OK, I couldn’t resist. I went back to the New York International Auto Show to take another look around. No hip-hop superstar with me this time, just me, a friend and some quality time with some of the finest cars in the world. It’s a lot of fun.
Cars have played a huge part in hip-hop culture since the very beginning. From Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” (one of my favourite car-chase scenes in a music video) to the army of low-riders in “Still Dre” to one of my favourite cars ever in Jay-Z video, the Maybach Exelero Concept in “Lost Ones” — the world of hip-hop takes its car game very seriously. That’s why I thought I’d give out some awards based on the swagger, style, design and power of some of this year’s hottest cars. Welcome to the unofficial MTV Hip-Hop Car Awards!
The Jay-Z Award: Mercedes-Benz Maybach Zeppelin
Like Jay-Z, the Maybach Zeppelin is “official.” It’s the real executive choice, a true OG. It may be understated, but this car’s power, sophistication and style are undeniable. The Zeppelin might look more grown-up than the rest of the younger sports cars, but with a twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre V12 engine that now delivers a massive 640 brake horsepower, don’t underestimate the Zeppelin. It’ll hit 60 mph from standstill in 5.0 seconds, climb all the way to 171 mph, and still look like a king on the road. The best of both worlds. What do you expect for a price tag around the $600,000 mark?
Like Lil Wayne, the SLR redefined the game. It is a true super car in a league of its own. Before the SLR, there was nothing like it. The super-charged 5.5 litre V8 engine generates a monstrous 650 brake horsepower. It goes 0-62 mph in a lightning quick 3.6 seconds and has an unbelievable top speed of 209 mph. A freak of nature, well, machinery.
The Puffy Award: Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Like Diddy, the Phantom Drophead is a serious attention grabber. You can’t ignore this one. It’s a bold and in-your-face statement of wealth, swagger and success. Arguably one of the best looking cars at the show, the Phantom commands respect. Not as grown-up as the Maybach Zeppelin, the Phantom is a true player’s car. And now that the convertible Drophead has arrived and summer is coming, this is the car to be seen in.
The 50 Cent Award: Lamborghini Murcielago
Like 50 Cent, the Lamborghini Murcielago handles business with an ice-cold stare. If it’s parked on the street, everyone is going to stop and take a look. You can’t ignore it. It does not blend in. It makes a bold statement. It takes no prisoners, looks like a beast and sounds like one too. With a 6.5 litre V12 engine developing 640 brake horsepower and going 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, the Lambo Murcielago can reach a top-speed of 244 mph. Plus, 50’s already got one!
The Kanye West Award: Fisker Karma
Like Kanye West, the Fisker Karma is way ahead of its time. It’s got the mind of a geeky genius on the inside with the style of a true trendsetter on the outside. The Fisker looks like a cross between an Aston Martin and a Corvette. The interior is like a spaceship. No dials in sight. Everything is digital and even the onboard computer boasts iPhone-esque touch-screen capabilities, the first of its kind. But that’s not all. It may look like a regular sports car, but move closer and the solar panels on the roof tell a different story. The Fisker is the first electric car I have ever seen that I am in awe of. What Kanye did with backpacks, the Fisker does for electric cars.
And that concludes the 2009 unofficial MTV Hip-Hop Car Awards.