Now, if you're anything like me (and I have no doubt you are), you base many of your most important life decisions largely upon the opinions of others. Automotive purchases, perhaps life's most important decisions, are no exception. We all find figures to look up to, and who better to idolize and take important life advice from than the poets and philosophers of our age: Rappers. In terms of purchasing advice, they make Consumer Reports look like The National Enquirer. In recent years, I've taken to bettering myself by listening exclusively to rap music. Those that know me well will understand that this is why my wardrobe consists almost entirely of items from Gucci and Prada, and my bedsheets, flatware, and plates are all made by Versace.
I, for instance, based my most recent car purchase largely on the basis of the lyrical stylings of our generation's Walt Whitman: Mr. Tausheed Epps, better known as 2 Chainz (formerly the eponymous 'Tityboi'). In his 2012 Tour de Force "I Luv dem Strippers," Mr. Chainz bequeathed upon our ears this gem: "In my foreign car/with the trunk by the engine/ so when I back back, I'm frontin' on you n*****"
It's just like he said! The engine is in the goddamn trunk!
Having heard that, I immediately began to frantically search for a vehicle that met these impressive criteria. It had to be foreign, and have the trunk in or around the engine. Ferrari and the like being well outside of my price range, I had to have a Porsche, Lotus, or MR2.
The last vehicle I owned, an M3, was purchased largely as result of listening to a modern-day Shakespeare who should need no introduction: Mr. Christopher George Latore Wallace, a genius who was both B.I.G. and small, and above all, notorious. I was so hypnotized by his words, that I didn't even realize that his mention of an M3 involved him shooting at it. No matter, I had to have one.
Everywhere we look, it becomes clear that the main reason we buy the cars we do is that we are lucky enough to have these visionaries, these artists, to prescribe our automotive tastes for us. There is no doubt, for example, that our very own Doug DeMuro chose his Ferrari 360 over a Lexus due to the excellent "I Need a Doctor," by Dr. Dre. A song that, by the way, seems a little ridiculous at face- If you yourself are a doctor, why do you need another one? Unless he never actually went to medical school, which seems a little farfetched, even for art. Let's just hope Doug's Ferrari doesn't meet the same fate. Actually, another point of contention: Wouldn't the Ferrari explode or at least turn into a Maranello flambee after crashing?
And no, it's not all exotics, bling SUVs, and other expensive cars that rappers have created a market for: Let's examine the popularity of one of Jalopnik's well-documented favorites, the Mercedes W123. What's that you say? Surely this is a vehicle that owes its popularity to its remarkable build quality, longevity, and classic styling? Think again, because here it is, a central feature in Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino's, "Heartbeat." This just goes to show that even when we least suspect it, we have the subtle guiding hand of rap music to thank for our tastes in cars.
I'll end this musing with one of the greatest automotive-themed songs ever written, about what is unquestionably one of the greatest cars ever produced. Once again, I think that no one will question that the Bugatti Veyron owes most of its success and acclaim to a rap song. The celebrated wordsmith Ace Hood's "Bugatti" catapulted the VW Group's halo car to the status it now enjoys; without his magnum opus it is easy to imagine a world where the Bugatti rebirth is merely a footnote in automotive history. Thanks to Mr. Hood, the 1,000+HP hypercar has truly achieved the status it so richly deserved. So turn up the bass, sit back, and listen to automotive history.