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Rhetorical Analysis: Where Is the Love?

Categories: EmotionMusicRhetoric

The Black Eyed Peas, a commonly known musical group, created of rappers, and Taboo and singer Fergie has been releasing music since 1998. In which, they released their third album, ‘Elephunk’ in June 2003. The song entitled ‘Where Is the Love’ was one of the most popular and impactful songs of theirs, ‘selling over 625,000 copies in 2003, making it the biggest selling single of the year’ (Myers, Justin. Official Chart Flashback 2003: Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?.

Official Charts, 11 October 2013. This song was meant to help create a platform that reflects on and questions the injustices and inequalities in the world, especially after the actions of 9/11 in the United States.

The musician’s purpose for creating such a powerful song is to convey the idea that awareness needs to be brought to the audiences attention to the negative impacts we created in the world of 2003 that intertwine with today’s society as well. Racism, violence, class systems and others are many of the problems that are targeted throughout the song.

Along with the song, the musicians created a music video that shows communities spreading their message while questioning certain actions. The musicians adopt a serious and compassionate tone throughout the song that delivers the message in a pleasing way for the intended audience, which is every one of most ages. By listening and watching the song ‘Where Is The Love’ through a rhetorical spectrum you can see many rhetorical practices that are placed and held within it.

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Ethos, Pathos, and Logos all are seen throughout the lyrics and music video by the Black Eyed Peas to help further the importance of their message.

The Black Eyed Peas effectively used pathos in ‘Where Is The Love’ by targeting the emotion through certain quotes their song contains and scenes displayed in the music video. ‘Said he can’t breathe with his hands in the air, layin’ on the ground died from a choke’ (Where is the Love) this is directly meant to affect the audience due to the serious issues that are going on with police brutalities and the of inequalities of colored people. Another example, ‘Over here on the streets the police shoot, the people put the bullets in ’em, but if you only got love for your own race, then you’re gonna leave space for others to discriminate’ (Where Is the Love). This topic is a very well known problem that over the past few years have been very popular amongst social media. This has made the unjust ways done against colored people more public and aware of surrounding communities to help bring an end to it. With this, another way the group used emotion to help persuade listeners was the title of their song. ‘Where Is the Love’ is a direct question of the world and how the love of one another has disappeared. Also, the music video contains the 4 members of the band and additional people putting question marks around cities, in many different forms. This draws attention to the questioning about where the emotions throughout the people have gone.

Another rhetorical appeal that was seen in the musical artifact is logos. Logos was greatly used by bringing recognition to the operations of such problems the song covers. These problems are not being solved due to the actions and events the hate groups in America and other parts of the world. A good way The Black Eyed peas expressed this was when the lyrics ask how were fighting a war on terror but we still have terror and hate groups in the united states such as the Crips, Bloods, and the KKK. ‘Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism; But we still got terrorists here livin’; In the USA, the big CIA; The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK.’ (Where Is the Love). This quote displays the operation of these hate groups proceeding to work in our society and spreading the hate rather than finding the love.

Lastly, the last rhetorical appeal used was shown through ethos. The Black Eyed Peas has established themselves as celebrities with a significant following prior to the release of ‘Where Is the Love’. This has proven their credibility as a group to help stop these worldwide problems. After seeing the amount of significance the song meant to their audience, The Black Eyed Peas opened and supported foundations that helped many people in need around the world. The foundation that they opened is called the ‘PeaPod Foundation’ which was helped founded by Entertainment Industry Foundation. The PeaPod foundation, in particular, helps with the social movement encouraging change by uniting people through music. ‘The foundation provided support for social issues affecting children worldwide, including Shelter/Housing, Healthcare, Education, Poverty, and Music/Artistic Education.’ (‘Peapod Foundation.’ Thirty-Three Productions, 25 Apr. 2014, Through these actions and holding charitable concerts in different parts of the world to help with funding, The Black Eyed Peas created a strong form of ethos that gave them a platform, in which they could actually, use what their song is saying to benefit others from it. Furthermore, the group members consist of four members who all have different cultures and upbringings. is an African American, is a Filipino- American, Taboo is Mexican and Native American, and Fergie is Mexican and American. This provides the members with a more of a credible stance to speak up against racism and inequalities found in multiple lifestyles which can help lead to an impactful change they can bring to the world.


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Rhetorical Analysis: Where Is the Love?. (2019, Nov 26). Retrieved from

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