NEW YORK CITY — In the heart of New York City’s Union Square, amidst the vibrant backdrop of the 50th anniversary celebration of Hip Hop, the Regal Cinemas played host to an extraordinary event. It was the NYC premiere screening of Unique Whips: Special Edition, spearheaded by legendary car customizer, Will Castro. The evening was replete with unseen episodes from Castro’s hit series, featuring what he termed the “Three Kings“: LeBron James, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and 50 Cent. But that wasn’t all – rap legend and producer Erick Sermon also graced the occasion with his presence.
The ambiance was nostalgic, with an old-school hip-hop car display showcasing vehicles customized for iconic figures in the world of rap, including Nas, LL Cool J, and Salt N Pepa. The vehicles showcased classic cars that blended old-school hip-hop aesthetics with modern luxury. But at the heart of this celebration was none other than the mastermind behind these epic auto transformations: Will Castro.
I had the privilege of catching up with the man of the hour, Will Castro and diving into the connection between hip hop’s rich heritage and the world of luxury cars. Here’s what he had to share:
When probed about which of the “Three Kings” presented the most demanding customization challenge, Castro detailed the unique demands of each:
- LeBron James: With his towering athletic build, fitting LeBron into any vehicle presents its own challenges.
- 50 Cent: Meeting 50 Cent’s high standards isn’t a walk in the park. As Castro said, “you can’t let him down.”
- Diddy: A dual task of customizing two Jeeps simultaneously for the music mogul. Explaining this, Castro humorously quoted Diddy, “you know twins come out at the same time.”
Castro’s journey with Diddy seemed particularly strenuous but worthwhile. When it comes to crafting cars for these icons, Castro emphasizes the importance of understanding each client’s personality and ensuring their cars are an extension of their individuality.
He remarked, “Hip hop is about expression and individuality. Some guys are reserved, some flamboyant. Knowing your clientele is key.”
A Marriage of Hip Hop and Luxury Cars
As we delved into the world of hip hop and its five-decade-long legacy, Castro highlighted some iconic moments, including a sensational performance at Yankee Stadium featuring Fat Joe and Nas.
One of the day’s highlights was the car exhibit showcasing classics like Nas’s Illmatic 190, Salt N Pepa’s 911 Porsche, and LL’s Audi 5000.
On working with these legends, Castro was nothing but grateful. “They’re super legends. I’m blessed to work with them,” he shared.
The fusion of luxury vehicles and hip hop isn’t new. But what’s intriguing is how Castro brought these two worlds together in such a spectacular fashion. When asked about this blend’s origin, Castro humbly responded, “It just organically happened. It’s God’s work.”
As the day wrapped up, I was curious about which celebrity Castro dreamt of working with next. His answer? Boxing legend Mike Tyson. He’s always been a car guy. And for him, I envision something resembling a tank.”
The celebration of 50 years of hip hop in NYC this year brings with it a rich tapestry of memories, stories, and icons. And as the day at Regal Cinemas showed, it also weaves in the tales of cars, their transformations, and the man who brings these visions to life – Will Castro. For all the car enthusiasts and hip-hop aficionados out there, keep your eyes peeled for more from Castro. One thing’s for sure: he’s bound to keep merging worlds and creating masterpieces on wheels.
Catch more from this electric day and the full interview with Will Castro on Up Your Geek: Spotlight with Lou Booker below.
Unique Whips: Special Edition and Unique Autosports debut on Speedvision on Tuesday, August 15 at 8PM ET.