Mercedes teamed up with will.i.am to create a one-off concept called WILL.I.AMG

Musician and philanthropist William James Adams, Jr, better known as will.i.am, has joined forces with Mercedes-AMG to create a one-off concept car called “WILL.I.AMG.” With massive suicide doors, a G-Wagen-esque face, and monoblock wheels, this concept is meant to support will.i.am’s latest philanthropic undertaking.

Mercedes and will.i.am Turn the AMG GT 4-Door into a Wild One-Off
Mercedes and will.i.am Turn the AMG GT 4-Door into a Wild One-Off

The rapper/songwriter/singer and founding member of the Black Eyed Peas explained his desire to build a special Mercedes this way: “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 many inner-city kids, owning a Mercedes is a symbol of progress and advancing out of struggle.”

Mercedes and will.i.am Turn the AMG GT 4-Door into a Wild One-Off
Mercedes and will.i.am Turn the AMG GT 4-Door into a Wild One-Off

The car will serve as the centrepiece of will.i.am’s a latest philanthropic project, but before we get into that, let’s examine the creation itself. It’s based on a Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door and was built by West Coast Customs, a purveyor of multiple over-the-top one-off automobiles—you might recognize the name from MTV’s “Pimp My Ride.” This is the sixth project will.i.am has employed West Coast to build for him, and it’s far more restrained than most of the far-out rides he’s had West Coast put together for his personal use.

Will.i.am and Mercedes have said that all the activities surrounding the WILL.I.AMG will benefit the efforts of the singer’s i.am/Angel Foundation “to help build a STEAM-ready talent pool that will lift families and communities out of poverty.” The musician told Car and Driver that the original plan was to auction the finished car off and use the proceeds “to fund between 50 and 100 robotics programs, with ten to twenty kids in each” in underserved communities. But Mercedes stepped in and saved will.i.am that step by purchasing the car. The money will go towards those robotics programs and the car will go into the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, Germany. The profits from the “Bear Witness” apparel line will also go to the foundation.

Mercedes and will.i.am Turn the AMG GT 4-Door into a Wild One-Off
Mercedes and will.i.am Turn the AMG GT 4-Door into a Wild One-Off

“I wanted the car to be audacious,” will.i.am told the crowd as his silver creation spun on a turntable at an exclusive event on the eve of the Miami Grand Prix. Audacious it is—and memorable and out of the ordinary. When it comes to custom cars, there are as many opinions of what looks cool as there are people. But no one can argue with the good intentions, positive outcomes, and hopes for the future that this one represents.

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