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FRIDAY

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I really wanted to like the Black Eyed Peas. But when they jumped on the scene in early ’98, the Peas were emerging at a particularly rough time in hiphop history: Just a few months before the Peas’ first album dropped, rap deities A Tribe Called Quest announced their breakup, leaving heads scrambling for a group to fill the void. Critics, fans, and even the Peas themselves—Will.I.Am, Taboo, and Apl.De.Ap—anticipated a lyrical miracle that would find the Peas picking up right where Tribe left off. The Peas’ first LP, Behind the Front, and Tribe’s last, The Love Movement, even hit record stores around the same time. Sadly, the lackluster last hurrah by an old favorite still beat out a promising effort by the next wave, and Behind the Front found itself atop a growing stack of disappointing debuts. Fortunately, by the time the Peas’ sophomore album, Bridging the Gap, hit last year, I was able to give a more objective listen, and it turns out that the Black Eyed Peas are kinda nice with theirs: They’ve got good flows, nod-worthy beats, and, best of all, they breakdance. And now that the unfortunate “Bling Bling” era of hiphop is beginning to lose its luster, there might be room for three MCs who wanna only move your body—not fuck it, shoot it, or douse it with Cristal. With Mystic at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Sarah Godfrey)