–1985: Finally speaks first word(s) (“ba-donka-dunk”). Whoopi loses mind, soon makes Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
–1986-1995: Motherless, .i.am is raised on the streets by Caveman. Spends years with father getting meals out of trash, selling pride/dignity for money, and stealing random articles of clothing from laundrymats. Important factors that inspire creation of late-2000-to Present version of Black Eyed Peas.
–1996: meets other members of Black Eyed Peas at “Keep Los Angeles HOT” homeless winter clothing drive. Bouncy, rhyming gibberish spoken by three vagrants mistaken for rap; signed to label, release appropriately named Behind the Front
—1998: releases Bridging the Gap a slightly more commercial/critical success. Album sees appearances by quality artists like Mos Def, Les Nubians and De La Soul–Bridging…represents the last time BEP will be associated with quality talent.
–2001-2002: .i.am. & co. become distressed that left-of-center rap is “too unique, creative”. Envying the careers of Young MC, Coolio and Ja-Rule, desire to produce similar sounds prompts .i.am. to dig a hole to Hell where he meets….
–(late) 2002: Fergie aka “Old Scratch”. “Give up your soul and I will take you to unforeseen heights”, declares Fergie. He agrees, and she stamps her cloven hoof twice to magically intertwine their fates forever.
–2003: In the midst of harsh political climate and social strife, group releases hot-selling single pleading for an end: “Let’s Get Retarded” “Let’s Get It Started”. BEP’s appear in Best Buy commercial and debuts with Fergie, whose appearance is remade to look “more human-like, with a light whorish touch”.
–2004-2005: BEPs apparently release another album, but hard to tell as material sounds too much like previous one. Still investigating.
–2006: Old Scratch/Fergie runs amok, releases uninspiring, insipid pop/r&b/hip-hop/jazz/funk/emo/opera/showtunes/electronica/death metal album The Duchess in an effort to prove that evil knows no limits. Released with lead single “Milkshake” “London Bridge”, co-written (in blood) with .i.am.
–2007-2008: With nation locked deep in political rhetoric and wandering aimlessly in search of something “meaningful”, .i.am and other self-important celebs release spoken word/rap/reggae/pop/tribal/cult-like viral video, “Yes We Can”*, inspiring people to buy more Gap clothes (I think). Despite continual lack of creativity, .i.am is quickly touted as “political activist” by The Gap, the Grammy’s and people who love email FW’s.
*Video is also responsible for encouraging Scarlett Johanssen to release album Breathless Singing While You Imagine My Breasts.
I’m still waiting for a publisher to pick this up, but I’m convinced that this is a story that needs to be told.