Single Review: Black Eyed Peas “Don’t Phunk With My Heart”

Don’t Phunk With My Heart
Album: Monkey Buisness
Year: 2005

Will.i.am reassures Fergie he’s faithful. However, she thinks once he sleeps with her, he’s gone in the xeroxed beats of “Don’t Phunk With My Heart.”

Ceremonious strings and drums start the single. Fergie then sings the chorus with Hindi vocals.(“no no, no, no, don’t phunk with my heart (yeah)/No, no, no, no, don’t phunk with my heart.”)

Hard-hitting drums follow with the Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam sample, “I Wonder If I Take You Home” underneath it.

After the chorus is sung once “no, no, no, no don’t phunk with my heart,”) Fergie sings a striking version of the sample’s chorus. (“I wonder if I take you home/Would you still be in love, baby (in love, baby)/I wonder if I take you home/Would you still be in love, baby (in love, baby”)

Once Will.i.am dryly raps, the vigor evaporates. He tells Fergie that he’s dedicated to her and deep down she knows it. She got his attention right away. A pistol gunshot is then heard (to go with the word.) He’s in love with her and says he’s not leaving her. She has him for life. (“Girl, you know you got me, got me/With your pistol shot me, shot me/And I’m here helplessly/In love and nothing can stop me./You can’t stop me cause once I start it/
Can’t return me cause once you bought it/I’m coming baby, don’t got it (don’t make me wait)/
So let’s be about it.”)

In the second verse, he says he’s not using her for sex. He likes her brain and thinks she’s a special girl. He would like a serious relationship with her. He’s someone she can rely on. (“Baby, have some trustin’, trustin’/When I come in lustin’, lustin’/Cause I bring you that comfort/
I ain’t only here cause I want ya body/I want your mind too/Interestin’s what I find you/
And I’m interested in the long haul/Come on girl (yee-haw.”)

The cringeworthy “yee-haw!” is topped by sound of horse galloping and Will.i.am telling it to “come on!” It’s as a bad as coleslaw stuck in the sun for a few hours.

After the pre-chorus (“I wonder if you take me home…”) and chorus, the third verse begins. He says their relationship is not unstable. He then compares them to R&B’s Sid and Nancy – Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. He’s not himself lately, he’s crazy in love. He’s foolish. He can’t do this. It’s far too soon for Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” references. (“Girl, you had me, once you kissed me/My love for you is not iffy/I always want you with me/I’ll play Bobby and you’ll play Whitney/If you smoke, I’ll smoke too/That’s how much I’m in love with you/Crazy is what crazy do/Crazy in love, I’m a crazy fool.”)

Will.i.am then pretends to be like Nelly by southerning up his words. He asks why she’s uptight. He loves her for who she is but yet Fergie thinks he’s messing around. (“Why are you so insecure/When you got passion and love her/You always claimin’ I’m a cheater/Think I’d up and go leave ya/For another señorita/You forgot that I need ya/You must’ve caught amnesia/
That’s why you don’t believe.”)

He then puts on a pseudo-detached DJ voice and says “uh, yeah check it out.”) He then tells her he’s whipped. (“Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, baby/Cause you know you got me by a string, baby/Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, baby/Cause you know you got me by a string, baby.”)

An early 90s dance beat follows (which might be a Prodigy sample.) He compliments her, saying he’s fulfilled. He rather be with her than ogle other women. She’s his true love. (“Baby girl, you make me feel/You know you make me feel so real/I love you more than sex appeal/
(Cause you’re) That-tha, that tha, that-tha, that girl” The phrase “that girl” is repeated five times.

Then, the two phrases (“don’t phunk with my heart,” “that girl”) overlap twice.

The pre-chorus is then followed by “don’t you worry ’bout a thing baby…’cause you know you got me by a string, baby.” The ceremonious strings return for a dramatic finish.

The Black Eyed Peas reimagining of “I Wonder If I Take You Home” instrumentation is brilliant. The 2005 version of the freestyle single is transformed into a funk jam. Fergie stands out, having her best vocal moment with the Black Eyed Peas. However, Will.i.am’s tedious raps and sound effects drain the fun from the single with a single syllable.

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Single Review: Black Eyed Peas & Justin Timberlake “Where Is The Love?”

Where Is The Love?
Album: Elephunk
Year: 2003

The Black Eyed Peas are spreading the message of peace, love and understanding with a side of some trendy Bush bashing in the self-righteous “Where Is The Love?”

In the first verse, Americans’ soap opera attitude towards life is examined. Every moment must be recorded for the purpose of humilation while children are living without mothers. However, it is why they are acting like immoral adults now. (“What’s wrong with the world, mama/People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas/I think the whole world addicted to the drama/Only attracted to things that’ll bring you trauma”). According to the song’s generalizations, if a child doesn’t have a mother they are lost already. Unfortunately, for a lot of young children’s mothers are as deadbeat and screwed up as their fathers. Not every woman has the maternal instinct.

