Black Eyed Peas: Phunk Rock.

8 April 2002 | 12:00 am | K Wilson
Originally Appeared In

Peas Of Mind.

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If you search the Internet for Black Eyed Peas you will more than likely discover recipes for sausage jambalaya and smothered chicken but if look a bit closer, you will stumble upon the hip-hop trio of the same name. But while they may share a similar musical sensibility with the American South's finest hip-hop export Outkast, Black Eyed Peas - Will '' Adams, Allen '' Pineda and rapper Taboo - hail from nowhere near Atlanta but instead make their home in the capital of gangster rap, East Los Angeles.

"We're more similar to Outkast because music from the South tends to not reflect what Outkast is about and we're a group from L.A. and we make music that doesn't sound like music from L.A," says Adams, who speaks to me from Los Angeles on his crackly cell phone in between "beating my friend's ass at some video games."

According to Adams, "Black eyed peas is the name of soul-food from the South. We're not from the South but we make music from the south, down there... music from the heart."

Adams first hooked up with the Philippines-born Pineda after the latter immigrated to the United States in 1989. "We were just good friends," he says. "We knew each other in high school."

As Atban Klann, Adams and Pineda were originally signed to Easy E's Ruthless Records but after the former NWA member died in 1995, the pair found themselves homeless after their label's demise. Black Eyed Peas then emerged from the ashes of Atban Klann with Adams and Pineda adding rapper Taboo to their ranks. The trio released their debut album Behind The Front in 1998, which was followed in 2000 by their sophomore effort, Bridging The Gap. A third album, tentatively titled Elephunk, is due later this year and Adams is looking forward to debuting some of the new material when Black Eyed Peas play Brisbane this Thursday.

"I liked the way Bridging The Gap was received in Australia more than how it did in America," says Adams. "It did good in America but it did better in New Zealand and Australia. The new album is nearly done. We're coming down to New Zealand and Australia because we're doing well there. We want to test out the new album. It's a bit heavier than Bridging The Gap. The production is better. The feeling that we've got is angrier. Not angry in the sense that we hate people but angry in the sense that it's a harder sound."

But while Bridging The Gap featured many of Black Eyed Peas' famous friends, including Macy Gray, De La Soul and Mos Def, Elephunk will be a less star-studded affair.

"It's all about us on this one," says Adams. "Bridging The Gap was about us bridging the gap between all sorts of artists from hip-hop to r 'n' b to stuff that's coming out of the French hip-hop scene."

Black Eyed Peas will be accompanied in Australia by a four-piece band and Adams is looking forward to playing in smaller theatres after Black Eyed Peas made their Australian debut on the Essential Stage at the 2001 Big Day Out. "I like big places but you can't beat small, intimate places," says Adams. "When we play this new album live, we'll induce cardiac arrests!"