'Boom Boom Pow' blew up. Now the Black Eyed Peas are aiming at No. 1 with new album "The E.N.D."
Rooted in club beats and the 808 old-school kick sound, the energetic track is a runaway top 40 hit; the song has been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. Available for digital download since March 30, "Boom" has since sold 1.9 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Not all of that can be attributed solely to top 40 and rhythmic radio, however. The song is also airing on urban stations, many of which have shied away from playing the post-Fergie Peas. The song's crossover appeal has landed it at No. 60 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
The concept for "The E.N.D.," an acronym for "The Energy Never Dies," actually doesn't stray far from what has been the Peas' basic formula, Will.i.am says. "We've always had a smorgasbord of sounds including dance," he notes, pointing to songs like "Be Free" from "Behind the Front," "Weekends" (on "Bridging the Gap") and "My Humps" ("Monkey Business"). This time around, Will.i.am became inspired while in Australia filming his first major movie role, the mutant John Wraith in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." During downtime away from the set, he soaked up the electro dance and house club vibes in Sydney.
"The youth in those clubs are pumping a whole different thing," Will.i.am says as he relishes the memory. "It felt like hip-hop 1989, 1990, 1992. But they're not rapping. It's all beats. I came back just buzzing."
With Taboo, apl.de.ap and several band members in tow, Will.i.am flew to London where Fergie was filming her first major movie role in "Nine." Setting up shop at the same studio where they recorded "Monkey Business," the Peas began working on "The E.N.D."
"There's always a sense of Andy Warhol whenever we make a Black Eyed Peas album," Fergie says. "It's an artistic factory with several rooms going at the same time. We don't just sit down. We jump from room to room, all of us adding ideas to the recipe. If you get burnt out on one idea or your ears get tired, you walk to another room and step into a whole fresh creative zone for more ideas."
Enlisted to help draft beats were MSTRKRFT, David Guetta, Boys Noize, Keith Harris and Paper Boy. The result is a nonstop party album fusing rock, soul, hip-hop, reggae and dub with thumping beats, tempo twists and turns framed against memorable hooks. Beyond "Boom Boom Pow," there's the upcoming second single, "I Gotta Feeling," which apl.de.ap describes as a "college anthem for people looking forward to escaping life's pressures by going out and having a ball."