Black Eyed Peas gave us something older, and something new, when they performed at Rock the Vote’s Democracy Summer spectacular. And they used to platform to make an impassioned plea for young people to take a stand.
The veteran R&B outfit, comprised of Will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo with J. Rey Soul, opened with the summery, Latin-flavored “Mamacita,” which appears on their new album, Translation.
“Rock the vote, Black Eyed Peas style,” said Taboo between songs. “No, rock the vote, to save your life style,” added Will.i.am.
Will then called on the youth around the nation to step away from their devices — for just a moment — and make their votes count.
“We have a long history with Rock the Vote. And it’s super important that the youth go out there and vote, so let your voice be heard,” he said.
“If you can go on TikTok then you can go and vote and tick a box. If you could go on Whatsapp, then you could go out and vote and show ‘em whatsup. If you could go on Instagram, then you could instantly vote and change America. Because if you don’t, we are always going to have to say, where’s the love?”
And with that, a segue to “Where Is The Love” from 2003, which the foursome performed as a digital backdrop displayed hundreds of names of Black lives lost.
Thank you, @bep for honoring the Black lives we recently lost and the countless lives that did not make it to a hashtag. We’re asking everyone “Where is the love” in 2020. #BlackLivesMatter #DemocracySummer2020 pic.twitter.com/gEZ2QmYVkm
— Rock the Vote (@RockTheVote) June 19, 2020
Katy Perry, Ne-Yo, Big Freedia and others performed at Thursday night’s (June 18) virtual concert, which encouraged viewers to register to vote.
Rock the Vote is planning additional Democracy Summer activations throughout the summer including on the Fourth of July and on Aug. 6, the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. For more information, see Democracy Summer’s website here.
Watch Black Eyed Peas’ performance below from 2:30:00.
“Mamacita,” featuring Ozuna and J. Rey Soul, appears on Translation, out today.