The 2019 AMG G63 is a tank of a Mercedes, especially imposing in matte black, but Migos ringleader Quavo isn’t intimidated. After all, he pulled up to his nephew Takeoff’s video shoot here in the Atlanta suburb of Doraville in his own G-Class 4×4, painted an electric hue he calls “slime” green. Compared with his other cars — McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Aventador, Dodge Challenger Hellcat — Quavo considers the G-Class a necessary expense. Last winter, he drove it to stock up on pantry staples during a rare snow day down South. “I wanted something big, like a truck,” he says, noting his car is “technically” not a G-Wagon. “I feel like the G-Wagon is for ladies, so I got the four-by-four.”
Ladylike or no, the preproduction G63 he’s test-driving today is light-years from the 1987 Toyota MR2 Quavo drove back when he was the star quarterback at Berkmar High in nearby Lilburn. (“I was getting shit [for it] every time I went to school,” he says. “But I didn’t care — I was a cool dude, you know what I mean? So I didn’t care if people roasted me.”) It boasts 577 horsepower and some aesthetic tweaks that Quavo greets with approval: a handlebar grille, rimmed headlights.
As we head north on I-85 for a quick field trip through Migos’ hometown of Lawrenceville, Quavo cues up “Bubble Gum,” a track off of his new solo album Quavo Huncho, where his Auto-Tuned Gregorian-style chants meet punchier trap lyricism. Weaving through traffic, he suddenly notices the new G63’s biggest asset: its overhauled steering and suspension. “The drive is way better,” he says. “The old G-Wagon is wobbly as fuck.”
Our first stop is Jake’s Fireworks — what used to be Flamingo Bar and Grill, where Migos broke “Bando” before the trio could access the nightclubs and radio stations in Atlanta. “We came every weekend just to make sure the song got played,” he says, “hand the DJ a drink.” Next is Club Drive Park, where a pickup-basketball player asks if he can e-mail Quavo some beats. By the time we pull up to a bungalow with a Mercedes Sprinter in the yard, the sun is setting. Migos lived here with Quavo’s mom as they cut their breakout mixtape, Young Rich N*ggas. Quavo has since bought the house, with plans to renovate it and rent it at a discount to a family in need. Parked in the driveway, the G63 nearly dwarfs the place Quavo used to call home.