Original Black Eyed Peas member Kim Hill responds to Will.I.Am
Fans and critics shared their thoughts about Will.I.Am and Hill on Twitter
In an Instagram video, singer Kim Hill responded to a recent video of Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas speaking to Wyclef Jean on the latter’s “Run That Back” podcast.
In the interview, the Black Eyed Peas frontman said the group’s global success after 2004 caused them to no longer being considered “a Black group.”
“It still hurts a little bit [that] we’re not considered a Black group because we got that big. And when you think of Black Eyed Peas, it’s no longer urban or Black culture, which is not good for the Black community that Black Eyed Peas is not looked at as a Black group…because we’ve had international success,” Will.I.Am told Jean.
Will.I.Am also said that products of Black culture such as jazz, rock and roll, and country are often stolen “with no association to its origin.”
“I rarely ever speak on the issues Re: my history with @bep But since the interview Re: the lack of support from the Black Community. Re: BEP has gone viral and so many of my supporters are blessing my name… It’s only befitting,” Hill said in the caption of her video commentary.
In the 18-minute video, the 48-year-old New York native and her 10-year-old son, Cassius, shared their thoughts on Hill’s former group member and the group drifting away from their Hip-Hop roots and moving towards a mainstream pop sound.
“You’re not in those Black roots anymore. So, I don’t understand how you’re not even going to talk about the Black girl that you had in your group and you’re going to skip to 2004 and you say, ‘I don’t understand how the Black community isn’t embracing us,'” Cassius said.
Hill said in the video that she still supported the group even after her departure in 2000, five years after she originally joined. She was replaced by Fergie in 2002. Fergie eventually departed in 2018.
“I’ll speak to you directly, Will. I love you, okay. I’ve made it plain, I’ve made it clear, and I have supported the ‘Peas’ post my departure publicly and privately,” Hill said. ” I’ve reached out to all three of the guys over the years at all their big milestones and congratulated them. And that has come from a really pure place.”
“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. It’s almost like there’s this cultural smudging.”
In 2019, Hill was featured in an Op-Doc called “Almost Famous” for The New York Times that featured “people who nearly made history – only to fall short.” The documentary garnered attention and support from the Black community, who were vocal on the group’s lack of support for her.
“It almost hurts for it to slip off your tongue that a Black woman had a part in something really magnificent, and I don’t understand it. I was really confused,” Hill said.
“I’ve heard in certain spaces that when you’ve had the opportunity to say my name you don’t but to actually see it. To actually start 2021 off and actually see that you just would not talk about the evolution of The Black Eyed Peas at a time when Wyclef referenced it. And I was there!”
Fans and critics alike shared their thoughts on Twitter. User @RVAReid who said, “Will.I.Am said people stopped calling the Black Eyed Peas a black group because they got to big lol. OR it was because they replaced Kim Hill with Fergie and started making ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ music.”
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