In 2003, Nate Dogg posed a question that keeps rappers up at night: “Could you love me on a bus?” he crooned on the chorus of 50 Cent’s hit “21 Questions.” Fiddy raises an equally important conundrum on the same track: “If I went back to a hoopty from a Benz / Would you poof and disappear, like some of my friends?” If ever there was a song to remind the listener that you’re not a baller unless you own expensive cars, this is it.
Cars and hip-hop go together like gin and juice: they are an essential ingredient in that complex lyrical hierarchy that tells your peers that you have climbed that ladder of success a few rungs higher. Recent research by Gocompare analyzed more than 62,000 songs on Rap Genius from artists featured in the Top 40 Rap US Billboard Charts across the past decade to find the most mentioned cars and the artists who made the most mentions.
LA rapper The Game came out top with 473 car mentions, while Gucci Mane and Rick Ross were second and third with 431 and 349 shouts respectively. Nas crept into the top 10 with 153. The data unveiled Mercedes-Benz as the most mentioned brand, while the Chevrolet Impala and Range Rover are the models with the most name-checks.
In the spirit of looking at rappers’ relationships with their whips, here’s our guide to the most favored rides in hip-hop, both on and off the lyric sheet:
Compton rapper The Game is the biggest motor name-dropper in… er, the game. While his videos feature more vehicles than a season of Top Gear, the Chevy Impala is The Game’s favorite whip to natter about.
While the latest Impala might be seen as something of a dad-mobile, the early-to-mid ’60s versions are the ones to have, especially on hydraulics to give your Olde English some extra fizz.
You’ll find The Game piloting a ’65 in “Celebration” but biggest showing for this car is the iconic bouncing ’64 in Dr Dre’s “Let Me Ride.”
Otherwise known as a “Mercy” if you are into making ground-shaking hip-hop tracks, the flagship V12 Lamborghini has always been about making the biggest impression possible.
Thanks mainly to a buy-out by Audi in 1998, cars like the Murcielago became user-friendly enough that this impact wouldn’t be breaking down or reversing into a lamppost outside the club.
This car features in Kanye West’s “Mercy” and was recently found lurking in Rick Ross and Skrillex’s “Purple Lamborghini.” Three years ago, Ross put his well-used matt black and carbon-wrapped LP640-4 Roadster on sale for $210,000 on eBay.