1989 - Los Angeles, California.
will.i.am and apl.de.ap first began performing and rapping together around Los Angeles in 1989. Eventually they formed the group Atban Klann with Dante Santiago, one of their friends. They caught the attention of the nephew of Jerry Heller, manager of Ruthless record label president Eazy-E. Atban Klann was signed to Ruthless in 1992, but when Eazy-E died in 1995, they still had not released a record.
The First Black Eyed Peas Albums:
With the death of Eazy-E, Atban Klann were dropped from Ruthless, but it was just the beginning for will.i.am and apl.de.ap. They replaced Dante Santiago with Taboo and added Kim Hill as a background vocalist. This lineup signed with Interscope Records and released two critically acclaimed albums. Behind the Front appeared in 1998 and reached the lower range of the US album chart. 2000's Bridging the Gap climbed even higher with guests that included Macy Gray.
Quote from Black Eyed Peas' Taboo:
From interview with Live Daily:
"When we make these records, we don't expect them to be No. 1. We don't expect the success of it because we go in thinking, 'This could be our last record so let's go out with a bang.'"
Despite the critical success of their previous albums, the pop music world wasn't quite prepared for 2003's Elephunk. Kim Hill was no longer with the group and had been replaced by Stacy Ferguson aka Fergie. This lineup created a wildly eclectic mix of music rooted in hip hop but drawing influences from a vast musical palette. The album featured their first top 10 pop hit, the anti-war "Where is the Love?"
Black Eyed Peas Reviews:
Monkey Business and Beyond for Black Eyed Peas:
The Black Eyed Peas next album Monkey Business was one of the most eagerly awaited pop albums of 2005. Critical response was lukewarm, but fans enthusiastically embraced the band's new music. "Don't Phunk With My Heart" and "My Humps" both reached the pop top 3. The group took home their second Best Rap Duo or Group Grammy Award in early 2006 for "Don't Phunk With My Heart." Black Eyed Peas were selected to headline the Honda Civic Tour in the spring.
Following Monkey Business the Black Eyed Peas went on hiatus from recording while group members pursued solo projects. Fergie became a solo superstar with four #1 pop singles from her debut album The Dutchess. will.i.am also pursued a number of independent projects including the song "Yes We Can" that helped carry Barack Obama to victory in the 2008 presidential election.
The next Black Eyed Peas album The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) was released in June 2009. It became the group's biggest smash hit yet. The two singles "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" combined to spend a full 6 months at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009. They were followed by three more top 10 hits including the #1 "Imma Be." By the end of 2010, the Black Eye Peas were back in the pop top 5 with "The Time (Dirty Bit)" from their next album The Beginning.