20 Great Car-Themed Music Videos – Billboard
Summer is here and it’s time to… burn rubber in the streets. With the down season upon us, and Billboardis recent fast furious digital cover story focusing on all things automotive, we thought it was a good time to go through 20 classic car themed videos.
From Beyoncé and Lady Gaga to Jay-Z and Kanye West, ZZ Top’s classic 1980s Eliminator music videos and more, these are the videos that make our hearts flutter!
Whitesnake, “Here I Am Again” (1987)
One of the most legendary hair band videos of the 1980s featured the late Tawny Kitaen as the ultimate car model, draping herself over the hoods of two Jaguars as singer David Coverdale flashed sultry eyes at the camera . While we wouldn’t recommend making a complete separation between two luxury vehicles, distracting the driver by cooing in their ear, or dragging out the window on the freeway while driving, Kitaen has found a way to make it cool.
The bearded Texas blues rockers had a mid-career blast in a series of 1983 videos featuring a 1933 Ford coupe hot rod with their logo splattered on the side that fueled a trio of visuals that made them MTV stars. Did it help that a trio of alluring models in high heels and skimpy dresses were behind the wheel? Sure.
MIA “Bad Girls” (2013)
This iconic clip shot in the Moroccan desert shows the singer hanging out with a gang of women covered head to toe in niqab-style outfits while driving through the dust as groups of keffiyeh-wearing men look on. Drifting, riding ghosts, spinning, tilting on two wheels and traversing the sandy expanse carefree, the clip appeared to be a commentary on the then-banned rights of women to drive in Saudi Arabia. Either way, watching the women cling to the doors and skate across the sand at high speed and whip it around in their neon-covered, slightly busted BMWs, Benzes and Peugeots is a rush from hell.
Gorillaz, “Pen” (2010)
Bruce Willis tears up the tarmac in a classic cherry red 1969 Chevy El Camino as lively band members 2D, Murdoc and Noodle try to avoid his hail of .357 magnum shots in their blasted and bullet-strafed 1969 Camaro while by eating donuts the cop tries to chase them all away, Steve McQueen style.
Missy Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” (1997)
Most people remember the black inflatable trash bag outfit Elliott wore in this Hype Williams-directed visual. But don’t forget that Missy also hops in her tricked-out black Hummer for a mind-blowing ride to the beach.
Sheryl Crow—”Steve McQueen” (2002)
Speaking of motoring legend McQueen, Crow puts on his driving leathers and recreates the iconic chase scene from the 1968 action movie McQueen Bullit in this thrilling clip. She gets in a 1967 Mustang and races through the streets of San Francisco (okay, her stunt double drove, but still) against Dale Earnhardt Jr. while looking serious.
Jay-Z and Kanye West — “Otis” (2011)
In this Spike Jonze-directed clip for the dynamic duo’s collaboration song Look at the throne album Jay and ‘Ye destroyed a 2004 Maybach 57 with a blowtorch and circular saw to the sounds of their Otis Redding sampling banger. Ripping off the top and doors, the hip-hop superstars rap in front of a giant American flag, throw sparks as they drag metal-tipped gloves across the floor and run out in a parking lot with a slew of mannequins in the back of their definitely dangerous whip at any speed.
Lady Gaga/Beyoncé — “Telephone” (2010)
The epic mini-movie (over nine minutes) from the musical superstars is apparently the story of a bad girl (Gaga) who is broken out of prison by her girlfriend (Bey) in serious style. And we’re not just talking about her killer ensemble. Queen Bey pulls up in the iconic, flame-licked “P—y Wagon” that Uma Thurman’s Bride character drove in Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill 1.
Beastie Boys, “Sabotage” (1994)
Spike Jonze pays homage to cheesy classic 1970s cop shows in this video in which Nathan Wind (MCA), Vic Colfari (Ad-Rock) and Alasondro Alegré (Mike D) drive their heavy sedans through trash, slides and jumps on their hoods, catching air and performing evasive maneuvers on city streets as they burn rubber in an attempt to catch Sir Stewart Wallace (also MCA) in the act.
Sammy Hagar, “I Can’t Drive 55” (1984)
Before becoming Van Halen’s lead singer and a tequila entrepreneur, the Red Rocker was known for his guitar skills and this solo hit, supposedly inspired by Hagar who got arrested for driving seven miles over of the then national speed limit of 55 mph in upstate New York, which led him to utter the title of the now famous song to the cop. The video was shot at Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, Calif., and it finds Hagar racing in a black Ferarri BB512i before taking her down a desert road to really let loose. “One foot on the brake and one on the accelerator / There’s too much traffic, I can’t pass,” he sings, using the gear lever before being dragged into court.
