#ThrowbackThursday: “Where Is the Love?” by The Black Eyed PeasBlack Eyed Peas “Where Is The Love?” Will I Am/A&M/Interscope Records
by Sean Smith
The Black Eyed Peas premiered an updated version of their 2003 hit single “Where Is the Love?” last night. The revised track includes some notable artists making guest appearances on the song, including DJ Khaled, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Jesse J, Tori Kelly, and A$AP Rocky amongst others.
In a video released via ATTN:, with fellow Black Eyed Peas members Taboo and apl.de.ap, will.i.am discussed why the group decided to resurrect “Where Is the Love?” 13 years after its initial release.
“I remember when the attack in Paris happened. People would say ‘We need ‘Where is the Love’ again.’ And then Belgium happened, and then Turkey, and then Orlando, and then Philando, and Alton before him, and then Dallas. Everyone was calling on us, like, ‘We need that song.’”
Money made from the sales of this revamped version of “Where Is the Love?” are slated to be donated to a host of charitable causes. A website, whereisthelove.com, has been setup where you can go and make donations to charitable causes like the Alton Sterling Fund, the Philando Castile Fund, a charity setup to benefit Dallas Police Officers, the Aylan Kurdi Foundation, as well as others.
The Black Eyed Peas released “Where Is the Love?” as the first single off of their third studio album Elephunk, in June 2003. It is the first single to be released from The Black Eyed Peas to feature the four members that are in the group today, will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie. But did you know that Fergie was not officially a member of the group at the time of the single’s release?
The lovely voice of Fergie was a late addition to the group, which was first made up of only the three male artists. Fergie first got to know the group when she was asked by will.i.am to work with the group on the song “Shut Up.” The four worked well together and recorded a number of other songs that would be included on the Elephunk album. After the album was released, and noting the chemistry Fergie had with the other members of The Black Eyed Peas, it was only then that Jimmy Iovine signed her to become a permanent member of the group.
“Where Is the Love?” became The Black Eyed Peas most successful commercial single up unto that point in time. The single reached as high as the #8 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 mainstream chart, but it topped the charts in much of Eastern Europe. It also earned the foursome a number of Grammy’s in 2004, where they took home the awards for “Record of the Year” as well as “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.”
The track also included a very familiar voice singing the chorus, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the official credits for the single. Former *NSYNC standout Justin Timberlake was the voice behind the song’s hook. The reason he is not officially credited for his contributions, both as a singer as well as a co-writer, is because his label at the time was concerned about him becoming overexposed. At the time Timberlake had been very much in the public eye promoting debut solo album Justified.
It isn’t hard to see why The Black Eyed Peas felt that “Where Is the Love?” is just as relevant today as it was in 2003. Take a look at some of the following lyrics from the song and tell me that they aren’t just as relevant today.
“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”
“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”
“Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity”
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
So today, with The Black Eyed Peas releasing an updated version of their 2003 hit, today we take a moment to remember “Where Is the Love?.” Enjoy.
Black Eyed Peas (with Justin Timberlake)
“Where Is The Love?”
Will I Am/A&M/Interscope Records
“#WHEREISTHELOVE” (2016 Remake)
Will I Am Music Group/Interscope Records
Black Eyed Peas
Will I Am/A&M/Interscope Records