It’s always fun to revisit some of our favorite artists, and T-Pain is definitely one of them! Not only is he fun to hang with, but he’s always down to talk shop, so we were excited to see what the Nappy Boy Entertainment CEO added to his fleet of rides since we last touched base with him for his cover feature in Issue 66 back in 2010.
Up first is his 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman John Cooper Works that’s ready for the track with standard high-performance tuning and parts, with its black and red paint scheme providing a sportier feel for the rapper. With lots of custom suede in its interior, it’s the system that really excites T-Pain. “I can’t live without the system,” he confesses.
Next on his driveway tour is his most extravagant purchase: a 2008 Bugatti Veyron. The $2-million dollar ride puts T-Pain in the exclusive Bugatti club with other artists like Birdman, Flo Rida and Lil Wayne. The decision to purchase one came after Lil Wayne let him take a test drive in his. “I tore his car up, though,” he laughs. “It’s my baby! The fastest I got her up to was 183 mph. Not on the road, though, but out in Miami on the track. After that I got super afraid and stopped pretty fast. It’s not great on brakes since it’s not made to stop; it’s made to go!”
I never thought I’d own a $2-million dollar car, let alone even having $2-million dollars!T-Pain continues to add that his Veyron has stopped traffic before, guessing that because seeing one on the road is not an everyday sight. While it’s still not his dream ride (that’s a car he can build from scratch), it’s still a huge accomplishment for the Tallahassee, FL born and bred artist. “It’s definitely one of the best cars I’ve owned,” he admits…and he’s owned plenty of rides over the years, from Lambos to old schools and everything else in between. “I never thought I’d own a $2-million dollar car, let alone even having $2-million dollars!”
But having that money isn’t enough for T-Pain, who provides us a bit of insight on his hustler mentality and the thought process that went into justifying such an insane purchase. “If I want something, I don’t tally up what I have in my bank account,” he explains. “Like if I need $40,000 for a down payment on something, I make sure to make the money first instead of just looking to what I already have in my bank account. I make that extra money to get what I want since what I already have in there is for my family.” According to T-Pain, it took a year’s worth of doing shows to make all that extra cash for the Bugatti, and he wasn’t too excited to do a lot of them.
After he introduced us to his latest obsession, he gave us the details behind his 2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead that he calls “Raymond,” which sits on a set of 2Crave 26-inch wheels. “The reason I wanted this so bad is that it’s literally the first Drophead Phantom that was made for North America,” he says. “The guy who bought it, Raymond, said he’d buy it for $2-mil at the auto show that it debuted at. His name is all over the place like inside the glove compartment and stuff. I left it there, but I added some one-off floor mats and rims, and left everything else as is because it’s a dope car on its own.”
But Raymond isn’t the only Rolls-Royce that T-Pain is flaunting these days; he also owns a 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost that sits on 22-inch Asanti AF165 color-matched wheels. It also features a custom system with two 12-inch RE Audio SX subwoofers, US Amps 3D amp and a fiberglass enclosure that houses a bottle of Louis XIV molded in.
As a lover of all rides, T-Pain does enjoy vintage cars. However, he recently got rid of about 12 old schools due to the wear and tear he was putting on them. “After driving the Bugatti, you want to drive fast in all your other cars, too, so I started manhandling my old schools and they kept breaking down on me. I may have gotten out of the old school game, but I still dabble in it on occasion. You always have to have some sort of old school ride in your collection.”
And to prove that he has no biases when it comes to cars, he shows us his unique 1996 Chevy Caprice “Monster Car” that isn’t as glamorous or fast as his other rides, but features loads of modifications that were done by the team at Auto Extremes in Atlanta (which he co-owns). “I kind of went overboard with customizing it,” he admits. “I added some rims with the Monster “M” centercaps, a slammed suspension, one-off interior… I’m still doing stuff to it, but it’s a slow project right now and not one of my main priorities.”
Auto Extremes has personalized more than 40 of T-Pain’s rides (including his tour bus that 2 Chainz now owns), as well as many other top names in hip-hop like Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Ciara and Keri Hilson, to name a few. As fate would have it, the rapper was introduced to them after getting denied at a nearby stereo shop. Auto Extremes was more than happy to open up its doors for T-Pain after they had closed on a Saturday to do some sound work on one of his previous cars. “This was right after his hit “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper)” was out, and we were excited to get the work done for him,” says co-owner, Robert Robinson.
Then in 2010, T-Pain decided to partner up with Robinson to help Auto Extremes become one of the most reputable shops in the South. “I’d be stupid not to team up with them,” T-Pain confesses. “I’m here to make something big happen for the shop.” While he loves all the work they’ve done on all of his cars, T-Pain does admit that it’s the modification of his ’72 Chevy “Joker” Impala that will always be his favorite.
“I had something to do with that whole process,” he says. “I helped build that car with two hands and it was built from scratch. It started off as a tore-up Impala and became the masterpiece it is today. It took a whole year to build and is a huge achievement for me.” The car’s theme was actually birthed from a dream the rapper had, which fueled its intricate and realistic airbrushed murals of the Joker from the The Dark Knight.
And despite looking like a finished masterpiece, T-Pain admits that he’ll never be finished with it. “To me, there’s always something that we can do to it to make it more perfect,” he explains. “It’s not just an amazing gift, but a curse to my life because I won’t stop working on it.” With all of its intricate modifications like the paint, audio and video system, numerous monitors, and more, the Joker Impala is also a key visualization for new customers of Auto Extremes. “They get to see how good we can customize cars,” T-Pain asserts. “All the work on the car is self-explanatory to the caliber of work we can do and how we can create something so magnificent from scratch.”
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