Black Eyed Peas bring some positivity and fun back into hip-hop. Musically there is almost no realm this group does not touch -- right from the jump, the stylistic innocence of "Fallen Up," complete with striking guitar licks, sums up what BEP is all about. They attack the so-called hardcore MCs playing the role of dress-up: "I see you try to dis our function by stating that we can't rap/Is it cuz we don't wear Tommy Hilfiger or baseball caps?/We don't use dollars to represent/We just use our innocence and talent." The wonderfully crafted, old-school-influenced first single, "Joints and Jam," is perfect for the summertime frame of mind. With "Karma" they explore the notion of reaping what you sow. "Love Won't Wait" is a simultaneous infusion of R&B and hip-hop, as the group deals with a deteriorating romance. But the undisputed champ of this recording is "Positivity" -- you can't help but reminisce about yesteryear's MCs kicking conscious lyrics to educate the hip-hop masses. "Nowadays it's hard to make a living/But easy to make a killing/Cuz people walk around with just one inch of feeling/I feeling nauseated from your evil drug dealing/Blood spilling, the definition of top billing." In all honesty, the MCs who make up BEP -- Taboo, Will, and A8 -- are not going to be confused as being super-lyrical by any means. But their chemistry and insightful, original topic matter is used with enough efficiency to mask that slight blemish.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway