If I made the Black Eyed Peas Video game

Earlier this week I was alerted of the upcoming existence of a video game based on the Musical group The Black Eyed peas. My first reaction was to tweet about it (cause really, things like this are what twitter was invented for)…and I wrote these two real quickly:
So, the Black eyed peas are gonna have their own video game. Definitely looking forward to the level where you comb the indian one’s hair.

Black Eyed peas video game level two: Help Will.I.AM Fellate a grammy statue. Level 3: The search for Fergie’s actual age.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt like I could design a whole video game based on the music and overall vibe of this group. So, even though there is a game ready to hit the shelves (it may even be out now), here are my ideas for what the Black Eyed Peas game should be.

The Black Eyed Peas: Let’s get retarded (in here)
Ages 2-4 Rated G
The characters:

Will.I.AM.: He is the leader of the Peas.
His powers include: shamelessness, ability to cloak himself if outfits made for club kids from the future who’s brain stopped working decades ago after years of drug abuse, and writing songs with the intent for them to be played during sporting events.

Special move: If he massages his throat in the right why, his mouth ejaculates vomit…but this vomit is magical vomit as it is invisible and you can only hear it.

Fergie: The Second in command/tits n’ ass
Special powers: Her body never ages so she’s remains flexible and quick (though, her faces ages quite rapidly), the ability to make men of lower value think she’s highly attractive, and she’s able to sing in the sense of loud yelling that’s not technically out of tune.

Special move: when singing, her “OH no you didn’t!” Whig hand is able to reach such speeds, she can fly.

Apl.de.Ap : Weed carrier

Special powers: Able to lift both fergie and Will.I.AM’s luggage with minimal stress on his back, His mohawk makes him quite wind resistant , and he’s capable of making two really solid traditional filipino meals (but can only do so while pretending to be part mexican/black)

Special move: Invisibility

Taboo: Mystic warrior/shaman/weed carrier

Special powers: His hair is his strength so he is unbeatable in a cat fight, His undistinguishable race allows him to fit in everywhere he goes yet always seem slightly more cultured than everyone he meets, and his vogue moves are deadly.

Special move: He whips his hair back a forth.

Okay, so now that you know the characters, here are my ideas for the levels:

Level 1) The search for the perfect hook
In this level, the gang wanders through a studio looking for inspiration for the “perfect hook”. While the other three sit in the green room playing pool and drinking red bull, WIll.I.AM tirelessly scrolls through his Itunes in search of the right song to rip off. You’re job, as the gamer, is to help him scroll.

Level 2)The writing process
Once the hook has been captured. It’s time to write the song. The gang sets out on the streets looking for the most brain damaged 8 year old they can find. Using their super powers, they locate him and then shake him down for lyric ideas. This level gets a touch violent, but such is the life of a Pea.

Level 3) Choreography
Now, you might think that recording the song might come after writing it but No. This game is true to life. Even before the song has been committed to recording, the gang must up the ante and create dance moves. This level is where Apl. and Taboo really shine. Using real human censor controllers that I’m assuming your video game system already has, you create the dances as those characters. Anything will do. Karate Chops, the huckle buckle, the running man…anything. Just be weary cause Will.I.Am is watching you closely and if you dawdle to much, he will release the hounds on you.

Level 4)Recording
Once the dance is to Will’s liking,it’s time to hit the studio. Using your controllers, you guide Will’s hand through whatever was popular in music three weeks ago and try and emulate that exact sound. This could range from Auto-tune to Dub step to country music. Once you choose the “right” “effect”, whoever is playing fergie is put in the booth. The power in which she sings is dependent on how fast you can mash the buttons. The more mashing you can do, the better the vocal take.

Level 5) Soul cleanse
This is the level where all the Peas go their separate way for the night. Depending on who you’re playing, you will have a different adventure. If you’re playing WILL.I.AM, you go to a club and fuck some 18 year old right before quietly crying yourself to sleep on a pile on money. If you’re fergie, you go home to your husband and ask him where he’s been all night, while fighting off the “Meth monsters” living inside your dressers top drawer). IF you’re the other two, it doesn’t matter cause no one is picking those characters. We’ll figure something out for them…maybe they go play more pool and then get a bite to eat. Who gives a shit?

Level 6) The label labyrinth
Once the team is reunited, they must travel to the record label and present them the new song they just made. This is not as easy as it sounds as they must make their way through all sorts of small talk with ass kissing bottom feeders. Once they reach the final destination, they play the label guy the song.

