When you’re not doing something music related, what are you up to in Florida? Where do you eat?
Yeah, you know, that’s been a standing problem for me, because I love food, and I’m sorry but I’m going to keep it real—where I live is no New York, it’s no L.A. There’s a place called Café Martorano [3343 E. Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale] that’s incredible. It’s Italian food but mob-style. The dude’s cooking, he’s playing movies. He makes the craziest cheesesteak and pasta. It’s really great. That’s all in Broward off of Oakland Park Boulevard, East, by the beach and he has another one at the Hard Rock but I like the one by Oakland Park.
Because its smaller?
Because it’s the one. It’s the one he’s at. He’s cooking. He’s at the other one, too. Also there’s another Italian spot in my hometown called Mario [6370 North State Road 7, Coconut Creek] that has incredible food.
What would you order there?
I like…you know what, they have this almond crusted sea bass. That’s my favorite dish there. That’s incredible. Then they have this cowboy steak—you’ll fight over it.
How do they dress it up?
They have this peppered crust on top of the steak. It’s really good, and the place has great atmosphere. In Miami, there’s a couple of places I like to go. There’s a place called Gratzi [701 Washington Ave., Miami Beach], which is another Italian spot. But you know I’m not big into Italian food really, it's just that many of the people that live in Florida come from up North, places like New York. It’s all Italian food and delis, Jewish delis, or Chinese food. But you know, I’m into soul food. I’m into the Griddle [7916 West Sunset Blvd.] in L.A. Yesterday we went to Katz’s Deli [205 E Houston St.]. Sick!
Yeah, it’s an institution.
We need that down there. So I’m really just sick of all the restaurants down there. We need some better food. They need to step their game up. I mean we have like P.F Changs and all this…
Right; stuff you could find anywhere that’s not doing anything special.
But in Miami, for steak, Prime [16395 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura] is good but Red [119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach] is better. Prime is just, “I’m going to Prime.” Everybody goes to Prime because it’s so expensive, but it’s a steak, just like at Outback. Tastes just as good to me. I like Red better, but you know, what the fuck? Who can’t make a damn steak? Go get a good piece of meat, put it the fuck on the grill, and cook it. How hard is that? It’s easy. I bet you can make a nasty steak on that grill. Put on some pepper and salt. You don’t do anything else. So when you can do something that’s more significant than a great steak, then we can talk about a great restaurant. Sorry, that’s how I feel.
I appreciate that.
They make the best fish, though.
The ingredients are solid.
Make a dish that’s like signature. Something where people can be like, “My God.” So Miami needs to step it up. Broward and Palm Beach need to step it up.
What are some other things that you do when you are in Miami or in your hometown?
I race cars. Making music has been my passion, but it’s become my job so I’ve found a new passion in racing. Me and Bucky Lasek now are racing cars. We have Rebel Rock Racing and we built a team. We’re racing the American Le Mans series next year.
Do you drive?
Where do you practice?
We’re doing the PCA, PBOC, NASA racing, you know we’re doing the club racing right now. SCCA. Next year we’re racing professionally.
Those are just tracks there?
Yeah, that’s kind of been my new pastime over the last two years.
How’d you get into it?
Just went to the track to do a track event, which is an off the grid event, Palm Beach International, and just drove my car with one of the local dealers. They let you take your car out there with an instructor and stuff and I was like “Wow! You can really do this?” So I started doing that, brought a faster car.
So anybody can do this?
Yeah, I can take you out. Put you up with an instructor and you can learn how to drive on the track. To get my race license, I had to go through a lot of training.
But you can take out your own private vehicle?
Yeah, if you got a BMW, if you’ve got anything—Honda, Corvette, Camaro, whatever you want. Take it out and you can whip it around and learn how to brake and turn. Learn what your car will and won’t do. It’s a good experience. It’s driver’s education and from that I wanted to go faster and I wanted to race. So I graduated from that to racing.
So what do you drive now that you race?
We race a Porsche Cup Car.
You know on a track like Daytona, your top speeds can bring you up to 165-170. You’re mostly cornering and stuff so your average speed is probably 90, you know. You’re not always flying and most of the accidents, and this is wishful thinking, hopeful, God willing, most of your accidents are happening at slower speeds like 60-50 mph. Not at 160. When those happen, it’s bad. So you know, like in the LMS race, the Le Mans 24-hour race where this accident happened at 140 and it was terrible. But no one got hurt. But the car was disintegrated. We’re also doing these events called Rock the Grid where I’m going to be bringing Nelly out, Kelly Rowland, Pitbull, Yelawolf, and B.o.B to do concerts at these track day events and we’re doing it for a benefit.
So it's a race during the day and then …
We’re doing rally for kids with cancer. We’re doing Think Pink with Steve Rifkind. We’re going to do that in East Boca, and follow it with a race to raise money for cancer, breast cancer.
Do you have the first one lined up?
We have November. There’s also going to be the Think Pink thing. It’s a concert in Mazda Park so we’re doing that as well.
How did that come together? Just put together you’re two passions?
Well, my publicist reached out to them and we were trying to just connect with somebody that had a good cause. So we're going to raise money for kids with cancer. I thought it was a good cause. And for breast cancer, there is a gene that you can be checked for, that women can be checked for, and a lot of women don’t know about it. So this is a thing to give them all the information and teach them about that so they can cap it, nip it in the bud, you know. So we’re behind that as well and that’s local as well, a local concert in Boca.