How does a twentysomething Los Angeleno, one of the most dynamic and inventive artists in rap, find himself rubbing rhythmic elbows with a septuagenarian Brazilian legend who was once a mainstay of suburban hi-fi’s from coast to coast? The path to their crosscultural, crossgenerational union winds back to the early ’90s, when a musically curious teen who would become will.i.am, cornerstone of the Black Eyed Peas, used Sergio Mendes’ “Slow Hot Wind” to build his first tune. Fast-forward about a decade and a half, with Will inviting Mendes to play piano on one track, “Sexy,” from the Peas’ multiplatinum Elephunk. Now the invitation has been returned, with Mendes, leading his first disc in eight years, welcoming Will as producer and coperformer.
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