In each episode of PIMP MY RIDE, rapper-turned-host Xzibit surprises an owner of an old, beat up car by telling them hes going to "pimp their ride" and transform it into something completely different. Joining Xzibit are the West Coast Customs crew, consisting of founder Ryan, manager Q, accessories man Big Dane, interiors specialist Ish, creator of off-the-wall electrical concepts Mad Mike and wheel and tire expert Alex. Exteriors are painted flashy colors, holes in upholstery are replaced with brand new seat covers, installation of DVD players and video game systems, a goldfish tank, an espresso machine, a ping-pong table, a bamboo floor, and a karaoke machine are only a few of the crazy things that make each car unique. With the crews hard work and creative and original ideas, old, rusty cars are transformed into one-of-a-kind masterpieces. No longer ashamed to drive on the road, the owners drive in style in their uniquely customized rides.
Hosted by rapper Xzibit, Pimp My Ride
is not your mother's car improvement program. It's more like a hip-hop Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
--with autos and automotive experts--than, say, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
. Or as the theme song puts it, "So you wanna be a playa / But ya wheels ain't fly / Ya gotta hit us up / To get a pimped out ride." In each installment, Xzibit, aka "X to the Z," hooks up with the crew at L.A.'s West Coast Customs: Ryan (owner), Q (manager), Mad Mike (electronics), Big Dane (accessories), Aren (paint and body), Ish (interiors), and Alex (wheels and tires). The California-based car owners selected as subjects range in age from 18-24 and most are students on a limited budget. All have rides in need of some serious pimping.
Take the ride featured in the first episode: Wyatt's 1988 Daihatsu Hi-Jet. The musician's "micro-van" is held together with duct tape, sheet metal, and calking. Friend Nathan describes it as "a toaster rolling on donuts." You won't recognize it when the West Coast crew gets finished with it. Now it's tricked out with silver flames, big rim tires, video monitors, a wraparound couch, a refrigerator, a DVD changer, an MP3 player, and a boomin' stereo system. It's the same for every ride they pimp: Mary's 1967 Ford Mustang, Jared's 1985 Ford Ranger, Danelle's 1981 Pontiac Trans Am, Neil's 1974 Chevy "Luv" Truck, Krissy's 1969 Volkswagen Baja Bug, etc.
The first season of Pimp My Ride features 15 rides, all transformed from pathetic hunks of junk into slammin' wheels with crazy extras like turntables, ping pong tables, espresso makers, chandeliers, and lava lamps. The show quickly became MTV's most popular next to The Real World and was renewed for several more seasons. --Kathleen C. Fennessy