The only place people have heard of the Black Eyed Peas at the moment is with Fergie in the group and the dropping of all they portray on this album, which is rap music and hip hop culture. Not dwelling on that issue too much, this is arguably the best of their first two albums (i.e. pre-Elephunk)
It runs low on guest appearances, which works both to the album's adavantage (you get a real feel of the Peas work) and to a slight disadvantage (collaborations with emcees like Mos Def and De La Soul give variety to the music) However, it is undoubtedly something special and held in high esteem in my collection. This album has some fantastic beats thanks to Will.i.am, and the Peas raps are flawless in both content and sound.
You need to hear this album if you are truly into rap music. Sellout chart acts like DMX and 50 Cent are not the only artists in the genre and this album is a fantastic oppurtunity to hear what rap music is really about, instead of the warped image these gangster rappers give to people in their songs. If you buy this album (which you need to) and like what you hear (which you have to) you should definitely try something like Jurassic Five's "J5" or A Tribe Called Quest's "Midnight Marauders". If you get into this type of rap music (it's essential you do if you claim to like rap music) I can guarantee you will never go back.
You will see how pathetic emcees like 50 Cent and DMX really are and realise that they are not REAL, their music and lyrics are WACK. And these artists are representing rap music and even black culture? It's wrong, buy albums by rappers like Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Aceyalone and you will see the light.