The Black Eyed Peas’ hit song ‘Let’s Get It Started’ has been a party anthem for nearly two decades.
However, fans were recently shocked to discover that the original version of the song had a different title and offensive lyrics.
The song was first released on the band’s third studio album Elephunk in 2003, with the title ‘Let’s Get R*****ed’. The offensive slur was used for almost a year before the band released a clean version of the song in 2004.
The original lyrics can still be heard in a clip from the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, where comic David Spade and the Olsen twins present the award for Best Pop Video.
In the clip, the trio awkwardly walk across the stage to the Black Eyed Peas’ song, and the offensive title can be heard loud and clear.
Despite the offensive nature of the original version, the band faced little backlash for their track, and it quickly became a hit in the early Noughties, peaking at number 11 on the UK charts. The band also released a new version of their album Elephunk, which only featured the radio edit of the song.
Over the years, many other celebrities have had to apologize for using offensive slurs in their music, including Lady Gaga, Cardi B, and Beyoncé.
In June 2022, singer Lizzo had to publicly apologize for using the offensive term in her song ‘Grrrls’ and said that she never wanted to ‘promote derogatory language’.
The Black Eyed Peas themselves took note of the incident, and in 2022, they removed ‘Let’s Get R*****ed’ from their official track listing and all their digital and streaming platforms.
However, the band has yet to publicly apologize for the song’s use of the slur.
Meanwhile, fans continue to rediscover the offensive version of the song as clips resurface online. Many are shocked to learn that the song they once loved had such offensive lyrics.
One user on Twitter exclaimed, “Holy st! I just found out ‘Let’s Get It Started’ by the Black Eyed Peas was originally ‘Let’s Get R***ed’…this can’t be real.”
Another user was shocked that people are still discovering the offensive version of the song years later. They commented, “I feel like the collective American consciousness completely forgot that the Black Eyed Peas recorded a song called ‘Let’s Get R*****ed’ 100% straight-faced.”
The use of offensive language in music has been a recurring issue, and it is important to acknowledge and address it.
While The Black Eyed Peas have taken steps to remove the offensive version of their song, it is crucial to understand the impact that words can have and the responsibility that comes with using them.