Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty ImagesDespite the numerous tragedies will.i.am faced in 2020, he’s determined spread some much-needed positivity by releasing the next Black Eyed Peas album, which has been named Translation.
The rapper — born William Adams — not only showed off the album’s cover on Thursday where he, apl.de.ap and Taboo are rendered as 3-D characters posing heroically against a blue backdrop, but also candidly revealed all the blood, sweat and tears the band poured into creating their new record.
“Finishing this album in 2020 was the hardest challenge,” will.i.am revealed in his emotionally charged message. “Working and completing songs during a global pandemic was challenging.”
The Voice UK judge lost several family members and friends this year, such as Kobe Bryant and his cousin Lionel. Will.i.am added that he’s not the only person grieving, adding “We saw innocent black people killed by police officers” and that he is “so tired of being sad…I’m so tired of being stressed…I’m so tired of anxiety and worry…I’m so tired of having fear on my shoulder.”
The 45-year-old maintained that, despite all the heartache and grief, there was one thing that kept him going through it all. “Music was the only thing that kept my spirits up,” he revealed before admitting that “This album has saved my spirit and it’s kept me joyful.”
In turn, he hopes Translation will have a similar effect on his followers. “I hope you enjoy the medicine we’ve made,” Will.i.am expressed before extending a hand in thanks to “all the Latino artist that we’ve collaborated with.”
Translation drops June 19 with preorders starting on Friday.
As for what fans can expect to hear on BEP’s eighth studio album, the band simply vowed in a separate Facebook post, “New album, new sonic frequency, new era.”