*Kim Hill, a former original member of the Black Eyed Peas, has responded to Will.i.am’s comments about the group not being recognized as a “black group.”
We previously reported… Will.i.am spoke with Wyclef Jean on “Run That Back” about how he feels disappointed with BEP not being celebrated as a Black group despite the fact they reached huge levels of success.
“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 got 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,” Will.i.am said.
He continued, “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.”
Hear/watch him tell it via the YouTube clip above.
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Founded in Los Angeles in 1995, the Grammy-winning group consisted of will.i .am, Kim Hill, Taboo, and Apl.de.ap. Hill left in 2000, and was replaced by Fergie in 2002.
On Jan. 1., Hill posted a video on social media responding to will.i.am’s comments, noting that they came off as “cultural smudging.”
“Why I’m coming on camera today and addressing you is because for you to make that statement as if the onus is on the Black community to celebrate you and the band when you didn’t celebrate us,” Hill said in the video, per Urban Hollywood 411. “It’s almost like there’s this cultural smudging.”
She then mentioned the 2019 documentary short from the New York Times about her time in the group.
“For the record, when my doc got on YouTube, and it’s at, I don’t know, like 5.4 million views with like … almost 19,000 comments, the majority of those comments that come from Black women clearly say it feels like cultural smudging,” Hill said.
Black Eyed Peas started as socially conscious alternative hip hop group. But they had to sacrifice a lot of their core to achieve international success. We can’t dismiss something that he chose to leave behind. pic.twitter.com/JfZWInReAo
— Xae (@IsXaeOkay) December 31, 2020
In the doc, Hill revealed she was pressured by management to play up her sexuality to help the group become more commercial. She was even asked to “grind on will.i.am in a bathing suit.” Hill opented instead to leave BEP altogether rather than compromise her integrity
After sharing her truth on Saturday, many Twitter users praised Hill for speaking out.
“I’m glad Kim Hill shared her thoughts Bc this was long overdue. Will.I.Am needs to sit back & re-evaluate,” wrote Twitter user @heyjscott.
Twitter user @VallyOMally added: “Will I Am sold out Kim Hill and Black folks for a white girl named Dana and a few bubblegum songs. F outta here.”
Fergie left BEP in 2018 and was replaced by J. Rey Soul who was a finalist on season 1 of the Philippines edition of “The Voice.”