Leader will.i.am. has already dropped the eye-popping video for "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)," the electro-fueled first single from his new solo album, while member apl.de.ap is focusing on non-musical ventures.
Apl announced the launch of this week of the "Charity Dreams" auction benefiting education in his native Philippines. The rapper, who is an educational ambassador for the island nation, is upping the ante on celebrity auctions in a major way with the "We Can Be Anything" event.
The auction — which begins pre-registration this week at CharityDreams.com and lasts through 9 p.m. ET Wednesday — allows fans to start the bidding at just 99 cents for a huge prize package that may end up being the most affordable donation on the planet.
Not only will the winner get a private-jet flight out to Los Angeles to spend time in the studio to watch as Apl creates a custom track in their honor, but the BEP rapper will also cut a custom disc of the session and serve as the DJ at the winner's birthday party, where he will spin the song for the top prize-getter and 50 of his or her friends. The winning bidder will also get a 2012 collector's edition Ferrari, $250,000 in cash and a trip to Las Vegas with 10 friends to spend New Year's Eve with Fergie while staying in the "Real World" penthouse suite.
Once 1 million people pre-register and the bidding begins, all the money donated in bids will go toward building 10,000 classrooms in the Philippines and improving education in the nation. And even before the first brick is laid, bidders will be able to join together to help build "virtual classrooms."
According to a release announcing the effort, every bid will allow users to buy virtual books, pencils, chairs, desks, etc., and help build virtual classrooms in an effort to combine gaming, social networking and philanthropy. Each time a bidder finishes a virtual classroom, an actual classroom will be named for that bidder once construction is completed on the new schools.
In a unique twist, the initial fee to place a charity bid is 99 cents, with the bidding price beginning at $0. Organizers expect the final package to go for no more than a few hundred dollars thanks to a system in which each bid increases the top price by just a fraction of a penny.
Each bid will also entitle users to an app, music download or play list curated by Apl and featuring an exclusive song or the chance to have Apl follow you on Twitter.