Dr.Dre feat. Snoop Dogg, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” (1992)
The visual for the legendary single from Dre’s debut solo album, The Chronicle, was directed by the former NWA rapper and opens with him arriving at Snoop’s house in his custom lowrider. After waking up her pal, they arrive at a barbecue where they join a horde of other car enthusiasts as they bounce and tilt their two-wheeled rides through LA
Rihanna, “Shut Up and Drive” (2007)
This Anthony Mandler-directed clip for the song with endless metaphors of cars as sex opens with RihRih pulling up to a junkyard in his red Ferrari as a gang of female mechanics get to work in the warehouse full of deceived rides. And although it may seem like a Fast and Furious outtake, even this gears-and-girls franchise has never managed to pull off a sexy dance routine involving sultry car polishing in hot pants and low-rise jeans. There’s also, of course, a drag race, with Rihanna dropping the flag in her barely-there leather jacket and shorts outfit while singing, “Because it’s 0 to 60 in 3.5 / Baby, you got the keys/ Now lock up and drive.”
Judas Priest, “On the Road to the Freeway” (1981)
The British metal legends begin the low-budget video for this anthem by raising their fists on a set painted to look like a two-lane desert road at dusk before vocalist Rob Halford sprints down the middle of a rural road to shouting encouragement to his bandmates as they check their hair one last time before parting in their vintage hot rods.
OK GO, “Need/Get” (2012)
The band whose elaborately staged videos turned into a decade-long excuse to indulge in goofy hijinks put the pedal to the metal in this Chevy-sponsored stunt clip. Outfitted in their matching driving suits and helmets, the quartet strums guitars, slams doors and speeds down a specially designed track lined with instruments activated by paddles attached to the outside of their Sonics.
Rick Ross, “Hustlin'” (2006)
You can throw a handful of darts and hit any number of Bawse clips that prominently feature big prize rides. But the first single from Rozay’s debut Port of Miami album established its platinum-platinum lifestyle by spotlighting classic cars and modern luxury vehicles cruising Ocean Drive. Between shots of women in bikinis (and a lyrical shoutout to “fast cars”), we see Rick cruising around the neighborhood in his custom white BMW 745, drawing stares of admiration and jealousy at the car wash where he drives by. a flashy convertible with purple racing paint and cones.
Metallica “Fuel” (1998)
Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s obsession with nitro-fueled race cars is expressed in the chorus of this single from the band’s seventh album, Reload: “Give me fuel, give me fire/Give me what I desire.” The visual immediately pins the needle red with a montage of smoldering tires and revving tachometers to go along with the galloping pace and overheated graphics of 1950s drag racing movies. , barely following the double game of the group.
Audioslave, “Show Me How to Live” (2003)
As a nod to the 1971 high-speed chase film Cleavon Little Vanishing Point, singer Chris Cornell and the gang pile into a white Dodge Challenger and blast through police barricades, leap over ravines and send their pursuers tumbling into ditches between clips from the original. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for them.
Jamiroquai, “Cosmic Girl” (1997)
The funk-loving, furry hat-wearing British dance pop singer with a need for speed and his crew fly through the Spanish desert in three legendary supercars (red and black Ferraris and a purple Lamborghini Diablo), with Jay Kay doing The one thing you never want to do while whipping around S-curves at terrifying speed: sing and mug for the dash cam.
Prince, “Sexy MF” (1992)
Although Prince is undeniably funky symbol of love the album track and the singer’s golden microphone are at the center of this clip, it’s his canary yellow BMW 850i E31 that is the real star. As Prince gets funky in a hotel hallway, the late pop icon cools off his heels by leaning, dancing and polishing his ride before giving his mic a devilish gunslinger twist and leaving.
Ludacris, “Deployment (my company)” (2001)
In addition to little bighead Luda, the other co-star in this clip is the rapper’s silver Mercedes SL-Class convertible sedan, which he pays homage to in several different lyrics (“We rollin’ on twenties, with the top back,” “Where did you get a matching Benz hat with tinted windows? Did you fucking spend it?”). Luda makes sure to give him a quick polish as he heads to a store for more bling and you better believe it helps him catch the attention of the ladies as he slowly passes by.