Fans of The Black Eyed Peas have been left shocked after discovering the original lyrics to their hit song 'Let’s Get It Started'.
Released nearly 20 years ago, the party anthem had a very different title when it first debuted on the band’s third studio album Elephunk.
While the offensive version has been largely forgotten and removed from streaming sites, the original lyrics can still be heard in this clip from the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards:
The shocking original title was used for nearly a year before the band finally did a U-turn and released the much more recognisable clean version in July 2004.
Despite the offensive slur, the band - made up of rappers will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and joined by Fergie in the 2000s - faced little backlash for their track.
The Black-Eyed Peas also released a new version of their album Elephunk which only had the radio edit of their now iconic song.
Despite its previously problematic title, 'Let’s Get It Started' quickly became the party anthem in the early Noughties and peaked in the UK charts at no 11.
However, it might not have done so well if fans had listened to the NSFW version beforehand.
Many other celebrities have had to apologise for the use of the slurs in their music over the years, including: Lady Gaga, Cardi B and even Queen B.
As recently as June 2022, singer Lizzo had to publicly apologise for using the offensive term in her song 'Grrrls' and said that she never wanted to ‘promote derogatory language’.
The artist later changed her lyrics after the very public backlash and told fans that she understood ‘the power words can have’.
Even The Black Eyed Peas took note of the incident, with the band removing 'Let’s Get R*****ed' from their official track listing, as well as removing it from all their digital and streaming platforms in 2022.
However, the gesture was hardly noticed, and the band have yet to publicly apologise for the song's use of the slur.
Meanwhile, fans continue to rediscover the offensive version as clips resurface online, with one writing on Twitter: “Holy s**t! I just found out 'Lets Get it Started' by the Black Eyed Peas was originally 'Let's Get R*****ed… this can’t be real.”
Another added: “*shouting and crazily grabbing onto disbelieving strangers in the street*: the original version of Black Eyed Peas' ‘Let’s Get It Started‘ was ‘Let’s Get R*****ed.”
One user even commented on the fact that people are still finding the track, saying: “I feel like the collective American consciousness completely forgot that the Black Eyed Peas recorded a song called 'Let's Get R*****ed' 100% straight faced.”
LADbible has contacted reps of The Black Eyed Peas for comment.Featured Image Credit: Black Eyed Peas / YouTube