Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Black Eyed Peas – Where is the Love? (Literary Critique and Song Review)

BY zuhdi IN , , , , , , , No comments

“Where Is The Love?” is a song written by Black Eyed Peas, taken from the band’s album Elephunk. The single was released on June 13, 2003 as the album’s lead single. The song is mainly revolving around war and terror, and lot of negative things such as killing, fighting abusing and inequality, with the purpose to make people realized that those entire negative things happened because of lack of love and humanity.

Based on the first paragraph of the song, it portrays the importance of love and care from a mother. The consequence of this matter can be seen from the world nowadays, where people are living in chaos, like they do not have an adequate love from their mother. After that, the lyrics start to dwell with how people in this world living like an actors or actress in a drama, where their interest are only concentrated on the things that have a bad consequences in the future. Furthermore, the administration issue of a country is also being included in the lyrics. It shows that the leaders of the country put much concerns on the terrorism matter that occurs outside of the country. Ironically, at the same time they cannot handle the matter of terrorism that is caused by the citizen of the country. The Central Intelligence Agency, or also known as CIA is the one who are responsible to handle criminals in USA. 

It is stated in the song’s lyrics, something that is widely known as The Bloods, The Crips and the KKK. From my research, it is found the names are given to the three legendary brutal gang feuds. On the other hand, in Malaysia, there are also notorious gang exist in the society, such as Geng Mamak and 360 gang. It is no doubt that most people do love their own race, however, they tend to discriminate the other races and become ethnocentric. This matter can lead to hate, becomes the source of anger and lead to the various act of madness. This is where love plays an important love, where it can help people to reconsider and rethink about their action. 

From the chorus of the song, it says that people are killing, while others are dying, and we can still hear the painful cry of children that are being hurt and harmed but what action would we take to stop those uncivilized acts? We should understand and seeks the hidden meaning from our prayer, because religion is our guidance of life. Every religion encourages us to have compassion and to act to help each other. In Malaysian context, most of the races in the country have their own respective belief and religion, and by having a strong hold towards region, such matters can be prevented.

As I examine the third paragraph, the lyric is revolving around on how the world is changing from day to day. The usage of words such as ‘is the world insane’ is giving vision that the world is not in peace anymore, because wars and riots take place almost everywhere. Some powerful nations start to invent dangerous bombs to be used for their war with another country, while polices and authorities used chemical gasses to infiltrate the riots that were caused by demonstrators. The situation is almost the same here in Malaysia, when there is riot or demonstration being held, the authorities will be summoned and a lot of tear gasses will be fired to the citizen involved, and could be consider as chemical wars between humanity and power. People who have the power will decide the way of a country, but they kept making wrong decision, because they only seek for money, not responsibility. War is still going on, but the real reason behind it is kept undisclosed by certain people, so that the truth will never be discovered. If the truth is hidden, love will never be found.

The last paragraph of the songs reveals that the burden of responsibility in the world is getting heavier as people who lives in it is getting older. Young adults only care for money, and become selfish towards other. Meanwhile, media kept feeding their audiences with wrong information, to influence the minds of teenager and kid about what happens in the world to today. They only know how to fabricate news, to gain more viewers and profit. In Malaysia, the media do not always reveal the real facts about what really happen in the country’s political situation, to maintain their relationship with the ruler of the country. The impact of strong media influence towards young people behavior can be seen clearly on today, where their act is getting more aggressive, so that they can imitate what they see on the cinema and movies. The lyrics also questioned about equality, which is becoming decreased nowadays. Unfairness is happening towards certain races in the world. Instead of spreading love, people are more likely to spread strong dislike between each other in their speech and action. Unity is much too far to be reached, if there is lack of understanding between them. 

*This is a literary critique that I wrote during the third semester at my university. I put it on this blog as part of information sharing and knowledge transfer to other people. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me through my Facebook or you can just email me via zuhdijohan{at} 

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