Pop group The Black Eyed Peas reunited to launch a remix to their chart-topping 2003 peace anthem,”Where Is the Love?” this week, enlisting plenty of star power for the music video — but some of the artists included appeared to explicitly place blame on police officers for targeting people, even though the song is meant as a call to unity.
The star-studded video for the updated melody features cameos from Black Eyed Peas bandmates will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie as well as appearances from some of the biggest musicians on the planet. It also features the mothers of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, black men killed by police in separate shootings earlier this year.
The visuals depict a montage of police in riot gear, protests, singer Ty Dolla Sign holding his hands up — in what appears to be a nod to the police shooting of Michael Brown —vigils and war zones.
“Overseas, yeah, they trying to stop terrorism. Over here on the streets, the police shoot the people put the bullets in ’em,” Sean “Diddy” Combs raps over one verse.
New York rapper ASAP Rocky’s lyrics in the song, echoed by Jaden Smith, are also critical of police.
“My mama asked me why I never vote, never vote. Cause policemen want me dead and gone, dead and gone,” the pair sing.
Referencing the police-involved death of Eric Garner, ASAP Rocky and Jaden Smith sing: “All he ever wanted was a smoke, oh my gosh. Said he can’t breathe with his hands in the air, layin’ on the ground died from a choke.”
The remix did feature at least one artist who attempted to promote unity. Rapper The Game — who has met with law enforcement representatives in the wake of police-involved shootings and who earlier this summer raised more than $50,000 on behalf of a white Wisconsin police officer — included lyrics in the song saying “all races” matter.
The Game raps:
“Where’s the love when a child gets murdered
Or a cop gets knocked down
Black lives, not now, everybody matter to me
All races, y’all don’t like what I’m sayin’? Haterade, tall cases
Everybody hate somebody, guess we all racist
Black Eyed Peas do a song about love and y’all hate this
All these protest with different colored faces
The updated “Where Is the Love” also features vocals and appearances from Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, DJ Khaled, Usher, Andra Day, Nicole Scherzinger and Snoop Dogg. Actors Guillermo Díaz and Rosario Dawson also appear.
“I remember when the Paris attack happened, people would say, we need ‘Where Is The Love?’ again,” singer Will.i.am. said in a short video meant to explain why the group remade the popular song. “And then Belgium happened. And then Turkey, and then Orlando, and then Philando, and Alton before him, and then Dallas. Everyone was calling on us, like, ‘We need that song again.'”
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