By Fiachra Gibbons, AFP
PARIS–He is after all rap’s renaissance man. The singer will.i.am revealed to the world Tuesday the results of his most unlikely collaboration yet after he was allowed to spend an “awesome” night inside the Louvre museum. The Black Eyed Peas frontman shot a video of his song “Smile Mona Lisa” in the Paris landmark as a tribute to his hero, Leonardo da Vinci — and found the place “so cool” he decided to make a documentary about it. In the music clip will.i.am appears in some of the museum’s greatest masterpieces, including as a gun-toting revolutionary in Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” while singer Nicole Scherzinger slips into the clothes of the enigmatic Mona Lisa.
Actor, philanthropist and tech evangelist will.i.am, who is Intel’s director of creative innovation as well as the man behind the Puls smartwatch, told AFP he saw many parallels between Da Vinci and today’s tech pioneers.
“Leonardo (and other Renaissance artists) were the tech of those times … they were engineers, inventors, they were into astronomy, anatomy and they painted for leisure,” he said. “When I see the Renaissance I see hope, because the world changed in 1716, 1816 and 1916. And here we are in 2016 and it’s awesome.”