EXCLUSIVE: How The Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin Landed in 'Bad Boys for Life'

The group tells us when the collaboration came to life

“RITMO” has become a worldwide success, with The Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin collab zooming to the top of the Latin chart and racking up millions of views along the way. The song was the lead single from the soundtrack to Bad Boys for Life and it also appears in the film that’s still the reigning champ at the box office.

The trio of will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo were already working with the reggaeton star for their own project when the movie came calling, but they were happy to lend the tune to the film. “We’re honored to have that collaboration with the franchise,” will.i.am tells RADIO.COM in the exclusive interview above, with the group being fans of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence since the original Bad Boys.

“It kicked off Black Eyed Peas restart, refresh for this new era, this new decade.”

Knowing that they were working on this new fusion of music, the studio wanted to take a listen to what the group had been up to. Despite being in the process for their own new album, The Black Eyed Peas let them listen and they fell in love with “RITMO.”

“The rest is history,” will.i.am adds.

With “RITMO” elevated to a new atmosphere, they got to work on planning the visuals, trading messages on WhatsApp with J Balvin. “We all chipped in and collaborated on a thread,” he says. “That whole video came about just sharing pictures on a WhatsApp thread. So J Balvin’s like, ‘yo I want pink dolphins, flying dolphins.’ I’m like, ‘pink flying dolphins?’ Okay, so that’s 80s minimalism, and then from there it was like how about this, how about that.”

“80s was like, this is what the future’s like. So now that we’re in the future, it’s like this is what the 80s was like. Retro-futurism.”

Taboo also shares that WhatsApp isn’t the only place the group plans their collaborations. “He’s really good at Pinterest too,” he smiles over at will.i.am. “Like putting ideas for video shoots or how a look should be.”

“Anybody that has a girlfriend that rocks Pinterest, I rock Pinterest,” will says. “It’s really, really dope.”

To hear more from our talk with The Black Eyed Peas, check out the full interview above.

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