Level 7)The Big payoff
This is the final level. It’s them against the big boss. The only difference is that big boss is really jovial and not at all threatening. The gang plays him 15 seconds of the new song , he stops it and tells them “It’s a hit!”. But he then orders the Peas to a dance off to the death. Whoever can break it down the hardest wins. This is actually the most busy part of the game for whoever is playing it. Hell, you might even break a sweat. The winner is decided by the amount of drool and sperm it makes the label head generate. Once those fluids overflow out of his golden goblet, the winner is crowned and the game is over. Roll credits.

so, yeah…I like it…anyone wanna invest? If not, I guess we could skip all those other parts and just make the whole thing a dance contest. I’m sure that’s what the actual game is anyway.

The lonely party track

I was doing a show recently and the first opening act was about to get on. I had just spoke to him briefly. He was a rapper just beginning his career and , seemingly , trying to figure out his approach to making it in music. He was a very nice kid and , I gotta, admit, I admired his drive. Anyway, when he got on stage , there were about 20 people in the audience. Unfortunately, the venue was built for about 500-600 people. Shit was like a ghost town. Not the kids fault, as this was my show and he was the first opening act but, as any performer who’s been through this can tell you, that shit can be deflating. He starts his set and immediately I realize the promoters have mis-booked this artist. Prior to getting on stage, he had described his musical stylings as underground but polished like mainstream rap. He wasn’t far off. He had a game plan. He had dancers. He had all sorts of stage tricks that, if he were famous, would play great. The problem is, he was doing would be party jams and anthem type tracks for an audience of no one. Which raises the question , if a party track is heard by no one and not at a party , is it really a party track? It’s the old “tree falls in the woods” thing but with a twist. The thing is, in this day and age making a party track (especially for rappers) is as calculated as it gets. I’m not buying anyone’s shit saying they make party tracks for the love of the art. No, at best, they make it cause they want people to dance and have fun. At worst, they make it as a means to get money and blow up. So, when an artist comes out, and tries to force this kinda song to happen, it’s usually an express way to failure. Party tracks only work if that’s ALL you do. OR if you’re established and have enough talent/pull with your fan base (I’m speaking of rappers here).
The amount of times I’ve seen an unknown opener try and set off the show with some elaborate call and response crowd participation hook ,only to be met with deafening silence ,is staggering. The amount of times I’ve seen that actually be successful, I could count on my vaginas.
I’m in no way saying people shouldn’t make upbeat songs that play in clubs. Obviously there’s a place for everything. I just feel certain rappers and new artists in general, need to know their audience before they commit to something like this. A prime example of the failed party track is when a group with a loyal following built from past music (very likely music made from a somewhat grimy perspective) decides they wanna blow up and make a joint for the clubs. This will never work. No underground lyrical type rapper is ever gonna become a millionaire by all of a sudden making the hot club joint on his independently released album. All that does is piss off the fans you already have. The only exception, I suppose , would be the Black Eyed peas transformation from Souls of Mischief knockoffs (The Atban Klan) into the clown car of corniness they are now, but they we unoriginal from the jump so it’s not like they were really making a huge sacrifice by selling out. Some might argue Jay-z but the dude paved his way into being in a position where he could do whatever he wanted. He earned the right to make an occasional club joint and , overall has made some pretty classic party tracks. Also, keep in mind, I’m speaking completely of the song MADE for the club, not the random awesome song that happened to get popular and become a club anthem. That kinda thing is completely different. It’s the difference between “Let’s get it started” and “big Pimpin”.
Whenever this topic comes up, the first thing that pops into my head is The Clipse. I love The Clipse. This is a group that had one of the biggest hit makers (the Neptunes) behind them for two whole albums and , while they made two great albums loved by about 300,000 people, they never had that huge commercial success. Why would they? They are actual great rappers who ONLY rap about selling coke. Even Jeezy and Rick Ross take a day off from that and they’re watered down enough to be palatable to your average retarded midwestern Whig smoking blunts with his dumb friends behind a gas station 24 hour grocery. The Clipse are a group who needed to simply do them. Rap about coke over dope beats. That’s it. The fans would eat it up and they would be able to maintain in this fucked up music industry. Sure, they could do upbeat songs and some people will dance to them.
(For example)

