Monkey Business

Monkey Business

4.0 22
by The Black Eyed Peas

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The Black Eyed Peas were just a quirky, if critically acclaimed, trio of break-dancing rappers from L.A.'s underground rap scene until former Wild Orchid singer Fergie joined the group and they released the organically groovy Elephunk, which catapulted the Peas into the mainstream. Chock-full of…  See more details below


The Black Eyed Peas were just a quirky, if critically acclaimed, trio of break-dancing rappers from L.A.'s underground rap scene until former Wild Orchid singer Fergie joined the group and they released the organically groovy Elephunk, which catapulted the Peas into the mainstream. Chock-full of improvisational breaks and genre-defying tracks, the album was more hipster than hip-hop. And their follow-up, Monkey Business, follows that multi-platinum blueprint to a tee. Produced primarily by head Pea, the disc boasts a festive energy that's best displayed on up-tempo cuts like "Pump It" and "Disco Club." But it's the James Brown–assisted "They Don't Want Music," dissecting the industry's fascination with the bottom line instead of the bass line, that kicks the party-hearty album into high gear. Yet the multicultural quartet reveal their many shades by balancing out the groove-fest with more substantive tracks like the somber "Gone Going," featuring Dante Santiago, which discusses the insignificance of fame without love, and the politically charged "Union," featuring Sting, which calls for racial equality throughout the world. Ultimately, the Peas' socially charged messages are what separate them from other rappers sowing the same fields. Even though they tend to monkey around on the mic, they always find time to get down to business. Anslem Samuel

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Hip-hop artists with commercial aspirations need never appear pandering to their audience, since a tough, defiant stance -- aka keeping it real -- is exactly what will draw in most crossover listeners anyway. Nevertheless, the Black Eyed Peas quickly embraced the pop world after the surprising success of third album Elephunk, and only continued their repositioning as a mainstream act with 2005's Monkey Business. That focus is immediately clear on the opener, "Pump It Up," where they gladly welcome listeners on a track whose sample -- Dick Dale's "Misirlou," already ubiquitous before it appeared in Pulp Fiction -- has to replace "Walk This Way" or "I'll Be Missing You" (more on Sting later) as the most conspicuous case of an unmissable rock riff being used on a rap track. The group moves on to motivate its hip-hop base by reaching for every trick in the grab bag of contemporary urban music. These attempts are either serviceable or wildly unsuccessful. "Disco Club" is one of the serviceable tracks, an apt re-creation of Cassidy's "Hotel." Wildly unsuccessful is the group's utilization of its newest member, Fergie, to function as an imitator of the hyper-sexual Kelis/Ciara archetype on "My Humps," which makes for one of the most embarrassing rap performances of the new millennium (sample lyric: "My hump (9x)/My lovely little lumps"). Unlike Elephunk, the Justin Timberlake feature here ("My Style") is placed early in the program, and it's bolstered by a Timbaland production, which eases the strain of an otherwise featherweight jam. Most of the songs on Monkey Business are the same type of party rap singalong that Black Eyed Peas made their name with on Elephunk. But other than "Disco Club," the only one that works as anything but background party music is "Feel It," a rare production by the group's ( handles most of the rest). At the very tail end of the disc, there's one brief glance at Black Eyed Peas' history as a socially conscious group -- "Union," featuring Sting and Branford Marsalis, which floats the usual bromides about peace and equality (and swipes the sound and speak of Bob Marley in the process). Monkey Business could easily sell just as well, or better, than Elephunk, but what the group made sound effortless in the past sounds a little strained here.

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Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Black Eyed Peas   Primary Artist
Sting   Bass,Vocals
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Sid Page   Violin
Tippa Irie   Background Vocals
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Jacqueline Brand   Violin
Mino Cinelu   Percussion
Brian Dembow   Viola
Joel Derouin   Violin
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Ron Fair   Harmonica,Conductor
Julie Gigante   Violin
Endre Granat   Violin
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
David Low   Cello
Rene Mandel   Violin
Branford Marsalis   Saxophone
Simon Oswell   Viola
Katia Popov   Violin
Q-Tip   Rap
Cecilia Tsan   Cello
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Cynthia Morey   Background Vocals
Taboo   Vocals
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Chaos   Bass
Jeff Watkins   Saxophone
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Cee Lo Green   Vocals
Sheila Wheat   Background Vocals
Damon Wood   Guitar
Talib Kweli   Rap   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Clavinet,Moog Synthesizer,fender rhodes
Mike Fratantuno   Bass
Roberto Cani   Violin
Justin Timberlake   Vocals
Printz Board   Synthesizer,Bass,Trumpet,Drums,Moog Synthesizer,Mellotron,fender rhodes
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Jack Johnson   Guitar   Strings,Vocals,Clavinet
A.P.L.   Vocals
Tim Izo Orindgreff   Flute,Saxophone
Dante Santiago   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ray Brady   Guitar
Robert "Dandy" Thompson   Organ,Bass,Drums,Clavinet
Fergie   Vocals
James H. Brown   Vocals
Kevin Rudolf   Guitar
Songa Lee   Violin
John Legend   Vocals
Charlie Baccarat   Electric Violin
Jimmy Limon   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Clavinet
Victoria Miskolczy   Viola
Phillip Levy   Violin
Mario de León   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola
Keith Harris   Percussion,Drums,Keyboards

