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Late Nights, Electro Beats Inspire Black Eyed Peas Album

Album The E.N.D.
Producer Will.i.am

Austin Scaggs Apr 20, 2009

In the basement studio of his Hollywood Hills home, Black Eyed Peas mastermind Will.i.am is finishing the group’s fifth studio album, The E.N.D. (an acronym for The Energy Never Dies) ”“ its most danceable, party-ready record yet. “Every song on the record is for the clubs,” he says. “I want to own Vegas, Ibiza, St Tropez, Dubai, London, France and Brazil. And for the college kids who just want to party in their dorm room, you should put this record on beginning to end. It’s already DJ’d for you!”

Will.i.am found the inspiration for The E.N.D. in Australia. “I was down there filming X-Men,” says the producer, who makes his screen debut as a teleporting mutant in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. “I rang up my Aussie friends and said, ”˜Let’s go to a hip-hop club.’ They said, ”˜There’s no hip-hop here, mate. Hip-hop’s dead.’ ” Instead, they went to a Sydney hotspot called Tank, where Will.i.am was won over by the electro grooves. “It was hard, and it felt like hip-hop, only faster,” he says. “the beats were fuckin’ nuts.” The experience inspired Will to commission beats from up-and-coming producers like Toronto’s MSTRKRFT and Italy’s Crookers.

The clubby vibe of the album starts with the first single, ”˜Boom Boom Pow.’ It features gut-rattling bass, synth punches and plenty of Auto-Tune. Fergie’s voice is run through heavy effects throughout; over the Rob Base sample and break beat of ”˜Rock Your Body,’ she sounds like Lil Wayne after sucking down a helium balloon; on ”˜Simple Little Melody’ her vocals are chopped into stuttering snippets. “It’s a whole different Fergie,” says Will.

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After playing 10 tracks, Will cues up his current favourite, ”˜Out of My Head,’ a disco-funk cut featuring a Larry Graham-style slap-bass groove, which Will says Fergie recorded while drunk. (The song starts with the singer slurring, “I’m so tipsy.”) Adds Will, “Fergie parties harder than all of us, which is dope. I think this song sums up exactly who Fergie is.”


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