When poor sales forced Mercedes to discontinue its ultraluxe Maybach line last year, it killed a car with cult status in the hip-hop community. More than 700 rap songs (and counting) say “Maybach,” according to Rap Genius, and hip-hop moguls were the brand’s most reliable clientele. But good news arrived last month: Mercedes is reportedly contemplating bringing the car back—snazzier this time. Here, a look at Maybach as muse.
Preorders begin for the first U.S. model. Ja Rule, Jay Z, and other rappers lock theirs down before arrival.
“Maybach Benz, back seat, TV plasma” (Nas, “Made You Look”)
2003 (U.S. sales: 166)
Jay Z’s “retirement record” The Black Album is one of several Hova albums to hype the car.
“You wanna pass for my Jacqueline Onassis / Then hop ya ass out that S-Class / Lay back in the Maybach, roll the best grass” (Jay Z, “La-La-La [Excuse Me Miss Again]”)
(U.S. sales: 244)
High-school basketball player Sebastian Telfair travels to his graduation in Coney Island in a Maybach loaned by Jay Z.
“Honey catching feeling from sittin’ in Maybachs / ’Cause her project hall is smelling like Ajax” (LL Cool J, “Feel the Beat”)
(U.S. sales: 152)
Usher’s $500,000 Maybach takes two months to design, featuring a saloon and mobile office. His business manager approves the purchase. “He deserves it.”
“When I was broke as a joke, they didn’t wanna get wit me / Till I bought a Maybach, now they all wanna lick me” (Three 6 Mafia, “When I Pull Up at the Club”)
(U.S. sales: 146)
Busta Rhymes is charged with assault for allegedly beating a man in Chelsea who spit on his Maybach.
“Ross, stranded on death row / Makaveli’s on the Maybach, kicks retro” (Rick Ross, “Blow”)
(U.S. sales: 156)
Ja Rule gets pulled over for speeding after a Lil Wayne concert; a search of his Maybach reveals a loaded .40-caliber handgun with no serial numbers. He serves two years in prison.
(U.S. sales: 119)
Mercedes introduces the Landaulet, a convertible variation of the Maybach 62 that retails for $1.4 million.
“Drop top Maybach on the way. Yeah, that’s that new Landaulet” (Lil Wayne, “Racks on Racks”)
(U.S. sales: 66)
Rick Ross begins a record imprint, Maybach Music Group, and later signs Meek Mill and Wale.
“Maybach Music, nigga, I am the CEO and we are sucka free” (Rick Ross, “We Shinin’”)
(U.S. sales: 63)
Puff Daddy gives his son Justin Dior Combs a Maybach worth $360,000 during a sweet-16 party at Chelsea’s M2 UltraLounge.
“Do you in a Maybach, black suede, black fur, lose you in the back seat” (The-Dream, “All Black Everything”)
(U.S. sales: 39)
Mercedes parent company Daimler says it will cease production of the car. It reportedly invested more than $1 billion in the brand. Jay Z and Kanye West take a blowtorch to a Maybach 57 in their video for “Otis.”
“Catch me eating rap snacks in a black Maybach / Be on the wheel with a fortune like Pat Sajak” (Das Racist, “Das Classist”)
(U.S. sales: 50)
Asked about the car’s discontinuation, Rick Ross tells MTV, “It makes the brand even more exclusive now.”
“I seen him [George Tenet] the other day, he asked me about my Maybach, think he had the same / Except mine tinted, and his might have been rented” (Kanye West, “Clique”)
2013 (U.S. sales: 6)
“Everybody’s like: Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece ... We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair” (Lorde, “Royals”)