wise (aka people who still buy cds). These are lesson that this next band understood early on, and subsequently used to their full advantage to make it to the top of the charts. This weeks Band that Sucks Balls: THE BLACK EYED PEAS.
The Black Eyed Peas started out in the second of the three aforementioned categories. They were a mediocre indie rap group in the 90s with somewhat of an underground following. Nobody really hated the Black Eyed Peas. You either didn't have any idea who they were, or you owned one of their cds cus they put on a good show that one time you saw them opening for Erykah Badu and Jurassic 5 at that Hip-Hop festival to benefit forest conservation. Theywere just...a group. Well the Black Eyed Peas and their fearless leader William...sorry.."Will.I.Am," were not content to be just another indie backpack rap group. Oh No. They had bigger plans to make it to the top. So they took a few years off, spending every second watching MTV, studying the success of mainstream acts, figuring out a master plan to get them on the Billboard 200.
The conclusion William came up with was this. Hot Chick + Shitty dance songs + Hot chick shaking her ass to shitty dance songs in MTV videos = $$$. With this formula you can bring in all the major categories that make up the record buying public. Namely...Teenage girls...high school girls...and perverts who masterbate to MTV. So William brought in some random hot white girl named Fergie to join his rap group whose only talents were the moderate ability to carry a tune, and the above average ability to shake her ass. The Black Eyed Peas completely changed their music formula. They were no longer just a rap group. No now they would be an eclectic mix of all musical genres thrown into one super hybrid sound. Which is to say they threw every item on the McDonalds dollar menu, put it in a blender and then threw it in a pot and called it Gumbo.
They started out with their political pop hit "Where's the love?" which immediately caught the eye of both the public and the critics. After all, Will...(Fuck. Apparently I have to insert the periods in this stupid name or I will be sued). ahem...After all, "WILL.I.AM" rhymed the words "Equality" and "society" and that cute Fergie chick was singing about people dying and children crying (which also rhymes!) so clearly these guys really had a message. Once they roped the critics and liberal teenagers with this hit, they immediately roped in the rest of their target audience with a series of horrible dance songs where Fergie shakes her ass in the videos and sings nonsensical garbage on the hook (worth noting...the other two "members"don't actually do anything but fill the band's quotas for "Filipino hippies" and "short guys with mohawks"). This run included such musical masterpieces as "Shut Up," "My Humps" (a complex metaphor re: a woman's curves), "Don't Phunk with my Heart," and of course "Boom Boom Pow" (about making noises and jumping around). Bob Dylan said recently that he would feel better about his career song -writing catalog if he had written "Don't Phunk with my Heart."
Of course there are lots of shitty pop acts out there. I don't hate all of them. Most of them however, set out to be shitty pop acts. The Black Eyed Peas pretended to be some conscious indie group. Then they decided they should just blatantly sell out and make shitty pop music. Then now they are back to thinking they are a real group with "artistic value" and the ability to tell me who I should vote for and what issues to support. Look "WILL.I.AM" your fucking Buddy Holly glasses look stupid and fedoras only look good on mobsters and Tom Landry. You wrote "My Humps." I'm not gonna take your world views seriously. Make up your mind guys. Either make boring political rap with a message and enjoy selling 300,000 copies per album OR be a shitty dance-rap group that makes cheesy pop songs and shuts up about the issues. Just don't try to be both.
Also. Most importantly. If I have to see these assholes show up on another football pre-game event, I'm storming NFL headquarters.