Listening to pop music these past couple of decades has been a little bit like listening to an ad for the lavish lifestyle of the super-rich. As Lorde famously sang, “But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash,” and represent something you wouldn’t normally pick up at the local Chevy dealers. Like this example, many songs and songwriters describe the immense wealth and the lifestyle that go along with being famous and rich, and don’t necessarily sound like they would be shopping at car dealerships in Rochester NY.
If you’re talking about cars, this is especially true: Maserati, Lamborghini, and Bentley are amongst the most mentioned cars in rap songs. Lorde, as we mentioned before, included Maybach in her lyrics. Jaguar has had a lot of mentions over the years as well. With all of these posh mentions, you’d think none of them had ever been to their local Chevy dealers.
However, even within “Royals,” you get an interesting car make mention: “We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.” While Cadillac and Chevrolet do produce luxury cars, they’re not normally considered on the same level or in the same price range as a Bugatti or a Porsche, as any new Chevy dealer could tell you. In fact, there are a few car brands that get more mentions in song lyrics than you’d think.
- Chevrolet. Chevy’s are sold at local Chevy dealers about once every 7 seconds, making them one of the most popular car brands in the world, and lining up just the Chevy’s sold in 2010 alone would make a line halfway across the world, giving used Chevy dealers a lot of stock. However, over 1,000 songs have included lyrics about Chevrolet, including some by Mariah Carey and Jay Z. Chevys continue to be mentioned in rap songs over the years and more often, recently peaking in 2013.
- Cadillacs. Cadillacs are one of the oldest and most well-known car brands in the United States, and was the preferred mode of transport for Al Capone. Over the years, it’s been one of the most named brands in hip hop and rap lyrics, beating out even Maybach for mentions. In fact, Macklemore’s song “White Walls is entirely about his awesome Caddy that he purchased from a “geezer.”
- Jeep. The name “Jeep” actually comes from the 1940s when they were simply “GPs” or military General Purpose vehicles, when a cartoon character mispronounced GP as “jeep.” Back in the 60s it was thought of as sports car and praised by Enzo Ferrari, and the brand was one of Ronald Reagan’s favorites, as Rochester car dealerships will tell you. Jeep also happens to be mentioned in several hip hop songs, such as “Hot Boyz” by Missy Elliot, and is more often mentioned than Maserati.
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