Technical Credits

James Brown   Sample Source
Rick James   Composer
Full Force   Composer
David Payton   Composer
Larry Blackmon   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Ron Fair   Arranger,Producer,Executive Producer,String Arrangements
Lloyd Ferguson   Composer
Brian Gardner   Mastering
Ted Howard   Engineer
Robert Lyn   Composer
Anthony Newley   Composer
Chris Peters   Composer
Nicholas Roubanis   Composer
Stacy Ferguson   Composer
Thomas Jenkins   Composer
Darryl Barnes   Composer
Chaos   Engineer,drum programming
Timbaland   Audio Production
Anthony Tidd   Composer
Talib Kweli   Composer
Drew Peters   Composer
Kamaal Fareed   Composer   Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,drum programming,Audio Production
Shepard Fairey   Cover Design,Logo Design
Benjamin Brown   Composer
Will Adams   Composer
Neil Tucker   Engineer
Justin Timberlake   Composer
Printz Board   Composer
Jean Baptiste   Composer
Dylan Dresdow   Engineer
Tal Herzberg   Engineer,Digital Editing   drum programming
Danja Mowf   Producer
Allen Pineda   Composer
Jason Villaroman   Engineer
Ray Brady   Composer
Ethan Willoughby   Engineer
Robert "Dandy" Thompson   drum programming
Mike Jurkovac   Cover Art
Jaime A. Dávila "Tame" Gómez   Composer
Dennis Gomez   Booklet Design
Jimmy Limon   drum programming
Noize Trip   Producer
Jaime Gomez   Composer
Keith Harris   Composer
Marcella Araica   Digital Editing
William Adams   Composer

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Monkey Business 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great album came the words of my thirteen year old daughter. I bought the album for her thinking it was just one of those pop/hip-hop bands that were utterly riduclous (hint: britanny spears, christina aguilara, pussycat dolls, etc.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is their BEST album. It really reaches into rap (which I don't like), and mixes it with pop to give it their signature, edgy sound. Fergie is wonderful when it comes to vocals. The thing is, on their single "Pump It", I'm amazed at how fast Apple can rap. My Humps is sleazy, but that doesn't stop them. My personal favorite is "Don't Phunk With My Heart" because my favorite band member, Fergie, does a great job with a helium induced sound when she says, "Oh, no, no, don't phunk with my heart!". GO, BEP!
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, the album cover looks fantastic and draws attention. Second of all the tracks "Dum Diddly", "Union", "Don't Lie", "My Humps", and "My Style" were very good. This is a total must buy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Black Eyed Peas Are Back with their senior album Monkey Business featuring The sexy My Humps and the showstopper Don't Phunk With My Heart as well as hot collaberations with John Legend-Like That, and Justin Timberlake-My Style. This is great rap and club music. Get this showstopper cd now.
Heavy_Metal_Sushi More than 1 year ago
The Black Eyed Peas' Elephunk album was a great album, and this album was no different. I particularly enjoy their style and sound over a lot of other hip hop artists, and unlike many artists in their genre, The Black Eyed Peas are fairly clean. They chose to rap more about peace, love, romance, and just gettin down and having a good time. I definitely respect them for that. There are a lot of hip hop artists that I will not listen to, simply because they rap about nothing but sex, drugs, drinking, and gang violence...and they often swear a lot, which just taints music in my opinion, when used frequently. With the Black Eyed Peas, they say the occasional swear word, but it's not consistent and in every song. It's just every here and there, and I don't see that to be all that bad. It's just when language is used frequently and consistently that it really begins to bug me. This album is definitely a great album to jive to. Mad props are due to these guys. I still don't yet know what to think of My Humps necessarily, though it sounds cool. Silly song though, but it's all good. I have not yet heard their newest album, E.N.D., but I plan to look into it soon. If you like good quality hip hop, check into this album.
shendrie More than 1 year ago
This is a GREAT Classic!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The black eyed peas release those songs that get stuck in your head and that's not always bad when the songs are well written which these are not. If you can move past the sigability of the songs and actually look at the lyrics you see uninspired mess. "Don't phunk with my heart" while most of the song is enjoyable it does have the weak lyrics of "girl the way you make me feel, you know you make me feel so real, i love you more than sex appeal..." in the same time that Green Day is putting out When september ends and bolevard of broken dreams this is floating around the airwaves, do your self a favor and let this group fade.
Guest More than 1 year ago
On this latest album thay have about 4-5 very good songs that don't sound like "rap" but the rest are too "rappy." The "rap" songs give me the chills, like some gang bangers are going to get whitey. I am hoping that in future albums they get away from "rap" because this group has so much potential.