Behind the Front

Behind the Front

The Black Eyed Peas’ 1998 debut doubles as a precursor to their world-conquering 21st-century run and a snapshot of the jazz-influenced styles that dominated “backpack” rap in the late ’90s. Over instrumentals and samples woven together into fluid, loose beats,,, and Taboo espouse messages of unity (on the jittery “Joints & Jam”) and positivity (on the simmering “Communication”) while hinting at the globally minded ideas that would fuel their later pop success on cuts like the swaggering “Movement.”

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