Saturday, December 10, 2016

TIERS Fall Down My Eyes: The Black Eyed Peas' Albums/Discography

Having taken part in now 5 album rates for the pop music subreddit, /r/popheads, I thought it would be interesting to rate and judge the discography of everyones' favorite band to rag on; The Black Eyed Peas.

THE ALBUMS: No, Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap don't count. No real single success nor relevance was gained. All four albums below are as they appear on Spotify. 60 songs enter and only one shall reign supreme above all else.

There will be three tiers; BAD for the lower 20, EH for the mediocre 20 and GOOD for the 20 best. "B", "E" and "G" will appear next to each song on the list so you can know which tier they'll end up in.

- Elephunk
1. "Hands Up" E
2. "Labor Day (It's a Holiday)" E
3. "Let's Get Retarded" G
4. "Hey Mama" G
5. "Shut Up" G
6. "Smells Like Funk" B
7. "Latin Girls" E
8. "Sexy" B
9. "Fly Away" G
10. "The Boogie That Be" G
11. "The Apl Song" E
12. "Anxiety" (with Papa Roach) B
13. "Where Is the Love?" E
14. "Let's Get it Started" [Spike Mix] B
15. "Third Eye" B

- Monkey Business
1. "Pump It" G
2. "Don't Phunk with My Heart" G
3. "My Style" (featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) E
4. "Don't Lie" G
5. "My Humps" B
6. "Like That" (featuring Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, CeeLo Green and John Legend) G
7. "Dum Diddly" (featuring Dante Santiago) E
8. "Feel It" G
9. "Gone Going" (featuring Jack Johnson) B
10. "They Don't Want Music" (featuring James Brown) B
11. "Disco Club" B
12. "Bebot" E
13. "Ba Bump" E
14. "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity" E
15. "Union" (featuring Sting) B

- The E.N.D.
1. "Boom Boom Pow" G
2. "Rock That Body" G
3. "Meet Me Halfway" G
4. "Imma Be" G
5. "I Gotta Feeling" G
6. "Alive" E
7. "Missing You" B
8. "Ring-a-Ling" B
9. "Party All the Time" B
10. "Out of My Head" B
11. "Electric City" B
12. "Showdown" E
13. "Now Generation" E
14. "One Tribe" E
15. "Rockin to the Beat" E

- The Beginning ["Deluxe" version 😒]
1. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" B
2. "Light Up the Night" G
3. "Love You Long Time" B
5. "Someday" E
6. "Whenever" B
7. "Fashion Beats" G
8. "Don't Stop the Party" B
9. "Do It Like This" E
10. "The Situation" E
11. "The Coming" E
12. "Own It" G
13. "The Best One Yet (The Boy)" G
14. "Just Can't Get Enough" G
15. "Play It Loud" E

Now that each song has been tiered, time to fuck up the fun and rank each tier properly. Comments will appear at several points, so get comfortable.

60. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - Creative pathways is the nicest way to describe what the song actually is; a hellhole of half-baked ideas and beat schemata that had schlocked together because he didn't know what the hell to do with this song.
Taboo's omission from the song alongside Fergie's off key singing on the NON Auto-Tune parts of the song and just everything about this makes this The Black Eyed Peas' worst song in their discography.

59. "My Humps" - The lyrics are just names of jeans and Fergie having to play a gold-digging hoochie. Add in the clunky beat, the fact "My Humps" is said 9 times before the utterance of "my lovely lady lumps", it only took botching a sample of an 80s song to have this not be the worst song in their discography.

58. "Don't Stop the Party" - Please make it stop.
57. "Whenever" - Whatever, this song sucks too.
56. "XOXOXO" - NONONO is more like it.

55. "Love You Long Time" - If you're going to reference Full Metal Jacket, do it better than this song. The bar is as high as a mormon so you should succeed where the Peas have failed.

54. "Electric City" - At one point Fergie "sings" something to the effect of, "They ridin' on my dick/Think I'm a dildo" 😒🍆 Before any line from "M.I.L.F. $", this could've easily clenched the top spot of worse Fergie lines ever sung.

53. "Ring-a-Ling" - that one "My ding-a-ling" joke from The Simpsons but in song form.
52. "Missing You" - Not even on a milk carton.
51. "Party All the Time" - Eddie Murphy taught you nothing.
50. "Out of My Head" - Sadly, this song cannot escape my head.
49. "Third Eye" - I'd rather gouge my two own then give this pretentious crap another listen.

