No music video genre puts cars center stage quite like rap. DJ Kool Herc’s ‘66 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible toted two massive speakers through The Bronx at the advent of Hip Hop, and Dr. Dre choreographed a Chevy Impala parade through the streets of Los Angeles when the West Coast was where the future of rap. Cars in rap videos have always taken center stage, and each says something about the era—whether it’s a vintage Detroit-made convertible, or an import fresh off a freighter from Germany, few musical genres worship the whip like rap.
Creating a comprehensive list of the best cars in rap videos would take years. Hell, trying to catalogue every car mentioned in Ludacris’ “Roll Out” video (let alone the MSRPs he spits) would take longer to put together than the wait for J. Cole’ next album.
So here are a few solid car cameos from the birth of Hip Hop to now. To get the true story of cars in hip-hop, you have to see the range of rides through time. Some are Maybachs, others are minivans. Not every car is a stunner—but that’s the point.