New Bentley Coupe Expected To Be Car Of Choice In Hip-Hop

When Jay-Z posed alongside a Bentley Azure for

the cover of his 1998 album, Vol. 2, Hard Knock Life, the braggadocios

rapper forever immortalized the English automobile as a hip-hop symbol of success.

So much so, in fact, on an episode of MTV's Cribs

rap impresario Jermaine Dupri quipped, "You ain't a baller unless you got

one of these," referring to the car.

Soon, however, the hit-making duo that recorded

"Money Ain't A Thang" may have to expand the Bentley for Ballers auto


Alasdair Stewart, C.E.O. of Bentley Motors, Inc.,

announced the upcoming U.S. release of the Continental GT last week (April 8)

at the New York Auto Show. The coupe, named 2004 Car of Year by Robb Report,

retails for roughly half the cost of the Azure.

"I guarantee by the end of the year every rapper will have a GT,"

Hot 97 radio personality Miss Info told "Everybody's hype

off that Bentley 'cause they can afford it."

While $150,000 (excluding options) is hardly

a bargain, compared with a $300,000-plus price tag for a Bentley Azure, the

Continental GT is reasonably affordable.

Whereas Jigga and J.D. are also music moguls

for Roc-A-Fella and So So Def Records, respectively, now, potentially any one-hit

rapper can entertain thoughts of driving a car with the winged B on the hood.

"A rapper can get a deal and they can easily

drop 75,000 and get it [a Bentley]," said DJ Envy, the interim host of

the Hot 97 Morning Show.

The GT coupe along with the recently revealed

Bentley Arnage R and Arnage T models represent a shift in the Brand image of

the auto brand, according to David Goggins, the Director of Marketing for Bentley

Motors, Inc.

Last year, the U.S. became the number one market

for the luxury automobile besting the home market of England. New York accounted

for 25% of U.S. sales with over 100 cars sold.

Though the Bentley brand is widely associated

with Jay-Z when it comes to hip-hop, countless other rappers have mentioned

the car in their rhymes as well.

A search on Online Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive (

revealed up to 323 songs where rappers mention the word Bentley.

With the release of the Continental GT, rappers

can "keep it real" again and stop renting Bentley's for their appearance

on Cribs.

The New York Auto Show runs from April 9 through

April 18. The exhibition is the best attended of the touring show in North America,

drawing nearly 1.2 million people last year.