A few years ago while working on the sixth Black Eyed Peas album, will.i.am found some time in the studio to work on his own solo project. That album suffered a series of push-backs and a title change. Long before the album was officially released, will.i.am let loose a few singles. While the U.K. was feeling the first of the lot, “This Is Love,” much of the U.S. wasn’t impressed. “Scream & Shout,” featuring Britney Spears, did much better on the charts, in large part to the video’s debut on Fox’s reality singing competition show “X Factor” (to which I’m sure will.i.am said, “Thank you, Brit-Brit.”) The song was popular enough to receive the remix treatment with Lil Wayne, Waka Flocka Flame and Diddy jumping in on the beat. Another song was even featured in a commercial for Lancia, an Italian car manufacturer.
Almost a year since the first single hit the airwaves, #willpower dropped but not to the same level of anticipation and fanfare as previous efforts. Like most albums that are released in the age of modern technology and piracy, #willpower leaked online. Despite the year-long promotional efforts from the Black Eyed Peas member and his record label, the initial buzz that started to build with the second single failed to keep #willpower on the charts. Moving more than 29,000 units the first week out, will.i.am’s fourth solo album grabbed the ninth slot on the Billboards but the album was quickly forgotten about and #willpower failed to achieve anything close to what the Black Eyed Peas did during its height of popularity.
Hoping to breathe some life into the project seven months after its original release date, will.i.am re-released #will.power. The album was also marred by a sampling controversy and the song in question was removed in the re-release and replaced with the brand new song “Feeling Myself” with Miley Cyrus, French Montana and Wiz Khalifa but that still wasn’t enough to bring any real attention to #willpower.