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Day 4

1:15pm

Sendai Rising

will.i.am and Blaise Plant of Monkey Majik, a Sendai-based band, get together to give back.

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Mix & Mash

One of the reasons for will.i.am’s visit to Sendai was to thank the student volunteers who’ve been helping with the big clean-up efforts. When we get to the school auditorium venue, over 500 students eagerly await his arrival. The MCs for the event are two students and they get the house rocking by playing a mashup of tunes related to will.i.am’s musical history. None of this has been rehearsed—all of it’s a surprise—and will.i.am appears as delighted as the audience at the musical twists that the DJs are throwing at him. Rehearsal or not, he never misses a beat.

Freestyle. Anytime, Anywhere.

Just as the event is wrapping up, the kids throw out one more surprise: They ask will.i.am and Blaise Plant to do an impromptu freestyle performance together. They both have that “OMG SRSLY?!?” look on their faces for a split second. But how can anyone say no to this audience? Blaise and will.i.am have never met before, have never played together before, and have almost no obvious musical common ground between them, so no one is quite sure what to expect…

Fast forward three minutes: they bring the house down, the crowd goes wild, and we’re all energized for the ride back to Tokyo.

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