Living Legend and Memphis-native, 8Ball and his partner MJG are responsible for some of the best riding music ever recorded. Yessir, they came out hard and taught us all about space age pimping.
Born Premro Smith, 8Ball was raised on classic American automobiles. His solo music reflects that, with sounds born for hitting city Boulevards and lamping in parking lots. Ball's most recent effort, Premro, dropped in March. With features from Waka, Styles P, the ubiquitous 2Chainz, and executive production from Drumma Boy, the joint has all the proper elements for summer cruising. His new project, Life's Quest, which features Big K.R.I.T., Angie Stone, Slim (of 112), and 2 Chainz, is set to hit shelves July 17.
Complex caught up with 8Ball to discuss his favorite automobiles and some of the best memories he's had in classic cars and trucks.
Which car models do you view as classics?
I definitely love a ‘68 Impala. The four door ‘68 Impala, because they call those 8 Balls. I love a ‘69 Chevelle SS and the ‘72 because that is the year I was born. The Impala SS and Chevelle SS are my favorite models.
I really like the ‘70 Cutlass too. My mama had had a brown ‘70 Cutlass when I was young. She had the brown joint and I really loved that car. I just had great memories of that car. Standin’ up on the back seat, how long ago was that that you could stand on the back seat?
What about newer cars? Are you into Porches or anything like that?
I really loved my Suburban. I could fit all the bitches in it and we would ride around and smoke and have a good time.
I’m really not a Porsche type a guy... I love the new cars like the Ferrari's and Bentley's. I never had enough money for a good car when I was young. I might of had a piece of shit Cadillac that one of my partners sold me for 2 or 3 hundred bucks, but when I started making money I bought Benz’s, Escalades, Corvettes and stuff like that. I’ve had fun in all of those.
I had a Benz I liked a lot, but I really loved my Suburban. I could fit all the bitches in it and we would ride around and smoke and have a good time. It was like a house on wheels. That was in like ‘95 when I was like 24, endless fun, man, endless fun. Those would probably be the greatest memories I had of that car. I also owned a red drop top Mustang that was my first real car, I got that in ‘93 or ‘94 something like that.
Why do you think cars are so popular in rap, like a status symbol with rims and everything?
Those things man brought to the world like baggy jeans and breakdancing, a poor man can show off and have something to be proud of...the chrome and stereos came from the hood, that's the culture..no big explanation for it; why do motherfuckers get a tattoo or an earing in their shit? You know its the same thing?
Did you customize your cars in any other way?
I lived in Texas for a while, big rims and candy paint was what it was when we were young with some money. It was just the thing to do. We used to do that candy red, on our album covers the cars had that candy red. On Top of the World, the Viper on there had that dark red candy paint. MJG had a candy green Chevy. I been factory for a while though, since like 2000.