Grammy-winning rapper Tyler, the Creator is paying homage to will.i.am, acknowledging the Black Eyed Peas frontman’s influence on his early career.
Tyler, known for his eclectic style and innovative approach to music, has often been candid about his influences, but this recent acknowledgment offers a deeper insight into his musical journey.
“will.i.am is still a dipstick BUT 25 years ago Behind The Front by the Black Eyed Peas was released,” Tyler shared in a heartfelt tribute. “One of the first hip hop albums I owned.”
He recalled writing his first rap to the second half of “Positivity” at the tender age of seven. Tyler also admired the track “The Way You Make Me Feel,” praising the perfect melding of will.i. am’s production with Kim Hill’s vocals.
He further lauded the simplicity yet incredible creativity of the “Joints and Jams” video and the timeless appeal of “Love Won’t Wait.”
However, the influence of will.i.am on Tyler, The Creator’s career extends beyond the Black Eyed Peas. Tyler credits will.i. am’s work with Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes was instrumental in expanding his ear for music.
“This album was my introduction to the sounds of bossa nova cause of the great ear will had for samples, which led to him doing that Sergio Mendes project almost a decade later,” Tyler explained.
The album in question, 2006’s Timeless, was a collaboration between Mendes and will.i.am. It was a groundbreaking project that fused Mendes’s classic bossanova sound with will.i. am’s contemporary Hip-Hop production.
“Will came to my house with a lot of old vinyls that I recorded many years ago,” Sergio Mendes told AllHipHop. “I was so surprised. It was like, ‘Wow!’ He knew every song. He knows every Brazilian riff. I could just feel his passion for the music. We talked, and I said, ‘You know what? You love Brazilian music. Why don’t we bring the Brazilian music and melodies to the Hip-Hop urban world and put them together? I think we can make something really different.'”
The album featured guest artists, including The Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Black Thought, Erykah Badu, Chali 2na and others.
Timeless was celebrated for its innovative blending of genres and generations, and this fusion profoundly impacted a young Tyler. The album’s unique sound palette, combining traditional Brazilian rhythms with modern Hip-Hop beats, evidently left a lasting impression on the rapper, shaping his approach to music production.