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At age 23, Sean Kingston has already been back in America for nearly seven years (he moved to Jamaica at age six). Launched by his hit single "Beautiful Girls" back in '07, he has continued to make music, recently releasing his album Back 2 Life and getting feature spots on songs with Migos, Mally Mall, Tyga, and Keyshia Cole. And although he dipped out of the spotlight for a while, his other passion for cars never stopped growing. If you follow him on Instagram, you know that his rotation of vehicles is never lacking flash and luxury, constantly featuring cars like Lamborghinis and Bentleys. We caught up with the singer to talk shop.
What has been your relationship with cars?
I love cars, man. The first car that I drove was a Toyota Tundra, it was my dad's truck, and I just used to take it around the block all the time, man. I just fell in love with cars at a young age. I love to drive even now. People be like, "I get tired of driving," and I'm like, "how do you get tired of driving?" I love it. It's just fun to me.
I remember I used to collect them and I still do. Mad Lamborghinis and muscle cars, vintage Chevys, 'verts, Impalas and stuff.
What was the first car you ever owned?
The first car I had for myself was a Dodge Magnum. The record label was renting it for me. It was like a 7-month rental, so I felt like I owned the car. That was right when I got my deal when I was 16, so I was like, "yo …" Comin' from the hood with nothin' in your pocket to driving a Dodge Magnum, it was a hot car when it first came out. It was either that or the Charger. The first car that I owned, though, was a Bentley [Flying] Spur. I was 19.
Where were you driving that?
I was out in L.A., Hollywood. When I first moved to L.A., that's where I got my deal, I was basically just cruising around there. It was pretty dope, though.
What is your favorite car that you've owned?
The Bentley Mulsanne. That car is dope, I love that car. The Mulsanne is a Mulsanne, it sticks out, looks like a Shark. The new Range is pretty nice, too, 2013. And the Aventador.
What type of car do you prefer?
I'm all about the luxury. You know, I'm 6'3", 285 lbs, so I want to be able to be comfortable. Those sports cars sometimes get uncomfortable. Bentley, mostly, is like a jet on wheels. It reminds me of a cockpit, everything is just nice. I like it. There are times when I let my security drive and a lot of times I'll just pass out.
On the Internet you're always going to have doubters of whether or not you really own your cars. How do you respond to that?
My whole thing is that if you see the cars in my pictures more than one time, different locations and such, it's my car. People say a lot of stuff. "Oh, he's a one-hit wonder, how can he afford that?" But if I'm a one-hit wonder and can't afford it … like, I've been in this for about six years now, right? The money would have been gone by now, right? I just have my hands in so much stuff that people don't really know about. I don't really even read those Instagram comments. I don't get lost in them. It's probably just a 16-year-old at home on his laptop, pissed off at the world, because he's not where I'm at.
How many cars do you have right now?
I have four: the Mulsanne, the Bentley, the 2013 Range and the G-Wagon. I drive the Range everyday, it's so smooth.
I've noticed you also have posted a few photos with bikes and quads. There seems to be sort of a wave of that in hip-hop.
Yeah, I been on that. I love that, I grew up on that with like Banshees and Raptors and I have a Can-Am Spyder. I like that thing. I was actually one of the first people with it. If you go back to my "Dutty Love" video with Nicki Minaj, I shipped my Can-Am to Jamaica. I was one of the first ones with it. I just got it back like seven months ago, too, it was down there all this time for like two years. There were some issues that the bike wasn't supposed to be there without a permit, but we got it in, because we found a way around it. The Can-Am Spyders are nice, but I love four-wheelers, too. It's a way of life. It's been a part of what we do, just riding bikes up in the neighborhoods. And now we can actually show it within our culture.
How was that a part of your life growing up?
Growing up, my neighborhood was all bikes, especially my dad. He had a Harley, so that was big for me. Four-wheelers, dirt bikes, 125 Yamahas, I had one of those. Now, with the Bike Life thing, it's more of a culture about what we do when we're not doing music.