Black Eyed Peas - The Beginning

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Though The Beginning's title suggests it's a prequel of The E.N.D., and therefore would share a similar aesthetic, the album really is far too derivative.

If you ask folks whether the Black Eyed Peas are more Afrika Bambaataa or Lady Gaga, you’ll find that the fairly innocuous quartet are quite polarizing. One thing’s for sure: production maestro has these guys operating in another stratosphere in terms of success and crossover appeal. While Monkey Business and Elephunk rode the Fergie wave to mainstream success, it was last year’s The E.N.D. that provided a huge shift in sound for the group, and launched them to a new level of popularity. Whatever your opinion of the group’s 2009 release, it was undisputed that it was a hit factory, spawning five infectious singles, amounting to one third of the album.

It’s refreshing to hear the Peas remind us of their Hip Hop roots with “Light Up the Night,” which overtly samples Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story.” “Do It Like This” is even more surprising in this respect, with some unmistakable boom bap in the background. That being said, the songwriting and production are greatly uninspired. No one goes into a Black Eyed Peas album in 2010 seeking formidable lyricism, but more often than not, the repetitive, chanting nature of this album is ludicrous. “The Time (Dirty Bit)” does an incredibly lazy interpolation of “(I've Had) The Time of My Life,” but the group shouting “I’m. Having. A. Good. Time. Wit’chu.” takes the cake. Seriously, it’s almost self-parody.

And what of the production? As expected, The Beginning bangs. In the car, through a pair of those ultra-expensive “Beats By Dre,” or in a club, the album keeps the bass thumping nearly front to back. Sure, things are more interesting when the group lets in a little Rock to switch things up on “Someday” (not to mention letting Fergie letting loose a little with the vocals), but it’s clear that the Peas have a singular goal: to make you dance. In that respect, it succeeds, so shut off your brain for about an hour and enjoy. The awkward exception is “Own It,” a “You-Can-Do-It” inspirational anthem. The blame for that one falls squarely on, who did the same thing on his solo release, Songs About Girls. Why throw out the album’s cohesion when that’s one of the few things it has going for it?

Though The Beginning’s title suggests it’s a prequel of The E.N.D., and therefore would share a similar aesthetic, the album really is far too derivative. Standing alone, this album would be a smashing success. But in context, very few of the songs on the album can hold a candle to E.N.D.’s. “The Time (Dirty Bit)” is nothing more than diet, caffeine-free “I Gotta Feeling” that it’s laughable, and the same can be said of the relationship between “Do It Like This” and last year’s “I’mma Be.” Simply put, this album suffers from Beyoncé syndrome – it does nothing to further the group’s catalogue. Last time around, the Black Eyed Peas were exploring new territory, and the results were contagious. Now, it seems as though the group, particularly, is stuck on auto-pilot.


  • Young

    Except for 5 tracks, this album is garbage.

  • thanos

    this is hip-pop there's nothing wrong with selling out to sell records but these kats sold there souls...a bubble gum white girl as the strongest member...come on!!! this is for subrbanites who want to be cutrl diverse in there music selection so they pic b.e.p's bcuz wutang is 2 hard for there prickly 2 asses 2 digest

  • Mr. Tibbs

    Sellouts, bottom line. I loved the Peas first 2 albums. They use to hate artist like themselves now, POP shit. Then the industry said add a pretty girl that can't sing and do commercials and sell-out. So the peas against their will started to sell out. But then they started seeing big checks, and doing shows at arenas, and Pepsi commercials and apple. Then selling out didn't seem so bad anymore because selling out and success can feel the same. In reality its not because when your old underground fans can see your not original and all brand new, thats fake and thats selling out.

    • Tucker

      HAHAHA @calebj, that is funny as hell! XD Your right though. Fergie can sing, just not as well as some other people. But the BEP's have talent. The lyrical content is pretty mediocre. But like the reviewer said, "they want to make you dance". They do this, and no one expects them to be lyrical like someone like Pharoahe Monch or Black Thought. So the BEP's exceed at what they aim to do. I admit they have changed, but people buy their shit, and you can't argue with record sales. So I give the album a 3/5. For people who love this shit, it's good. For people like me, who prefer old school or more lyrical Hip-Hop, you wont enjoy it that much. It's all about preference of style. Peace...

    • calebj

      "Then the industry said add a pretty girl that can't sing and do commercials and sell-out. So the peas against their will started to sell out." Poor guys. According to you They had their choice of thousands of female singers and they chose one who can't sing. And their mean old record label MADE them choose a girl who can't sing. And just to prove it they FORCED millions of people to buy the records including her own #1 album with 5 HIT SINGLES and even convince the grammy voters to give their Grammys to a group whose lead female singer can't sing. actually that's not bad for a girl who can't sing. Imagine what they could do if they ever found a girl who CAN sing! That is one POWERFUL record label!

  • Pain77OCE

    I honestly have to say that I like this CD and every CD that the Peas have released since the first. I like and respect that they do their own thing, don't conform to what others deem to be Hip Hop and put out good music. A part of me views it as a guilty pleasure, but with all of the sh!t we have to put up with to survive and cope with in this world there is nothing wrong with music that gives you positive up-beat energy. I hope the Peas keep rockin for another 20 years! my daughter told me the other day that I played their music so much, that I made her like them, I'd much rather that than some characature with rainbow wigs and zero musical talent.

