Black Eyed Peas – Behind The Front


Author: Jyoti Mishra
Date: 1999/03/05

This has got slagged a lot by the rock press (what a surprise) but I love it. It’s very, very poppy, nearly every track is a stunna and they do the ‘live band playing hip hop’ thing excellently. In fact, I prefer it to the Roots cos it draws me in more. The lyrics are also top, very positive and conscious (a bit of an antidote to the Eminem album) and the flow’s cool and smooooov. In sound terms, it’s again like the Native Tongues stuff, with a dash of the Hiero madness.

The production is deliberately trying to place them apart from the retro g-funk wave that seems to be going on. It’s also one of the few current hip hop albums that doesn’t have the Timbaland ghost hovering over it. Some tracks near the end of the album veer into Fishbone territory and even Rollins Band but funkier. Buy it if you love De La Soul, TCQ, Masta Ace or BDP. Avoid it if you’re looking for something nastier.