Story: Mark Lelinwalla
Photography: Andrew Link
WHAT SHE’S BANGIN’
NAS & DAMIAN MARLEY “As We Enter”
BIG SEAN “Guap”
BEYONCÉ “End of Time”
SPRAGGA BENZ “Red Dot Special”
M.I.A. “Bad Girls”
SEAN PAUL The Trinity
ERUP “Click My Finger”
EVE Lip Lock
How is it participating in the Gumball 3000?
I love it! I’ve done it three years in a row now. I’m going to do it this year, too. I tell people it’s the best week you can ever have. Gumball brings together kings and princes from Saudi [Arabia] to skateboarders to hip-hop artists—like me—to heart surgeons. This year is the 15th anniversary. We’re driving through 13 different countries in seven days. It’s gonna be bananas!
Picture a clear highway at Gumball. What song is going to make you mash the gas?
[Yelling] “I woke up in that new Bugatti!” [Ace Hood’s] “Bugatti” record is so crazy! I could probably listen to that like hardcore, the whole drive. I’m the type of person who puts a song on repeat, where I could seriously listen to it 100 times. I usually make a playlist for Gumball.
What do you make of driving music as a whole?
I think getting behind the wheel is the best way to listen to music. I don’t usually drive in New York—I jump in and out of cars—but if I’m in L.A. or London or something, and I go to the studio and have my music with me, I have to hear it in the car. I feel like you get the full power [of the music while driving] because you’re in a cocoon, so it’s surrounding you. To me, you get the best sound. If a song sounds good in the car, then it’s a good record to me. When I’m driving, it takes me out of my head. I’m paying attention, but there’s nothing better than being on an open road, driving and listening to music.
What would be your dream car to blast music out of?
Well, at Gumball, the car that I’m driving is a Gumball Edition Land Rover. I know the sound system in that is gonna be crazy! It almost reminds you of the Benz truck, which was one of my favorite trucks anyway, but it still looks like a Land Rover. It’s kind of rugged and military-like, but it’s sexy. I like vehicles like that.
Here are two different situations: Tell us what music you would bump for 1) pulling out of the lot of your high school reunion; 2) your first drive after your wedding.
I would never go to my high school reunion [laughs], but if I did, I would probably wanna hear an old Biggie record. I listened to Biggie so much in high school. After getting married, I’d probably listen to [Stevie Wonder’s] “Ribbon in the Sky.” It’s from back in the day, but it’s a record when I was little that I always used to say, “If I ever get married, this song has to play!”
What track off your new album, Lip Lock, makes great driving music?
The whole record! Nah, I’m kidding. I have a record called “Zero Below,” and that’s a dope driving record. It’s kind of laid-back but still hardcore.