Nobody in hip-hop loves Corvettes more than Curren$y. The New Orleans rapper traveled to Detroit to celebrate the great American sports car's 60th birthday—and to see its future.
This feature is a part of Complex's Corvette Week.
Written by Tony Markovich (@T_Marko); Cinematography by Ross Haines.
With his left hand firmly squeezing the top of the leather steering wheel, his left foot sinking into the clutch, and his right hand clasping the headrest of the passenger’s seat, Curren$y slides the seven-speed manual gearbox into “R” and creeps a bright Laguna Blue Corvette into a parking spot outside a drive-in burger joint. Without discussion, a beautiful woman in his passenger’s seat presses the little red button and places their order over the beefy “lug, lug, lug” growl coming from the centered quad exhaust.
Shakes, tater tots, coneys, limeades—anything that’s on that cluttered, back-lit menu of American fast food, she orders it. Two full cupholders and a few giant turning-translucent bags of greasy grub later, he throws the ‘Vette into first. Four hundred and sixty pound-feet of torque send the rear rubber into a furious fit, billowing smoke before ripping out of the parking lot. The brutal roar of the LT1 engine startles the roller-skating servers and fellow patrons alike, sending milkshakes flying and fast food spilling into unsuspecting laps.
Freeze that frame. That is how Curren$y imagines the commercial for the new 2014 C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. If you ask him, that scene would have those cars flying off the lot. And he should know. The New Orleans rapper and car enthusiast is not ashamed to admit that it was a 1984 commercial for the Corvette that convinced him to purchase his first C4 (the fourth iteration of the classic American sports car, produced between 1984 and 1996).
He still remembers the ad vividly. “It began as genius and grew to be legend and has become, at long last, the most advanced production car on the planet,” a booming voice announces over an intergalactic background track that sounds like a video game. “You’ve never! Seen! Anything! Like this! Be-fore!”
The brutal roar of the LT1 engine startles the roller-skating servers and fellow patrons alike, sending milkshakes flying and fast food spilling into unsuspecting laps.
“How could you not buy this car?” Curren$y asks after reciting the spot from memory. “I got this shit saved on my computer. I’ll never forget that. It’s the best commercial ever.”
The 90-second spot that he became so enamored with leaves viewers with one final statement: “Chevrolet is taking charge.” As the 60th anniversary of the first Corvette to roll off the production line approaches this week, the message of that commercial has never been more relevant.
As the entire auto industry continues to make tremendous strides, on its huge comeback from the recession, Chevy has been one of the major players on the American side, pushing a reinvigorated lineup that maintains its legacy. And although the company has continued to create new solutions to improve upon eco-friendly emissions levels, it's also continued creating machines that pump out that forceful American power we love.
For the cost, the ‘Vette is the best sports car value you can find. It’s a car to aspire to, one that can hold the status of “I’m doing pretty damn well for myself” without having to sell every other car you own and downsizing your home. And that’s exactly the type of vehicle that can make the American dream come true—not some foreign car that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. The brand's very survival may depend on their ability to translate that message to the hip-hop generation.