Apparently, Janis Joplin and hip-hop have something in common: their favorite vehicle to mention on record is Mercedes-Benz.
Recently, Medium’s Cuepoint did a deep-dive into the lyrical goldmine that is Rap Genius, in search of the car makes and models mentioned most of all. Mercedes handily took top honors, buoyed by its ubiquitous presence as a symbol of attainable wealth. (You might recognize the brand from the Lost Boyz classic, “Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz, and Benz.”) Since Medium also looked at frequency of references made over time, you can see Mercedes remaining steadily popular over the years and then spiking hard around 2010. Although the Benz is the #1 car make in the hearts of rappers, the #1 model is the ’64 Chevy Impala, beloved by both Eazy E and Skee-Lo, who in my mind have already collaborated beyond the grave as Skeazy E-Lo. (RIP Eazy E.)
Which other whips have the most rappers preferred to ghostride? Audi is right there in the middle, perhaps solely on the strength of having been the preeminent exit line of ’90s vernacular. Maybach is not as high as one might expect, given that Rick Ross’s vanity label was named after the vehicle, and he and all his artists shout it out constantly. And the least loved car is apparently Subaru, the preferred vehicle of Vermonters and thus hip-hop’s vehicular nemesis.
This information is all well and good, but who can we talk to about getting rappers to stop referring to Ferraris as ‘raris?