He believes the group's international success is why people wouldn't label them as apart of "urban or Black culture."
They are one of the most celebrated groups in Pop and Hip Hop circles, but will.i.am has one issue with the overall acceptance of the Black Eyed Peas. Current members include will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and J. Rey Soul, but prior to the latter adding her vocals to the collective, singer Fergie held down that position. In a recent conversation with Wyclef Jean on Run That Back, will.i.am discussed his disappointment with the Black Eyed Peas not being celebrated as a Black group and examined why that possibly isn't widely accepted.
“In 2004, Black Eyed Peas we, we were just trying to get on. When you think of—like, I’m a Black dude but when you think of Black Eyed Peas, we go so big that...and it hurts, it still hurts a little bit that we’re not considered a Black group because we got that big,” said will.i.am. “And when you think of Black Eyed Peas, you don’t think of—it’s no longer urban or Black culture, which is...it's not good for the black community that Black Eyed Peas is not looked at as a Black group because we had international success."
"That should be credited to the Black community more so than letting it be adopted," he added before listing various genres that Black people once dominated but now have little presence. "That's just a thing that we suffer from all the time. When you think of Jazz, you no longer think of Black anymore. When you think of Rock n' Roll, you don't think of Black anymore. All that, I don't know why we have that. When you think of even country, you don't think of Black. A lot of the things that we create and we invent, we dispose of or it gets stolen from us to the point where it's not associated to its origins."
Watch the interview below and let us know if you think the Black Eyed Peas should don the "Black group" title.