HipHopDX Premiere – A copy of will.i.am’s 2001 video “I Am” was recently discovered in the dingy basement of the United Kingdom-based imprint Barely Breaking Even Records (BBE). Now, it’s finally getting a proper release — only this time it’s in HD.

“Only an extremely low resolution version has ever been available online,” the press release reads. “We are delighted to share the full, high definition version with you for the first time ever.”

A behind-the-scenes video was also released to accompany the actual visual. In the clip, will.i.am explains how he came up with the concept for the song.

“One day I was driving down Melrose Boulevard in my car, just making a beat and stuff,” he said. “Then, the beat came to me. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s hot.’ Called up Seth, my little manager — big manager — and said, ‘Hey, I got this great song’ and we put it on Lost Change. It’s a production album. It’s me and the producer, and it’s part of the beat generation.”

will.i.am added, “It’s just a feel good song about being proud of where you’re from,” he concluded. “I’m from L.A. California. I make Hip Hop music and I dress … funny. The video concept is whatever you are, just be proud of it. Be who you are.

“I Am” comes from the Black Eyed Peas frontman’s inaugural solo album Lost Change, which arrived via Atlantic Records on October 2, 2001.

Watch the visual above.