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Album: ElephunkReleased: 2003Charted:
This is about the state of post 9/11 world, which all but calls for US withdrawal from Iraq. Group member Ron Fair started writing it late in 2001, and another member, Will.I.Am, added the socially-conscious lyrics.
This was co-written by Justin Timberlake, who also sang on the track. He came up the chorus after hearing the song on the phone.
This was the longest-serving British #1 in five years and the best selling record of 2003 in the UK.
The song took a long time to develop. By the time they recorded the version on the album, they added a string section and recorded vocals by their new member - a female singer named Fergie. They had also changed their sound to appeal to a wider audience.
Timberlake was not listed as a featured singer on this and did not appear in the video. His record company wanted to keep his contribution to this low-key because they didn't want it to interfere with his album Justified.
The group performed this on the 2004 Grammy Awards, where it was nominated for Record Of The Year.
The lyrics, "The Bloods, the Crips and the KKK" are a reference to 2 gangs in the northeastern part of the United States and the Ku Klux Klan hate group.