Story Mary H.K. Choi /// Photography Zach Wolfe
Nitti, born Chadron Moore, is the Southern beatsmith responsible for the Grammy-nominated Yung Joc single, “It’s Goin’ Down.” Therefore, the 27-year-old is also kinda responsible for Tom Cruise’s elderly motorcycle convulsions on 106 & Park earlier last year. But senior actors aren’t the only aged things Nitti makes move—most notably cars, which he collects so enthusiastically that he says he has trouble keeping track of them.
That’s not too hard to believe considering all the paper Nitti has stacked, providing beats for T.I., Bow Wow and Young Jeezy. Presently working on his own album, slated for a release on Warner some time in the second quarter of 2008, the producer insists that he will be creating no fewer than 100 tracks from which he’ll select the finest 15. We caught up with the vintage-auto enthusiast to talk about smooth American cars, why Lambos are played out and his impending collaborations with other less-ancient, more rhythmically inclined white guys.
So you’ve always liked your cars thrown back. What was your first car ever?
I like classic cars. It’s something that I got really into when I got some money. The first car I ever had was a 1966 Chevy Impala.
You love your Chevrolets. When did you get the Chevelle?
I’ve had it a year. It was actually a car that my friend had for a long time. He had taken real good care of it and fully restored it. It’s a 1968. I made him an offer ’cause I thought it was hot. It’s like a show car. From the inside out, it’s the perfect running car. You can’t hear it when it’s crunked. The speed, the traction—it’s everything you’d want in an older car.
So performance is key.
It performs [laughs]. It’s actually illegal for it to be on the street ’cause I put a nitrogen [oxide] booster on it.
Nice. So speed is key, too.
I like speed, but I don’t like to use it too much. One day, I was riding my ’72 convertible Chevy Impala down the street. I had it boosted up, and I had another carburetor put on the car and was doing 80[mph] in a 40 and started sliding. The car turned sideways, so I slid for a hundred feet and couldn’t stop, and I had the top down. It was funny at the time ’cause I had no idea a big car could slide that far. I didn’t think about how dangerous it was until a year later.
Did being where you’re from influence your auto selection?
Down in Atlanta we like new-school cars too, but one thing about being in the South, it’s like showtime every day. You want to pull out something real clean that the girls are gonna like. We like cars down here.
Do you mess with the interiors a lot?
The interiors [of my cars] will match. There’s nothing too standout-ish. I don’t do that boogie stuff. That’s what we call boogie. If somebody do something boogie they’ll put that Louis Vuitton shit, frosted flake emblems and symbols on the side. We don’t do that. You can do that, but you ain’t gonna get no respect from me. What they’re doing right now with cars is, like, taking a UPS symbol or the FedEx symbol and putting it on that. You might have a Church’s Chicken car. That’s all boogie stuff. We don’t do that.
I got a lot of partners that collect cars. What’s funny though, all my partners that collect cars, you don’t see these cars come out all the time. We’ll buy a car and then put ’em up. We don’t ride them that much. Most of my partners are in music or sports, so we buy stuff and don’t even have time to enjoy it. A lot of the time you might buy stuff and forget you got it.
So you never went through a flashy import-car phase or anything?
When I first got a break financially, I thought about buying Lamborghinis and all this crazy stuff. But people buy Lamborghinis like Hondas now. I don’t want nothing that everybody else has.
So you’re working on your album. Any interesting collaborations?
I got a lot of surprises, a couple of bigwigs on there. Put it like that. Nelly, we got a record we did. Slim Thug. Me and Jeezy are getting ready to do a record. I’m gonna have fun with that album. I’m friends with John Mayer. That’s a good partner. You might see him pop up on the album somewhere and he might be singing or rapping [laughs]. I got some good stuff.