The Problem With... Will.i.am's "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)"
After a merciful summer and fall without The Black Eyed Peas, the group announced they would take a hiatus. My first reaction was relief.
However, my second reaction was wordless dread. This means Fergie and Will.i.am's egos are no longer contained by editorial buffers Apl.de.ap and Taboo. Will is releasing his latest album, #willpower, next month. The cancer I call Black Eyed Peas has metastasized.
Will.i.am's latest unnecessarily abbreviated single, "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)," has a crappy beat (Will even admits it in his lines) with a flatulent bass sound. Like a few past Will.i.am tracks, it indecisively segues from hip-hop to house music.
The track is a buffet of lazy rhymes and similes that work against Will's intent, if he has any. A few lines reveal his ignorance of the history of car doors ("I am the future/Delorean doors") and chronological sequence ("I end at the beginning/and start again").
After becoming an easy reference for Maroon 5 and Ke$ha, Mick Jagger makes a cameo and takes a few token lines. He gets a pretty odd one, too ("Hard like geology/and trigonometry"). Now, I'm not that good at math, despite being South Asian, but trigonometry is more tedious than it is hard. J. Lo might make a big impression when she sits down, but this song just has her repeat a few lines.
One of my gripes about pop music is that the wave of collaborations between disparate artists has affirmed its incestuous nature. If artists as far apart as Mick Jagger and Will.i.am can collaborate, the industry looks ostentatious and inbred, like ancient Egyptian dynasties.
This track makes me want to go hard on a nearby wall with my forehead.