An article on Slate today called The Black Eyed Peas sellouts, which is equivalent to calling a pen a writing utensil or The Real Housewives shallow people-like things. It's a statement of fact. The Black Eyed Peas are made of brands. They are a vapor of sponsorship deals and Fergie-yells. If there weren't Doritos, and computers, and shoes, and miscellaneous other crap for The Black Eyed Peas to sell, The Black Eyed Peas wouldn't exist. Of course, they're sellouts: They're the Black Eyed Peas.
The piece of BEP shillery that sparked the Slate article was a new Target ad:
These insatiable revenue-bots are just raking in more coin.
Fine. We all understand that. But people, look at this commercial. Observe how eagerly—how incredibly naturally—the Peas embrace the role of discount store shill. Stop for a moment and ponder the fact that will.i.am has a giant Target logo on his hat.
A line must be drawn. I draw it here. I realize I'm not breaking news. I realize when the music's this bad it's sort of beyond the point. And I realize the "artists" in question couldn't care less. But I need to say it just the same: Black Eyed Peas, you're a bunch of sellouts.
I understand wanting to keep the word "sellout" around if only to use as an insult. But it's not at all insulting to call someone by their name, and Wil.i.am probably answers to "sellout" (as well as "hologram" and "dots guy."
Still, there are many other things to hate about this Target ad besides the Black Eyed Peas doing their job selling out all over it. Take a look:
Clearly, this ad is recreating a common nightmare that many Americans have now that a new Black Eyed Peas album is out: namely, that the Black Eyed Peas are scurrying underneath our wallpaper, and hiding in our walls like a bunch of boom booming cockroaches. They've even invaded Target.
Also, who is this ad for? Black Eyed Peas completists? Why would anyone buy a Black Eyed Peas album, "deluxe" version or no? It's cheaper to just wait two days and then go out in public—to the gym, to the supermarket, to pretty much anywhere—and you'll hear the entire stupid thing over and over again until Taylor Swift comes out with something new. Or, you could just wait a couple of months until all the songs are sold into commercials in 30 second snippits, just as dots guy intended.