Next, the government’s hypocrisy with terrorism is addressed. (“Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism/But we still got terrorists here livin’/In the USA, the big CIA/The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK”). At the U.S. Navy website, overseas terrorists were listed. However, the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front Carnival Against Capitalism were absent. (source: FBI) While the KKK is not mentioned, a similar group called Aryan Nations was listed under domestic terrorism. According to the current Washington Post, the CIA has a lawsuit which was brought upon by John and Jane Doe, two former spies “the mere existence of the case is unwelcome news for the CIA, because it reopens an issue that has plagued the agency for years: accusations that the CIA entices spies and defectors with sweet offers of cash and comfort, then puts them back out in the cold once they are no longer useful.” Could it be terrorism? It’s a gray area and beyond the scope of my blog. Here, the Black Eyed Peas make their point properly. They bring up groups not normally thought of as terrorist groups who vandalize and kill, if necessary, just as the overseas terrorists do.

Then, bigotry only leads to anger and hate (“But if you only have love for your own race/Then you only leave space to discriminate/And to discriminate only generates hate/And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah”). The Black Eyed Peas just want people to chill and do some yoga to solve their problems. (“Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight/Take control of your mind and meditate/Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all”).

Justin Timberlake sings the chorus, asking what happened to the way society used to be as he is disgusted with people’s actions today. He seeks God’s help. (“People killin’, people dyin’/Children hurt and you hear them cryin’/Can you practice what you preach/And would you turn the other cheek/Father, Father, Father help us/Send some guidance from above/’Cause people got me, got me questionin’/Where is the love”). The religious references are explicit, sending the message America has become a faithless nation.

There are some generalizations and stereotypes which are bothersome. The first being, society was better off in the earlier years. It’s a myth. There was McCarthyism, back-alley abortions, black people denied civil rights, etc.

The world has gone mad. Countries are bombing each other and killing children in the process, including the U.S. which is implied (“Why are there pieces of love that don’t belong/Nations droppin’ bombs/Chemical gasses fillin’ lungs of little ones/With ongoin’ sufferin’ as the youth die young”). People base decisions on the bribes they receive (“In this world that we livin’ in people keep on givin’ in/Makin’ wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends”). The Iraq War is based on a lie and without any true response from the United States government. (“A war is goin’ on but the reason’s undercover/The truth is kept secret, it’s swept under the rug”). The lyric turned out to be true as Bush’s claim of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction turned out to be false.

People are selfish and out to make as money as possible. However, the irony is lost on the Black Eyed Peas. Up until 2003, the Black Eyed Peas made indie, arty hip hop which wasn’t the least bit commercial. (“Most of us only care about money makin’/Selfishness got us followin’ our wrong direction”). Jabs are taken at the media, who are labeled inaccurate and violent (“Wrong information always shown by the media/Negative images is the main criteria/Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria”). Each news outlet has a bias, including the independent sources. Fox is known to favor Republican while CBS are liberal. The Black Eyed Peas want people to have some humanity and follow morals. (“yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity/Whatever happened to the fairness in equality/Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity”).

“Where Is The Love” want to solve the problem by wanting people to love. Love’s great and all but it’s a quick answer. If they had stuck to one topic instead of many (racism, media, the Iraq War), they could’ve made a decent argument. It’s also safe. The Black Eyed Peas don’t want to offend anyone and by doing so, stick to general opinions people already agree with.

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Single Review: Black Eyed Peas “Hey Mama”

Hey Mama
Year: 2004
Album: Elephunk

With one hit single, “Where Is The Love,” The Black Eyed Peas think they are invincible. As reported by pauseandplay.com, Taboo said to them “I don’t think it’ll ever be over, because the Black Eyed Peas will become a corporation to release other projects.” However, this will only work if they continue to have singles as huge as “Where Is The Love.” Frankly, the Black Eyed Peas simply do not have the longevity to gain the clout to produce music videos and other singles.

Like most groups, they follow the trends and don’t create them. “Hey Mama” uses last year’s bhangra beats to open the song. Next, dancehall (2002’s fad), makes an appearance. Both are heard within 45 seconds. The reggae style, however, doesn’t work. The only purpose it serves is to sound popular. Instead, it makes it seem like an updated version of Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes the Hotstepper.”

Apparently, they also don’t have a theasurus anywhere in the studio. The lyrics are redundant (“we never die/we never decease”) and used repeatedly (“the base moves drama” & “dance to the drama.”) Also, juenvile rhymes like “cutie, cutie move your booty” make Will Smith’s efforts at rap worthy of being heard at a poetry slam.

Stacy Ferguson’s hooked on phonics Jamaican accent is possibly one of the worst aspects of the single. It’s fake, practiced, and stereotypical.

The Black Eyed Peas want to become mainstream so badly that will release any sort of crap. As long at it sells, they will gets of cash for a short while. But eventually, they will battling obscurity again.

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