It’s strange to think now in this day and age that Will.I.Am isn’t just a judge on a daft singing show with spinning chairs and in fact he once fronted hip-hop / pop sensation The Black Eyed Peas.
However some of us old enough to remember the bangers they churned out in the very early noughties will always have a sweet spot for the political jam ‘Where is The Love’.
The song, as released back then, came at a very dark time in both the UK and USA’s recent history. Released in June 2003, nearly two years after the shocking events of 9/11 and two whole months after the Iraq invasion, the song felt revolutionary.
Like many teens I remember drawing the infamous question mark all over my school books and etching it into desks (Sorry Miss…)
It really felt like our generation’s music was beginning to fight back with lyrics like:
We try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin’
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
The song felt ahead of its time, and looking at the re-release that has just dropped, it was.
The new version sees the four original ‘Peas’ podded back together (I’m sorry) with more celebrity guest vocals than a Bob Geldof wet dream. All singing and rapping with images of today’s broken world played throughout.
The song is slowed down a tad, more lyrics have been added and I’m sure there’s some of that modern auto-tune garbage the kids love, but essentially it remains the same 13 year old song it was.
Only this time it feels even more prominent.
The video shows the current events that our world is struggling with; The Syrian war, The displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and the influx of racial tension felt around the globe.
All arguably a result of 9/11 and the Iraq war that the original release’s video centred on.
The song is asking an important question too “Where is the love?”.
In a world that seems to be getting increasingly more rightwing maybe it is time for someone to answer them and find it?
What’s important here is that upon reflection the world has got a lot more messed-up than it was back in spring 03’.
The message of the piece was and still seems to be is not just “Where is the love” but “come on let’s fix this muthaf**ker, before things get even darker”
Anyways enjoy the song, a personal highlight for me was the bars added in by rap legend ‘The Game’ – who coincidentally also bounced onto the scene in a big way back in 2003.
If you’re not interested in the politics behind the piece at least enjoy it for the music and the pure nostalgia-thon that it is.