48. "Anxiety" (with Papa Roach) - One of two songs that suffer from soundclash. In this case, the Hip-Hop/Pop group against a hard rock act that in theory...seems weird already. I get stretching musical boundaries is needed for the appearance of versatility but this simply does not work on any level. Yes, there are songs worse than this, but make no mistake; this song sucks too.

47. "Smells Like Funk" - Presented without further comment.

46. "Gone Going" (featuring Jack Johnson) - The second of two songs with soundclash. This time, less talented Jason Mraz AKA Jack Johnson is brought along to play the same, rudimentary chords on his acoustic guitar for the Peas. What and co. didn't realize was the fact they were calling out a fictional character for living shallow and not relating to people.
Music critics must have had aneurysms over the irony. Aside from that, this song while not as sonically atrocious as the others mentioned still sucks because of sub par content.

45. "They Don't Want Music" (featuring James Brown) - Presented without further comment.
44. "Union" (featuring Sting) - Too boring to point out the soundclash here as well.
43. "Disco Club" - Clunky, redundant but better than a lot of songs here.
42. "Sexy" - Anything but sexy is way more accurate.

41. "Let's Get it Started" [Spike Mix] - Censorship is wrong. The song is called "Let's Get Retarded" and it's in reference to dated slang in reference to having a damn good time. Still the same song that made the good tier, but the title alone earns a place in the bad tier.

40. "Someday" - Not
39. "Do It Like This" - Worth
38. "The Situation" - Full
37. "The Coming" - Commenting
36. "Play It Loud" - Effort

35. "Ba Bump" - It barely makes a "ta thud".

34. "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity" - Boring but at least shows off one of the few times a Peas production can be decent on a strictly album cut.

33. "Latin Girls" - The poor man's "Senorita" by Justin Timberlake. It's one thing to sing about the type of person you're attracted to, but good GOD is not smooth enough or lyrically deep enough to convey the message. Above average beat saves it from further evisceration.

32. "Hands Up" - Too boring to rip.
31. "Labor Day (It's a Holiday)" - Second verse, same as the first.

30. "Now Generation" - A song that attempts to reflect short-term satisfaction based society but ends up being a horribly dated technology/digital age inspited piece of dreck with barely above average beat work. The surprising amount of ambition behind it is the reason it ranks high. Also, "We are the now generation/We are the generation now" is a dumb lyric.

29. "One Tribe" - A humanist song that can be misconstrued as "colorblind" or "rose colored glasses" thinking when really it's just a diluted empowerment anthem. If I want to hear airy optimism, I'd look up Talim from Soul Calibur II's audio "I am one with the wind!" Concept alone is the reason it ranks this damn high.

28. "My Style" (featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) - Boring pop/R&B on a Black Eyed Peas album...called "My Style".

27. "Dum Diddly" (featuring Dante Santiago) - Boneheaded but catchy enough to be in the EH tier while not awful enough for the BAD tier.

26. "Rockin to the Beat" - Inoffensive in theory as Taboo pretty much gets a song to himself...but GOOD GOD is it near mind numbing at times. Remember; there are such things as worse songs on this list.

25. "Showdown" - Good beat, a bit on the repetitive even by Peas standards, this could rank higher if not for the most eyebrow raising lyrics in their discography...

"Terrorize the funk call me Bootsy Al'Qaeda
I'll verify that I got lots of hoochies on data"

In case that was lost on you, forced a bad pun with Bootsy Collins [funk musician/Christ figure in music] and terrorism. 😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒

24. "Where Is the Love?" - Hate me all you want, but there is no conceivable way this has aged well even by Peas standards. Yes, it's the type of "conscious" rapping critics and even long time fans of the group loved but oh good GOD is the hype not worth it in the end.
Fergie's vocals are subtle,'s rhymes are the least truncated and forced and Taboo and Apl got some attention. However, there is still better material from the Peas in the GOOD tier to come.

23. "Bebot" - Slight downgrade from "The Apl Song". Filipino pride is fantastic to show off, but this is not better than its predecessor. Not by a mile.

22. "Alive" - Surprisingly underappreciated gem from a critically mixed album.

21. "The Apl Song" - Still no OTSO OTSO, but this song earns highest of the EH tier simply because it gives Apl some spotlight and shows off some cultural pride.


20. "The Best One Yet (The Boy)" - See
19. "Own It" - #17
18. "Light Up the Night" - For comments about The Beginning in general

17. "Fashion Beats" - Make no mistake, that despite 5 good songs coming from The Beginning, it is still the Peas' worst album by a mile and a half. At least with this accidental ripoff of "Fashion" [Confessions of a Shopaholic "Fashion" mind you] by Lady Gaga, the Peas actually made something interesting on their worst album.

