Musical motors: The most popular car brands in music
If life is a highway, what cars are on the road? Whether it’s grime or punk rock, you’ll be guaranteed to find a car manufacturer worked into the lyrics of your favourite rap or rock song.
We all have our favourite car manufacturers, but what are the most popular amongst singers and songwriters?
Well, we crunched the numbers to discover the most name-dropped cars in music…
Mercedes-Benz is the most popular car brand in music lyrics
Mentioned more than any other carmaker, Mercedes-Benz was name-dropped in 279 different songs, appearing especially popular in those released in the noughties. Interestingly, the phrase most used across genres to refer to this brand was “Benz”.
Mercedes-Benz is the most name-dropped brand across eight different music genres, including R&B and contemporary R&B, grime, hip hop, pop, rap, reggae, and world music. The Benz is favoured mostly by hip hop artists, appearing in 61 songs belonging to the genre. It's mostly dropped in lyrics as a status symbol associated with the rich and famous, once even sung by Puff Daddy as the “Benz he ain't even drove yet".
Songs that feature Mercedes-Benz include:
- Forgot About Dre – Dr. Dre
- Get the Party Started – P!nk
- In Da Club – 50 Cent
- Otis – Kanye West ft. Jay-Z
Ferrari is most second loved car brand in music lyrics
One of the strongest car brands in the world with a dedicated following, the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer was mentioned across 105 songs. To the car lover, Ferraris are what dreams are made of. Their silhouettes are alluring, their engines fast, and their reputation highly exclusive, which is likely why musicians are choosing to name-drop these unattainable pieces of art, particularly in contemporary R&B, dance, and rap.
Songs that mention Ferrari include White Ferrari by Frank Ocean and Ferrari by The Neighborhood – two very different styles of music.
Classic Cadillac is loved by rock legends
Alternative rock, blues, country, heavy metal, punk rock, and rock all favoured Cadillac in their song lyrics over other car brands. Cadillac is seen as a classic and iconic car and is notable in many popular songs, earning its place as an American legend.
Rock and country legend Elvis Presley made the Cadillac into a rock icon and was said to own over 200 models, which likely inspired generations afterwards to pay homage to the rockstar in their lyrics and align themselves with someone they respect. Songs that feature Cadillac are upbeat and mainly have themes of romance and “boy meets girl”.
We analysed 41,451 song lyrics from the top 30 playlists on Spotify across 23 different genres to find out which car manufacturers were mentioned the most frequently. We looked for explicit mentions of car manufacturers as well as slang, e.g. “rari” for ferrari, “jag” for Jaguar, and “Chevy” for Chevrolet.
We removed brands that could be referencing something else, for example, SEAT, Dodge, Lincoln.