Where is the Love?

“Chemical gasses fillin’ lungs of little ones, with ongoin’ sufferin’ as the youth die young.” Black Eyed Peas member, Taboo, sings the most striking line from their hit “Where is the Love,” which explains that adults are making decisions that negatively affect our future generation. This song is one of the very few songs that talks about real problems in the world. Every time I hear it, I get chills up and down my spine because it makes me think about life even after the song is over because it brings up issues that people avoid. There are topics included in this song that people are afraid to talk about and I think that it takes a lot of courage for the Black Eyed Peas to make a song which sounds as though it can be “accepted” in the pop culture world. There are many messages incorporated in this song, including gangs and terrorism, discrimination, the lack of peace in the world, and the media.





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Lyrics:


The lyrics of the song itself, talk about difficulties in the world, which, in reality, effect all people either directly or indirectly. The music video depicts the message of the song perfectly. It shows the members of the Black Eyed Peas driving around in a van, singing the song into a microphone for all of the people to hear. Meanwhile, there are question marks getting put up around the city for everyone to see. For example, there are question marks on buildings, signs, money, people’s bodies, and they’re also being driven through streets on flags on the back of bicycles. The violence in the media is also portrayed in this video. Kids are shown playing violent video games and there is a group of people shown standing outside of a television store watching a police chase. The police chase is shown and the person being chased is apl.de.ap, who is a member of the Black Eyed Peas. This represents all of the governments that are trying to shield us from things that are going wrong in separate countries, let alone the world.


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Message:


The message of this song is extremely straight forward. The Black Eyed Peas say exactly what they mean in the stanzas of the song. There are many problems in the world but they concentrate on four main ideas. The first idea is gangs and terrorism. The CIA, the bloods, the crips, and the KKK are some examples given in the song. These are all different forms of gangs but in reality, they really are types of gangs. They all depict the traits of terrorism, which is also mentioned in the song, which is defined as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” The CIA seems corrupt at times, the bloods and the crips are street gangs who fight and kill other gangs, and the KKK is an organization stabilized on threats towards a certain group of people.

The next idea that is included in this song is discrimination. This idea goes hand in hand with the idea of gangs and terrorism. Discrimination is everywhere. Depending on the people around someone and the area that someone is in, there will always be discrimination. The most important line about discrimination is sung in the first stanza when Will.i.am says “if you only have love for your own race then you only leave space to discriminate and to discriminate only generates hate.” This is a very important line in regards to discrimination because it describes it perfectly. Anyone who takes part in this will create hate for people and hate makes the world a hard place to live in.

Another idea is the lack of peace in the world. This is a huge part of the song and it connects all of the points together. The main problem in this world that lets the population see that there is no peace are the wars being fought all around the world. There is always some type of war being fought at all times, and with war comes violence. Bombs, which are a part of war, are made to kill. Whenever a bomb is dropped, it kills people, including the youth. People need to realize that the youth is the future. Not only do bombs and wars kill the youth, they also teach children that violence is the right way to solve all problems. The government does not understand that the youth will do as they see. They will grow up and follow in the footsteps of what they have seen in their lives. They are the future.

The last idea is the media. The media has a huge effect on people all over the world. The song talks about “wrong information always shown by the media.” Certain new channels only say some things and leave other facts out in order to get their point of view across. We’re being shown what the media wants us to see and that is how people create their own judgments about things happening in the world. The media is also accessible by young people, who take the information given to them and think of it as reality. The media brainwashes people and makes everyone believe what they want.


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Bigger Picture:


Every song, and piece of writing, for that matter, has a bigger picture than what they’re just saying. In this case, the bigger picture is simple. The world needs love, and with love, comes respect. People who go around attacking and killing other people simply do not have love or respect for other people in this world. Gangs terrorize, discrimination puts people into separate groups depending on certain characteristics, the media stretches the truth in order to changes our views, and love and respect is a necessity when it comes to peace. It’s important for everyone to have respect and love for others. Life without these two things cause major destruction when it comes to the world.


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Our world is not perfect, and we all have to deal with our own problems in our personal lives, but it’s important to realize that everyone needs to incorporate respect and love in our everyday practices in order to stop what is happening now throughout the world. “Where is the love” by the Black Eyed Peas is an eye-opening song because it states four main issues that our society makes us face: gangs and terrorism, discrimination, the lack of peace in the world, and the wrong messages in the media. The music video gives us a visual aid to show us that people need to realize that we are only hurting ourselves with this destruction. Life can be a simple thing, “you gotta have love just to set it straight, take control of your mind and meditate. Let your soul gravitate to the love.”


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