CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Los Angeles-based hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas provoke terrorism, according to a new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Previous studies have suggested that the catalog of the Southern California quartet, which includes rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and singer Fergie, has given rise to bloodshed, but the Harvard study is believed to be the first to demonstrate just how strong a catalyst the group is with regard to acts of terrorism.
“These findings are not necessarily surprising, but the scope of this group’s influence on the terror community definitely warrants attention and action,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jodi Hilpon. “Plain and simple, someone needs to stop these people from making any more music before it’s too late.”
More than 100 known, suspected and prospective terrorists were selected to participate in the study, which was published Wednesday in the Harvard International Law Journal. Participants included men and women currently incarcerated for acts of terrorism as well as free men and women with links to terrorist organizations. Participants also included men, women and even children on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s heretofore-classified list titled, “People We Are Likely to One Day Interrogate and/or Incarcerate for Terrorism.” Researchers used a questionnaire to gauge the influence that the Black Eyed Peas’ music and commercial success has had on terrorist acts past, present and future.
Sixty-four percent of currently incarcerated terrorists admitted that they might never have committed any acts of violence or intimidation had it not been for the Black Eyed Peas, who first achieved commercial success when their 2003 single “Where Is the Love?” from their album, Elephunk, peaked at No. 8 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart.
“That ‘My Humps’ song definitely set the wheels in motion,” said Anwad al-Maktar, who is currently serving 14 years for desecrating a federally operated convalescent home in Mattoon, Ill., shortly after hearing the third single from the Black Eyed Peas’ 2005 album, Monkey Business, for the first time. “That song is just so bad, and the idea that such an untalented group of people could make millions of dollars off of something so unoriginal with lyrics so infantile … even now it’s making my blood boil. They should be the ones sitting here, not me. But at least I can’t hear them inside a federal prison.”
Hilpon notes that al-Maktar’s reaction to the Black Eyed Peas is relatively commonplace among the terrorist community, as many study participants admitted that the continued success of the artists who in 2006 implored audiences to “Pump It” and then to “Pump It Harder” in 2009 continues to provoke aggressive, antisocial behavior.
“These study participants really seem to be struggling with the success of the Black Eyed Peas even now, years after the group established itself as one of the top-selling musical acts in the world,” said Hilpon. “And my fellow researchers and I feel that this inability to make peace with the group’s admittedly puzzling success only accentuates the need to prevent these four people from ever making another piece of music. We feel the consequences of another song like ‘Boom Boom Pow’ could prove to be quite grave.”
Hilpon’s concerns are not unwarranted, as several participants in the study stopped just short of begging the Black Eyed Peas to disband and retire from the music industry.
“I’ve grown rather fond of the West and I consider myself a big hip hop fan,” said Sayad al-Walari, a Saudi national and study participant who runs a terrorist sleeper cell in northern New Jersey. “So I’d never suggest taking away their freedom of expression. But that group has gotta stop spreading this poison around the world. It just isn’t right.”