Street Livin'

Album: Single release only (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • "Street Livin'" finds the Black Eyed Peas returning to the socially conscious hip-hop of their early days. Will.i.am., Taboo, and apl.de.ap each contribute a verse on the politically-charged track, which revolves around social issues like police brutality, immigration and the prison-industrial complex. (Fergie took a break from BEP to promote her solo music). Will told Genius regarding the track's inspiration:

    "I was watching documentaries and movies like Twelve Years a Slave, Lincoln, The Help, Django and Straight Outta Compton. It just hurt my soul to think about our history and then our current state, and how there's similarities. No matter how much our freedom fighters fought, we're still in this situation."
  • Will.i.am's verse references the Confederate statue of General Robert E. Lee located in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Ten years no bail is 4 years at Yale
    So, forget about the statue of General Lee


    The lyric was inspired by watching the Netflix documentary 13TH, which explores the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States."

    "We should care more about our status than a f---ing statue," Will said. "We should care about not being a statistic than worrying about bringing down a statue. We want to have stature in society. We don't want static in our lives, in our communities. We worry about the wrong state of being. So f--k General Lee."
  • Directed by will.i.am, the song's music video features powerful black-and-white photos showing police brutality, discrimination, poverty, and public protests, among other scenes. The rapper/producer chose images that reflected the emotions he felt while writing his verses.

    "A lot of times a still image is more powerful than moving images," Will told Genius. "Especially with the right image. The whole premise was take a still image and bring it to life. Where you're immersed in it and the story and the music is like hypnotic."

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