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Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, is one of the most powerful names in hip-hop. From his own music to producing some of the genre’s giants, Carter earned every bit of his 2021 acceptance into the hallowed Rock & Rall Hall of Fame. As you might expect, his success accompanied great wealth and a spectacular garage full of treasures. However, one of Jay-Z’s first cars illustrates the celebrity’s modest automotive beginnings: a 1993 Lexus GS300.  

Jay-Z’s famous off-white 1993 Lexus GS300 is far from flashy

A black and white photo of a 1993 to 1997 Lexus GS300 luxury sedan.
A 1993-1997 Lexus GS300 | Toyota

Jay-Z famously included his off-white car in his music video for the song “Dead Presidents” in 1996. However, at a glance, the four-door luxury sedan is far from the flashy cars that Carter and his wife, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, keep in their garage. 

More recently, the GS300 has been on display in Brooklyn as part of an exhibit at the borough’s public library. However, a Lexus badge doesn’t a collectible or high-value vehicle make. Instead, a 1993 Lexus GS300 with average mileage has a Kelley Blue Book (KBB) value of just $2,550, less than a set of tires for some of Carter’s newer, more exotic rides.  

However, Carter isn’t the only hip-hop mainstay with a modest automotive past. Chris “Ludacris” Bridges keeps his Acura Legend as a reminder of his roots. What’s more, the Acura Legend is a 1993 model, just like Jay-Z’s GS300. He calls the car “Ninety-three Ack,” abbreviating the model year and make in a way that’s just so Luda. 

Beyond his now-classic Lexus, the hip-hop icon has a world-class car collection

Of course, no one expects Jay-Z to cruise around in a 1993 Lexus GS300 after he built his multi-billion-dollar empire. Instead, he keeps quite the collection of fabulous performance and luxury cars

  • 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider
  • 2006 Pagani Zonda F
  • 2010 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
  • 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2004 Maybach Exelero Coupe
  • 2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom
  • 2018 Bentley Continental GT

In fairly typical fashion for a hip-hop superstar, Carter has a garage with a drop-top Ferrari, tire-vaporizing Bugatti Veyron, and impossibly posh Rolls-Royce Phantom. However, he also keeps a lovely classic in his repertoire: a red 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster from the C1 generation. 

Still, it’s refreshing to see the less opulent beginnings of some of the most famous rappers and producers preserved in shockingly workaday rides like Shawn Carter’s 1993 Lexus GS300.

Source: GQ UK