  • Darius Morgan

    imho, is KILLIN IT! we'll see how these ratings are after the super bowl...smh...idk why the hip hop community doesn't accepted bep but this shit has been happening ever since "monkey business". no wonder they went pop

    • Desu-Ops

      Newsflash: Black Eyed Peas have been sucking worse since Monkey Buisness. Hip Hop community would've accepted them, but they then lost the soul of their music & have been sucking since. Maybe that's why no one respects this shit: because this shit is soulless ass techno wannabe bullshit. Seriously, WHY is this called a hip-hop album when it's the same shitty Katy Perry imitation bullshit all over? There's going pop, and then there's completely sucking ass at everything you do. This is the latter. Oh, and if I want some club shit, I got some Greenback Stacka$, Deacon, Crime Mob, Lil Jon, Three 6, Hitman Sammy Sam, Paul Wall, UGK, DJ Screw... ya know, GOOD shit that bumps in the whip & bangs in the clubs.

  • Chupps

    A shame white people would call this black people music.

  • sun_god7

    Good pop. Club friendly. Everything white folks from the suburbs would want. Should sell 3 million.



  • Warlok

    * Warlok wrote: I started with the same attitude that this was a very different pod the peas are in. After my second and third listen, it started growing on me and I now understand what they are doing. A group, regardless of genre, is doomed if they stay on the same course. When they dabble and play with timing and beats they are opening a new chapter of a book we call Black Eyed Peas. Very simply they are on a tangent that Will be (without ANY doubt) sampled and re-sampled for the next few years. Looking back we will realize they knew exactly what they were doing, crankin out more hits that thump & bump all of Fergie’s Humps! Watch and you’ll see, Verizon, Apple and all the others are lining up in dinner line to get a double or triple serving of Peas. Rock On.

    • Warlok_disciple

      Hmmm...well said Warlok. The Peas are global now, making more money than probably all yall's favorite rappers. Fuck yall for hating on that. You want lyricism, go buy a Mos Def album. Fucksticks.

  • Tafdfcs

    Note to you retards, rate this as a club album because that's what it is. Not some super lyrical deep album like everyone rating albums on here expects them to be. And this is a club banger

    • warlok

      Sounds like you need your art spoon fed to you, why not try some Peas? Veggies are essential! You're mom called and said "Take a nap".

  • Anonymous

    i might not like thes fucks but they'll fuck around and do another three mil

  • VOR

    Thanks to the BEP for the further retardation of America.

  • Twinblades

    Jesus fucking Christ this album is gay as fuck! What the fuck happend to william??!! It's like as the years go by BEPs music gets gayer and gayer. And this is coming from someone that listens to the kind pop that most hip hop heads can't stand lol! Fuck William for making this faggot album! For all you hard work you get 0 stars. You trendy faggots can bump this SMH! Well back to Kanye

  • Anonymous

    In all Fairness I dont think a site like this is their target demographic. Might as well just review the new Hannah Montana album while your at it. BEP might have been a rap group once upn a time in their "Joints and Jams" Days but their not anymore, their a pop group, so let the pop audience decide if its good or not. Your opinion on this is about as valid as Alan Jacksons Review of "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2"......

  • casper21

    0 stars. But RR why are you even reviewing this record??? We knew what it would likely sound like from the direction with their last record, just because they're a huge pop hit now doesn't mean we have to even acknowledge their release on a hip hop site.

  • Desu-Ops

    This shit sucks like a blindfolded hooker. It's not good techno beats; the beats are fuckin SHITTY as hell. I've heard crap kids make on some Apple laptop sound better than this. The Auto-Tuning... Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, turn that shit off. The Auto-Tune is Lucifer's wrath to my fuckin eardrums. Oh, and the lyrics suck dick too, if anyone cared.

  • Eldonkey

    Will.I.Am on dirty bit All these girls they like my swagger They call me Mick Jagger Do I need to say more? One star for the album

  • sellouts since 2005

    It's one thing to go completely techno, it's another to make half-hearted lyrics to go with the songs, even if most people wouldn't listen to the lyrics. BEP used to make conscious hip-hop, now they've become a living caricature of bands who sell out.



  • Fuck Yall.

    The Peas set out to make club music and this is what this cd is all about. Objective complete if you ask me. You want conscious hip hop then go by a Roots album. Fucking haters.

  • Eminemfan

    Not good pop. Not good techno. Not even close to hip-hop! The BEPs really fell off after the E.N.D.

  • Bubu K

    THIS IS SOME GAY SHIT! This isnt hip hop literally THIS ISNT HIP HOP and the genera that it is isnt even close to hip hop ! so y is there a fuckin review!

  • chicagorado

    This shit is terrible... Absolutely unlistenable. I thought BEP's sold out long ago, but this a whole other level.

  • Charles ExSavior

    "NOBODY LISTENS TO TECHNO!!!" (C) Eminem. BEP are falling off like drunk clowns on tightrope.

  • the.watcher

    BEP fell off hard after Elephunk. Haven't heard a single song off the End or Beginning, but after the terrible Monkey Business, I have absolutely no desire to.

  • chilly chill

    i understand why ya'll feel this way but understand their are certain records for certain moods, this is a dance your ass off party gettin ready to tear the club feel, sorry if you was expecting some lyrical finesse on this one

  • DTJ85

    It amazes me how they got more popular as their music got worse. Dirty Bit is one of the worst songs I have ever heard in my life.

  • 718rob

    this will be the album that will kill this group for good. will be on his own this time next year.


    Not hip-hop...and not good pop.

  • r.pgh

    ha.... another shitty album from what used to be a great hip hop group. AAAAANNNDDDDDDDD it'll still end up going platinum.