One World is All We Got
How many times has a person asked themselves where is the love after witnessing a drastic event? “Where is The Love?” is a common question and a common song by Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake that pops into one’s mind after an impactful incident. “Where is The Love” is a powerful song that will have people around the world analyzing their actions so that they may become a better person for the world. Black Eyed Peas is a positive spirited hip-hop group made up of three males, and one female. These artists, who come from a different background, express their concern for the currency of violence in society and look at the negative influence of discrimination, racism, terrorism, inequality, hypocrisy, disrespect, selfishness, media and the lack of values.
William Adams, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Gomez, Alan Pineda, Printz Board, George Pajon, and Michael Fratantuno began creating this song shortly after the attack at the World Trade Center in September 2001 (azlyircs.com). Although it was first released in the year of 2003 and re-written in 2016 because of the Paris terrorist attack, Brussels bombing, Turkey violence, and the Orlando shooting, it is insane to say this song is still 100 percent relevant in 2018 (TODAY). The purpose of this song was to make people aware of the social issues they have become accustomed to, and to spread love to stop animosity. “Where is the love” by the Black Eyed Peas successfully extended their purpose using persuasive elements in their socially-conscious lyrics and tone.
At the beginning of the song William Adams, also known as Will.I.Am, gives an emotional appeal by the desperation tone he uses for his lyric lines. He starts the song by asking “What is wrong with the world mama/ People livin like they ain’t got no mamas,” listeners will consider this song is for mothers, which gives the authors credibility because mothers are usually the ones we go to when we are desperate to know why things are the way they are. The second line describes the attackers not being disciplined enough as if their mother were not in their lives to do the disciplining. Later in his lyrics, he continues talking about the disagreements in the USA in general. How “we try to stop terrorism/ but we still got terrorists here livin’/ In the USA, the big CIA/The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK” here Adams shows credibility as well, as these gangs are well known in America and the violence they cause on neighborhoods can be related to terrorism. Also, the Ku Klux Klan supports racism and have committed acts of terror against Black people, Jews, Roman Catholics, and others they considered enemies of white people (Richard). These lines are eye-opening to me because America does focus on blaming other races for terrorism when we have gangs we need to regulate in our Country to stop the same violence they commit as a terrorist. For that reason, this song is persuading to an audience who is not aware of the social issues that revolve around them.
After Will.I.Am’s dominant start, the female artist Fergie, and Justin Timberlake come in to address the influences social issues cause to kids. The transition starts with:
“People Killin’, People dyin/ Children hurt and you hear them cryin/ Can you practice what you preach? / Or would you turn the other cheek?”
This chorus is sung in a low sweet tone that brings emotion to the audience because they go from a tough to a soft sound quickly and announced children hurt by the actions of those who hold resentment. These lyrics also make one reflect about the violence they went through as children and think about the future of their children. For that reason, these lyric lines affect as they make us want to change for a better future and if the whole world would change one by one there will be less violent events, and that is what this song is purposely cheering for.
Following the chorus comes the second verse by Jaime Gomez, artist name Taboo, who continues the emotional appeal by mentioning kids dying infected by the chaos in this broken world. He raps “Nations droppin’ bombs/ Chemical gasses fillin’ lungs of little ones/ With ongoing suffering as the youth die young,” he is not just speaking about American youth, he is talking about worldwide when we go to war with other countries. These lines speak volumes as it will be a never-ending harmful story if we do not stop the cold-blooded killings we cause out of small hatred and rancor. We need to provide better infancy to kids because they are the future and they can find this love these artists and the world are looking for. Taboo’s lyrics also speak about greed and disrespect we have towards each other, he says “…only visions of them dividends/ Not respectin’ each other, deny thy brother.” Choosing money over relationships is a collective problem society faces, and we tend to preach our religion, but sin as we disrespect and deny each other. Adding religion beliefs throughout this song adds an emotional appeal to those who look back and realize the hypocrisy they have been developing. This song encourages us people around the world to change for the better as we realize our religious beliefs.
Finally, Alan Pineda, also known as Apl.De.Ap, shares emotion by singing the last verse in a frustrated tone. He starts with “I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder” initiating he feels like he is responsible for the peace of the future and it has become too much responsibility for him to carry. Peace is not a job for one human; it is up to the whole world if we want change we need to work together. His lyrics also talk about the “values of humanity” and “Whatever happened to the fairness and equality” and how instead we “spread animosity.” If you consider this text deep enough, you will remember the 14th amendment which addresses “citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War,” however, it seems the US itself has ignored this amendment (Garber). Also, I give him credit as today there is animosity still being spread although people believe we have become diverse. In a chart, it shows that transportation has rejected more people between the years of 2013 and 2016 and discrimination has risen (Agency). Instead of being positive to one another we seem to be declining. However, by Alp.De.Ap ending his verse with “Gotta keep my faith alive ‘til love is found,” says he will not give up easily even after all he has witnessed himself. The end of his lyric gives motivation to us the listeners as we want to change the world because it seems the “love” we share now is not strong enough to stop brutality and violence, but we still have a chance to bring the change we want.
All in all, if a listener pays enough attention to this powerful song which uses pathos, they will realize it is a song of desperation looking for the love the world needs to save society, the children and the future.
“Discrimination Complaints Received by the Department of Transportation, 2013–2016.”
Tribune Content Agency Photos, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link-galegroup-com.chaffey.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/BYYOUT259070404/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=9b4c01d3. Accessed 12 Oct. 2018.
· Proof of discrimination in the Airplane transportation. This chart gives a clear image of how discrimination has risen between the years of 2013 and 2016. Instead of getting better we continue to get worse in “denying our brother.” This is an example I can use for the song lyrics as it is relatable.
Graber, Mark A. “Equality.” American Governance, edited by Stephen Schechter, et al., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2016, pp. 119-124. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3629100219/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=f46d9885. Accessed 12 Oct. 2018.
· Equality, 14th amendment. Who is equal. What is to be distributed equally. Measuring Equality. Implementing Equality. Our country is committed to equality; however, inequalities continues to exist. There are a lot of hypocrisy and people have different opinions of who is equal, what should be equal and how it is measured. This relates to the song because there is a line that talks about this hypocrisy and I will use this article to back up the purpose of the song.
Richard, Mark Paul. “‘Why Don’t You Be a Klansman?’ Anglo-Canadian Support for the Ku Klux Klan Movement in 1920s New England.” American Review of Canadian Studies, vol. 40, no. 4, Dec. 2010, pp. 508–516. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1080/02722011.2010.519396.
· This article is a background of the KKK movement in the USA in the 1920s. Mainly focused on protestants who supported the Klan and where against Catholics and wanted control over them. I will use this source in support of the first part of the lyrics I mention in the first body paragraph.
TODAY. “The Black Eyed Peas Share Meaning Behind ‘Where Is The Love’ Music Video Remake | TODAY” Published on Sep 1, 2016
· This short clip is an interview the Today show hosted with the Black Eyed Peas in 2016. The group was invited to talk about the remake of their original “where is the love” song. Each artist, except Fergie, talks about the purpose of both songs, when they first came out and why. The original was created after the 9/11 attack and the new one was created after the Paris terrorist attack, Brussels bombing, Turkey violence, Orlando shooting. I used this source in my introduction to describe and explain the purpose of this song.
“Where Is The Love.” azlyrics.com
· This website provides the lyrics to the song I focus on, “Where is The Love.” It includes the authors and a short brief of when and why the song was created. It also includes its successfulness and the contribution of other artist like Justin Timberlake. I used this in my intro to include the authors of the lyrics and will use the lyrics throughout the body paragraphs.