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"XOXOXO" is a song by the electro hop group The Black Eyed Peas, included on their sixth studio album The Beginning. The song has a central idea of love and sex. The video for the song was released on October 11, 2011. The drum programming, synthesizers and Moog bass were performed by will.i.am.
Composition and lyrics
In the song, will.i.am is trying to woo a girl through text messages. The letters XOXO are a sign of affection, the "X" meaning hugs and "O" meaning kisses. In an interview with Spin magazine, will.i.am said he wanted to do something totally different from "I Gotta Feeling" in relation to the vocals, using AutoTune much as possible so that people could not identify who sings the chorus, whether he or Fergie.
Kevin O'Donnell of Spin magazine said, "The wildest song on the record, 'XOXOXO' is four minutes of robotic voices, icy synths, skeletal beats and Will wooing a lady via text message [...]". Allison Stewart of The Washington Post said of the album, "Parts of it are god-awful. Actually, most of it is. The lurching 'XOXOXO' has lyrics so stupefyingly bad ('Girl you stole my heart like a klepto/Butterflies in my tummy need Pepto/Bismol, baby give me more sex though/Insure pleasure like I'm GEICO') it's embarrassing just listening to it." Chad Grischow from IGN was the most positive, saying that "They do much better when paying homage, as with playful ode to text-messaging 'Xoxoxo', with a hint of the early eighties break-dance loving rap of Newcleus' 'Jam On It'." Andy Gill wrote in The Independent that "XOXOXO" is "set to a stammering synth groove", and "reflects modern love as something essentially mediated by machines and screens, as if the verifiable status of phone-texted or emailed expressions of love were somehow more 'real' than personal expressions". Gavin Martin's review in the Daily Mirror opined that the song is a "lean and eerie", "digitally disguising the vocoded voice of each Pea and turning the party thump of I Gotta Feeling inside out." John Aizlewood of the Evening Standard said the album has "myriad enticing, off-the-wall ideas", and complimented "XOXOXO" on its "layered vocals and staccato thud". Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly said will.i.am "strings together groan-worthy couplets like I'm so official/That's why I'm rocking this whistle (Do It Like This) and Girl, let's tangle up like a pretzel/Kama Sutra loving, baby, let's go (XOXOXO)." However, he then said "critiquing such silly sentiments misses the point of the Peas' music. They're not trying to be deep — at least, let's hope they're not. Instead they have cornered the market on pure, glorious nonsense."
The video was released on October 11, 2011. This video does not feature the Peas; all members are transformed into animations, the same animations as seen in the video for "The Time (Dirty Bit)", and call themselves "Baby Peas". They were created by Pasha Shapiro and Ernst Weber Huan Nghiem, who directed the clip. will.i.am was executive producer on the video.
The clip begins with members will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap in a spaceship named XOXOXO while there is a countdown to launch. The music starts just as they take off. After will.i.am says the words "magic, presto", several playing cards with the letters X and O on them move rapidly to create an animation of will.i.am, who is then seen in a Indian building-like setting (upon singing the words "Kama Sutra") until the view zooms out to be part of a spiral, which then rotates and forms into a vinyl record. Soon after he is seen in a slum holding a heart, before a motorcycle zooms past him down the streets, and the area is flooded with purple ink. will.i.am then swims in this ink, opening his arms and is immobilized in a kind of vine that bears flowers. In the following scenes, the clips shown are similar to various video game levels, with Will scoring points from bumping into the letters X and O (like blocks in Super Mario), then avoiding them (like barrels in Donkey Kong). When the chorus begins, the three members are seen in the spaceship again before their instruments begin to float from lack of gravity, and a picture of Fergie floats into view.
On Earth, Fergie is in a sort of garden holding an iPhone, and sends a message saying "XOXO" to the rapper. Soon after, the message window turns into several tubes shaped like the letters X and O. At the end of this, there is another iPhone, with the view zooming into apl.de.ap standing on and jumping between isometric blocks, with buildings and roads appearing in various perspectives (as in Relativity by M. C. Escher). Following this, apl.de.ap appears in an arcade game, kissing and then chasing after a pixel character resembling Fergie, however, he is knocked out by Xs and Os falling through an open door Fergie ran through. This is part of a tic-tac-toe grid, and the perspective changes, with apl standing on a block holding a picture frame, which the view zooms into, flying past buildings, which turn out to be part of a portrait of Apl (as on the cover of the album, The Beginning). The portrait changes to Fergie, who is seen with broken pieces of hearts falling around her (like the rose petals falling around Angela in American Beauty) and the scene jumps to a basic video game environment in outer space with a planet and outlines of TIE fighters (from Star Wars), before changing again to a Formula 1 track.
When Apl sings the rest of his verse, several Xs and Os form several colorful wave-like patterns. During the next chorus, the Peas have left the ship to assemble a large metal X next to the Earth, forming the letters XO. Back on Earth, Fergie is once again sitting in the garden with an iPhone which displays that she has no new messages, until she is surprised to see the X in space next to the Moon. The Peas are then seen returning to Earth in a shuttle, with Taboo and will.i.am interchangeably singing the next verse, as Fergie waters seeds, which grow into flowering plants all around her impossibly fast. The white flowers eventually form the letters X and O, and the video ends with the ship landing on Earth (with the aid of a parachute to slow it as it reaches the surface) in the middle of the flower O before the credits roll.
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|Studio albums and singles||
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