Story: Maurice Bobb
Photography: Zach Wolfe
Yes, you’ve seen Jay “Young Jeezy” Jenkins bending some serious corners in a spankin’-new, lemon-lime Lamborghini Murciélago in the video for his single “I Luv It” from his platinum album “The Inspiration.”
He may own a Skittles-colored Italian speedster, but forget about that, because Jeezy, as it turns out, would much rather you picture him rollin’ in something that’s been aged to perfection. “You’ll see me riding in an old-school muscle car before you’ll see me in the Lambo,” says Jeezy, pointing out that he’s been collecting classic chariots long before cashing fat checks from the Carter administration. “In the A, you turn a lot more heads when you ride out in a clean old-school.” Although he’s just getting started in the rap game, spittin’ ethereal tales of life in the Trap on street bangers like “Soul Survivor” and “Go Getta,” Jeezy’s no rookie when it comes to that old-school whip appeal. Make no mistake about it, the boy Jeezy’s a ridah.
RIDES: While the A may bring its “A” game when it comes to music, it seems like the MIA outshines your hometown when it comes to whips. Are we bugging?
YOUNG JEEZY: Yeah, we got a crazy car culture in the ATL. You can’t just have one car, you gotta have a collection. Like, you gotta have a truck for the winter. Real bosses don’t ride in any of their old-schools in the winter. You put your fly old-school shit in the garage for the winter and pull out a truck. But when the weather is tight, you pull your shit out and ride out to the park.
Aight, so you’re slow-rollin’ to Mosley Park in the A. Which old-school are you pullin’ out?
My favorite is the Cutlass. I’ve had about four of them in all. I had a 442, two regular ones and now the convertible one that has the digital dash and, of course, the Alpine in it. That’s so Georgia, man.
So that’s a Peach State staple? Or is snow money really code for Alpine endorsement checks?
[Laughs] You got to have an Alpine in that bitch, ’cause that’s just what we do. If you don’t have an Alpine in your shit, you fuckin’ up.
What’s the biggest difference between copping something new and something old?
When you dealing with old-school cars, you gotta come correct. This is something that you take and restore. You restored it and got the paint done, added the headliner, the Alpine, the digi-dash; you put that together. It’s like when you go out and buy a house. That’s easy. But when you build one from the ground up, that’s special. With a house that you built, that’s your house; that’s you. That’s how it is with the old-schools: You built that from the ground up; that’s what you wanted.
With such an appreciation of classic whips in Georgia, you must have to keep an eye on ya whip like it’s a cheating girlfriend.
Oh yeah, you gotta watch your shit, because niggas will steal your shit. They’ll steal your old-school faster than something foreign like a Benz or BMW. You’ll look up and that muthafucka will be gone.
You’ve mentioned that you were into cars long before Jay-Z made you his opening act after becoming the HNIC at Def Jam. What kind of cars did you have back in the day?
I had whatever car was hot at the time. Back in ’95, I had the big S500 when that was the shit. When the BMW 850 came out, I was the first nigga to get that one, too. I’m a D-Boy, man; I stay with the trends. But I gotta be the first to get whatever is hot. That’s the thing in the A. You gotta be that first nigga with the hot shit. Like when that Bentley GT came out, I had to be the first nigga with it. Whatever’s hot that niggas be talkin’ about, I’m the first one up on it.
If you had to make a top-10 list of classic hood cars, what car would ride out in first?
The number one hood car now, and forever to me, has gotta be that ’96 Impala SS. I love that car. And of course, I got one. Every time I roll out in that, it reminds me of how shit used to be.
How do you stack up to other big time car collectors in Atlanta?
Man, as far as the car game, ain’t nobody seein’ me right now in the A, and this is before rap. Before I signed my deal, niggas used to come out just to see my shit. Can’t nobody see me right now. I’m a monster with this shit, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
-MAY 2007 issue of RIDES Magazine