Boss Life Rides and a "Hood Classic" from every decade for Slim Thug
Slim Thug and his 1959 Cadillac Custom
You just can’t talk about classic and custom cars in Houston without eventually bringing up locally-raised and internationally known rapper Slim Thug. It is today that, after covering customs and classics since 2008 for Hearst and the Houston Chronicle, I finally get to right this wrong by sharing the car story of the Htown legend, his famous collection and how he got into cars.
Slim Thug has been synonymous with Houston rap culture for two decades now. Whether you know him from his illustrious recording career, getting his 1959 Cadillac done at Ekstensive Metal on the show “Texas Metal” on Velocity, showing the late, great Anthony Bourdain around town, his prominent social media presence or from joining fellow Houston native, Beyonce’, for an MTV Video Award Best Video win, he is always representing for Houston.
Houston Rap Star Slim Thug
His company, Boss Life Construction, even recently partnered with Radio One Houston to help some Houston area families who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey, where he not only gave away an entire newly built house to a family in need, but even provided the 9 runners-up $5000 each to help aid their recovery.
Anthony Bourdain and Slim Thug in Houston while filming the television show "Parts Unknown"
If you do follow him online, you likely are also aware of his penchant for amazing custom and classic cars, which even recently had his friends publicly joking with him about having a car addiction. It is an affliction he’s had since his youth.
Slim Thug grew up on the northside of Houston, and was into cars for as long as he can remember. He got his first car at 15, a 1960 Cadillac Hearse.
“It gave me hell,” he laughs, and jokes that he, “kept it too long.”
His next car was the one that ended up giving him his most popular nickname (after Slim Thug, of course, which, not surprisingly, isn’t the name on his birth certificate). His 1973 Cadillac El Dorado, complete with bull horns on the hood, was what initially inspired the “Boss Hogg” moniker that would evolve into album, group and label names, the title of a biographic documentary about him, and a lucrative clothing brand, Boss Life.
It wasn’t a fellow musician who initially inspired him to start collecting, though. Legendary tattoo artist Mister Cartoon is the classic car collector who first inspired Slim’s desire for a collection of his own.
Slim Thug's 1959 Cadillac Custom among his collection
“He had everything- candy cars, old school. I saw his collection and it made me want to take it to the next level,” he says. “I came up with a goal of getting one of every decade – 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s… all the hood classics. The ones I grew up dreamin’ of as a kid."
He accomplished his goal and his collection now boasts a 1959 Cadillac, a 1964 Lincoln, a 1974 Chevy Caprice, a 1987 Monte Carlo, and a 1996 Chevy Impala. It was a fellow Cadillac owner and guest on the Velocity show, “Texas Metal”, though, that gave him a new perspective on collecting.
Slim Thug's 1959 Cadillac Custom, done by Ekstensive Metal, has a mirror reflection in its "black on black on black" paint
Houston Tex-Mex restauranteur Stan Holt brought the 1961 Cadillac owned by his wife, Sheila, to Ekstensive Metal’s team for a surprise makeover in an episode that aired not long after Slim Thug had them do a complete custom job on his 1959 Cadillac. The Holt’s reveal took place at an airplane hangar and Stan’s stunning car collection wasn’t the only thing that impressed Slim, but also that his choices in cars were based on personal connection. Slim Thug said he was inspired by the Lupe Tortilla owner’s “sentimental collection.”
Slim Thug and his 1974 Chevy Caprice
He also recognizes that owning and collecting classic and custom cars is a slow and ever-evolving process.
“It ain’t no overnight thing.”
When he started driving as a teen, he used to do the wrenching himself.
“I used to get down and dirty with them,” he says, but these days he takes them to one of his trusted mechanics and shops.
He says that there are a lot of good shops in Houston, but just a few of the ones he trusts with his rides include Rudy’s G Bodyz, 713 Motoring, and Deviate Autosport.
Slim Thug's 1974 Chevy Caprice at the Houston DUB show
“Anything I do, I wanna do it all the way,” says Slim, and that is the thinking he has behind each car he buys.
Eventually, he says, he would like to start his own shop and maybe a car club. At this point, though, he’s not looking for any more to add to the collection for a while, and is on a self-imposed break. He says that he wants to get his last two classics the way he wants them and then enjoy them.
“I want to get these right and chill.”
But he does acknowledge that at some point he wants to make one custom element common under the hood throughout his whole collection.
“Before its done, I want to convert them all to LS.”
Slim Thug explains Htown Slab culture to Anthony Bourdain while filming "Parts Unknown" in Houston
From here on out, he says that his goal is now just about, “taking it one year at a time and having fun.”
Slim Thug and his 1959 Cadillac Custom
An excerpt from this piece was first published in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 and can be seen here:
Keywords: Anthony Bourdain, auto, automotive, boss Hogg, Bosslife, Cadillac, caprice, car, cars, chevy, classics, column, convertible, ekstensive metal, heidi van horne, heidi's customs and classics, Houston, Houston car culture, Houston rappers, htown, impala, parts unknown, rap, slab culture, slabs, Slim Thug, Texas metal, velocity, velocity channel
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