will.i.am Collaborates with Mercedes-AMG to Give Underserved Students Access To STEAM
Rap and pop superstar will.i.am has collaborated with Mercedes-AMG to create a model of a one-time Mercedes GT 4-Door Coupé that features modifications that aim to set the standard for vehicles in the future.
The one-time production is called “The Flip.”
In a statement to Afrotech, the innovative star producer said, “I grew up in a ghetto. I grew up with hip-hop. I watched legendary hip-hop artists rap about Mercedes, so it was always a dream to own a Mercedes. For a lot of inner-city kids, owning a Mercedes is a symbol of progress and advancing out of struggle.”
He added, “Now I’ve reached my goal and pushed even higher by re-imagining and creating my own vision of an AMG model. But I didn’t touch the engine, because AMG really does make the best engines. The story of the founders of AMG truly inspires me, and it is energizing to collaborate with like-minded people who also seek continuous improvement.”
The premiere of The Flip will happen this weekend at the Formula 1™ Grand Prix USA in Miami.
The project is the second major project from the Black Eyed Peas founder, who is dedicated to helping disadvantaged students learn STEAM. According to Mercedes-AMG, all activities featuring the use of The Flip will help build a STEAM-ready talent pool that will lift families and communities out of poverty.
The collaboration with Mercedes-AMG aims to inspire a younger generation of technology creators.
“Every school has a basketball court, and many have football fields, but only two businesses benefit from these skill sets, and it’s mostly for boys,” will.i.am said in a statement last year about his collaboration with FIRST Robotics and the L.A. school system.
“Football is great, but my niece will never play for the NFL. With robotics clubs, boys and girls can learn valuable STEM skills and how to work in teams – knowledge that helps secure college scholarships and, eventually, high-paying jobs. With FIRST Robotics, every child can be a winner in school, work, and in life. My mission is to put a robotics club in every public school, and we are off to a great start with this new program in Los Angeles.”
Philipp Schiemer, chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said, “Our cooperation with will.i.am has reached a new peak with ‘The Flip.’ We have inspired and motivated each other in the realization of this holistic concept, which is far more than an exceptional automotive one-off. We take our responsibility to society seriously.”
He added that “the success of Mercedes-AMG as a Performance Luxury brand also depends to a large extent on inspiring the next generation and giving them easy access to the latest technologies and digital progress. It is part of our tradition to always be pioneers and to dare to do something new. We are continuing this legacy into the future together with will.i.am and ‘The Flip.’”
The elaborate conversion and construction of the vehicle was captured in an extensive six‑part documentary series, “DRIVE,” which debuted this week at the reveal event in Miami.