16. "Fly Away" - Good
15. "The Boogie That Be" - But not great from Elephunk

14. "Like That" (featuring Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, CeeLo Green and John Legend) - Second verse
13. "Feel It" - Change Elephunk to Monkey Business

12. "Let's Get Retarded" - No, it didn't miss the Top 10 because of an "offensive" title. There's just 11 songs better than it because of the entire discography being judged. Still, the beat carries a lot of the weight and Fergie's singing is at some of her best.

11. "Shut Up" - Never fully released as a single in the U.S., it's still a catchy song that sadly lives on as a memory of Whitney Houston lipsyncing along to it on Being Bobby Brown. Still, Elephunk at large was proving that Fergie would make the group breakthrough and for better and The Beginning, he was right.

10. "Just Can't Get Enough" - Yes, this is ahead of other Peas songs in the GOOD tier. At least the first 2:40 of it. The track change is a sin and a half that the Peas get deserved criticism for in this case. However, for those first 2:40 seconds,, Fergie and the normally neglected Taboo actually get a chance to showcase what they suck the least at with music.

9. "Hey Mama" - The best of Elephunk can't crack the Top 5. Sorry, but I can at least get credit for not pandering to people by putting "Where Is the Love" here. "Hey Mama" is groovy, has the least awkward truncating of a rhyme from on the album and has the most natural feel from Elephunk.

8. "Boom Boom Pow" - Kill me later, I know anything but bottom 5 has me being questioned by a lot of people. Here me out; while this song has some abysmal Fergie vocals and trying to sound intimidating with "Here we go here we go/SATELITE RADIO/Y'ALL GET HIT WITH THE Boom Boom", "Boom Boom Pow" survived to the Top 10 because of the production...'s timing.
2009 would end up being the year that EDM/electronic/labeled "club" music would end up becoming the thing people would milk the living hell out of in years to come. The production fit right in with the David Guetta tracks that would surge on the radio. Timing is everything, otherwise, "Boom Boom Pow" would deserve its derision.

7. "I Gotta Feeling" - Yes, this song was on the radio for too many weeks. No, that doesn't make this a bad song. As with "Boom Boom Pow", this song got lucky due to timing. It's upbeat fun that you have to be in a good mood [read as "less pissed off at the world than normal"] to enjoy.

6. "Pump It" - High energy fun that has Apl sound like he is going the fuck in on a Peas song and in retrospect, might be him at his best. Also, Fergie's vocal runs are superb.

5. "Imma Be" - The beat change after the 2nd verse is what has this only at #5. Everything else about it; even the line "I'mma be a brother, but my name ain't Lehman/I'mma be ya banker loading out semen" doesn't detract from the overall appeal of the song. Fergie accidentally invented Meghan Trainor, but still; the beat work is just that damn addicting...even if it switches for no damn reason.

4. "Rock That Body" - It's like "Imma Be" but without the beat change and another instance of accidentally inventing Meghan Trainor; "Yeah, you could big boned, long as you feel like you on/You could be the model type, skinny with no appetite". Apl and Taboo actually get their...well least awkward is an honest way of giving them acclaim while not pretending like they were that essential, right? Anyway, of the intentionally upbeat songs from The E.N.D., this track rules over the rest.

3. "Meet Me Halfway" - If there's something that can overshadow upbeat fun, it's a song that can start with Apl after Fergie; also, this is some of Fergie's best singing across the Peas' albums and even her solo material. Modern BEP material peaked with The E.N.D. but with the Top 2 songs, creatively speaking? They kind of peaked on Monkey Business. Make no mistake, The E.N.D. still has their most viability and 5 songs in this Top 10.

2. "Don't Phunk with My Heart" - This came so close to winning. What cost it the victory? "If you smoke, I smoke too/That's how much I'm in love with you" 😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩 Bad lyrics can really cost you when they need too. Still, there's a lot in this song's favor. sounding like he still has enthusiasm in his music [that died in 2011 for what it's worth], Fergie using her coquettish vocals in the best way, Taboo getting some shine and even the tacky music video letting Apl be a ham.

WINNER - "Don't Lie" - Simply put, this is their best song ever. Even its lyrical duds are more boring and vague than bad and considering it's a Black Eyed Peas song, that is astounding. Still all four members get a chance to shine with Fergie's best singing, Apl and Taboo's most meaningful [if not boring and vague] lines and winning most improved, read as "rhymes not as truncated on Elephunk".

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