But , in terms of an entire album, just stay the course. Instead of doing this, they opted to make an album full of would be club anthems that none of their fans wanted to hear. There are few things worse for a revered artist than gathering a solid and loyal fan base and then just deciding to change up everything with the slight hope that one song is gonna finally propel you into that next level. Especially if it comes at the expense of a whole album. That said, because I have faith in them as rappers, I will always check for The Clipse but they gotta understand that there comes a time when you just gotta stick with your strengths. They’re way too good to piss it away trying to make music for 16 year old girls to dance to. After all, there is no audience more fickle and mind numbingly horrible than your average 16 year old girl. It’s no wonder that demographic pretty much guides pop music as we know it. Ughh….Kill me.
Anyway , back to the show opener with the high hopes, he finished his set and walked off to the cheers of his girlfriend and one or two other people he knew. He didn’t even seemed phased by it. I suppose he wrote it off to a tough crowd. I’d say it was the non-existent crowd but same difference. While he had been on stage, I was talking to a friend and mentioned “Man, there’s nothing worse than the unrequited party jam”. Later that night, I got on stage and felt the cold hands of ironic justice jam it’s fists in my ass and clap when I rocked a somewhat party flavored set for about 45 people (Houston, represent!). Shit was brutal. Playing music made for dancing, only to see a crowd staring at you is pretty rough. Some girl did flash me her boobs though so it wasn’t a total loss.

Before they were stars

Everyone starts somewhere. actors, rappers, dancer, ect…
Here’s a little background on some of your favorite rapper/actor types and their humble beginnings

put ya handz up: the whooliganz
This is what you might call a super group but not cause they were at all super, more so cause both mc’s went on to much greener pastures. Way before white rappers not in 3rd bass were even remotely respected, the whooliganz dropped with soul assassins stamp of approval. not only were they white, but they were also very young. the group consisted of two men (boys, actually) you may know. the first, is producer alchemist. nowadays he’s every thug mc’s favorite white boy on the beats and , without a doubt, one of the more respected producers in the game today. back then he was the curly haired little guy with the piercingly high voice. the other member you may know in a different way. scott caan is an actor best known for his parts in the “oceans 11” trilogy or as the wild guy in “varsity blues”. rapping under the name “mad skillz” (yes, with a “z”), caan kicked that hardcore shit about snowboarding and being james caans son. just kidding but he did rap and that’s funny enough in itself. on, by the way, the alchemists mc name was “mudfoot”. yeah…pretty awesome.

grassroots LP:the atban klan
way before they were making the worst music on the planet, the group now known at the black eyed peas was on some other shit. back in the mid 90’s, they were known as The Atban Klan. this was pre-fergie (your girl fergie was in failed pop group “Wild orchid” at the time). the group consisted of the three black eyed peas rappers (will.i.am, apl.de.ap and taboo). all things considered they were pretty much a souls of mischief rip off. the one thing they did have on their side was dope beats. highly under rated producers Epic and wolfe produced the whole “Grassroots” album. from beginning to end, the beats on this album are amazing. unfortunately, the rapping is pretty mediocre. anyway, this was supposed to drop on ruthless records, but due to the untimely death of Eazy-e, the album never came out. peep it.

grassroots Lp :the Atban klan

(couldn’t find a youtube clip of this song so i give you this other one instead)
hardcore nights: UTD
Mos def got his start with the group UTD (urban thermo dynamics). the group consisted of mos, his brother DCQ and his sister cee. the group was signed to payday records and released a few 12” records but the full album never dropped (until it’s eventual “re-release” in 2004). this song in particular has always been a favorite of mine. partially cause i like the beat but more so cause mos def raps like akinyele on it. it’s just funny. “stay alert out here before your caps get peeled” is delivered with such growling intensity, it’s hard to imagine that it’s same dude who lit up college dorm rooms everywhere 5 years later with songs about his umi.

Fo sho: the odd squad
good news! devin the dude was always good. unlike alot of the artists i’m covering, devin has nothing to be ashamed about. prior to his solo career, devin was part of “the odd squad”. a three man group that rap-a-lot records put out in 1994. a departure from their label mates , the Odd squad was on some more laid back, fun shit. it’s no surprise considering Devin’s steeze. also notable is that one of the odd squad’s mc’s , rob quest, was blind. i dunno what it was with rap-a-lot but they loved them some challenged people rapping. bushwick bill, rob quest, too much trouble and even too-low (he was a kid but kid rappers are basically retarded anyway). whatever the case, good for them.

that bullshit: casual (but really it was saafir)
when casual dropped his debut album”fear itself”, he was kind enough to give his homeboy saafir a mini song of his own. now, i may be alone in this but i think saafir pretty much bodied the whole album with his one verse. saafir went on to release the slept on album “boxcar sessions” , as well as get his act on in “menace to society” and some r&b videos. unfortunately, the love did not last between casual and saafir , as they had a falling out rumored to be over a girl they both fucked. hey, shit happens. anyway, saafir recorded “pull ya card” as his diss to casual so i threw that in as a bonus.

the rest of the songs:


hardcore nights: UTD
fo sho: The odd squad
put your handz up: the Whooliganz
that bullshit: casual (really saafir)
pull ya card: saafir

Side note:
this blog was originally written for the TROY Blog a while ago. if you like rare and great hip hop, i cannot think of a better place to check out: