Black Eyed Peas return with politically charged new single and video
Black Eyed Peas/YouTube

After a seven-year absence, hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas have returned with a brand new single and accompanying music video.  

Released on Jan. 8, “Street Livin’” is a jazzy, politically-minded track that touches on a slew of hot topics such as poverty, police shootings, inequalities in the criminal justice, the prison industrial complex, gun violence and immigration.

The track’s music video is a solemn black and white affair that features the faces of Will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo placed into a number of politically charged historical photographs. Although her vocals are heard on the track, Fergie’s image isn’t used in the clip. The video ends with a title card warning viewers to “Stay Woke” and a link to the group’s website that provides resources that will allow visitors to become more engaged in the fight for social justice.

The release of “Street Livin’” represents something of a return to form for the group. Although the quartet achieved international success with upbeat party jams like “Let’s Get It Started,” “My Humps” and “Boom Boom Pow,” their earliest records were much different. The Black Eyed Peas first two albums, 1998’s Behind the Front and 2000’s Bridging the Gap, were clear-cut alternative hip-hop LPs that sounded more like Jurassic 5 than Nelly.

However, with the release of 2003’s Elephunk, BEP took their music in a much more pop orientated direction. Although the record was not as critically acclaimed as their first two releases, it was much more commercially successful, selling more than 9 million copies worldwide.