Hip-hop stars THE Black Eyed Peas have hit out at claims they have sold-out commercially, instead insisting they are a ground-breaking act.

The WHERE IS THE LOVE? hitmakers have appeared in a number of high-profile commercials including the first iTunes advert, and have made guest appearances at a host of awards shows and sporting events.

But rapper WILL.I.AM is adamant their critics will come to realise that The Black Eyed Peas are blazing a trail their contemporaries will soon follow.

He tells MTV, "We don't do anything that doesn't fit with the music. We kinda lend ourselves to benefits so we did the Democratic National Convention to get people out there to vote. And then we'll do a Best Buy commercial 'cause they sell music. Then we did the first iTunes commercial. We did the NBA 'cause it's like, who's not gonna do the NBA?

"We did the Super Bowl, 'cause who ain't gonna do the Super Bowl? And if they asked you to do two years at the Grammys, you ain't gonna do it? And then we did the Emmys 'cause they said, 'Ain't nobody ever did the Emmys.'

"We're just trying to push boundaries, but a lot of times when you are the first, you get flak for it. People say 'sell-out'. That's one thing I don't get. That's some dumb s**t, because it's like we ain't frontin'. I ain't got crazy gold or being something that I'm not. A sell-out is somebody who's one way with their mom, and then when they with their homies.

"The reality is the only thing they can say about the Black Eyed Peas is, 'Those dudes is all over the place,' and that all relates to the fact that we work hard. So if we're criminals for working hard, then lock me up."