Music plays an integral part of our daily lives, and whether heard intentionally or subliminally, its impact can be felt among all walks of life, most especially within the classic car universe, and in particular throughout the lowrider culture. For some of us, it was the theme music of our life’s lessons as we sat for hours in garages and makeshift auto body shops during our formative years, honing our love for life and machine, yearning for the perfect marriage of both. For others, it was the soundtrack to our earliest driving memories, symbolizing the first day when we finally took our finished automobiles out for their first summer night drive, holding our significant other close to us as the warm breeze brushed against our smiling faces. It is the music of our mothers and fathers, older brothers and sisters, community mentors and teachers, who guided us along the bumpy road of life. It will be the thread that we pass down to our own children, as we strive to teach them who they are, and where they come from. The power of music is undeniable, and because of the rich history and unity of the lowrider culture, it has been passed down for generations disproving the theory that “nothing lasts forever.” Music does last forever. In fact, music seems to be as old and classic as the automobiles that we hold so dearly within our hearts. Due to the diversity of our culture, it simply knows no boundaries or specific genres. If you ask any OG, or long time enthusiasts what their favorite or classic lowrider music is, they will all give a different answer. For some, it’s the traditional ranchera stylings of Vicente Fernandez, for others it’s the soul driven doo-wop sound of groups like the Stylistics and Delfonics, and yet for even others, it’s the progressive classic rock sound of Earth Wind and Fire or The Doors that defines their musical preference. With every new enthusiast, comes a new form of music blaring through their respective body shops or rides, each bringing a new piece of history along with them, as the 80s funk sound and the 90s and 2000s hip hop sound are currently popular with the younger generation of builders. Whatever form of music you’re into, chances are a fellow enthusiast shares your passion for the same music equally.
Since the diversity of our culture encompasses so many great musical acts and sounds, we’ve decided to dedicate this column to the music that provides the heartbeat and soul of our beautiful lowrider culture. The goal of this feature column is to bridge generation gaps, and spread the knowledge and awareness of the ever-important music that has been as constant in lowriding as the cars themselves. You can expect to see artist profiles, and biographies of significant groups and time periods within the context of our culture. We also look forward to bringing you OG Playlists, which will list songs near and dear to the forefathers of our car clubs and cultures. Artist interviews and reviews can also be expected in our quest to bring you the inside track on what makes these artists tick, and why their music is so important to our way of life. You can also expect to read about once in a lifetime concert experiences and performances, some that were purely great moments of entertainment, and some that were politically significant to the shaping of our country’s definition. We’re going to stick to our roots, and document the pride and history that binds us all through this powerful tool of music, starting from the ground up. As surely as I buckle my seat belt and turn my ignition key, I make sure to have the perfect song playing before I can even put my car in drive. I know I can’t be the only person that does this, so let’s have some fun, as we explore the reasons why we can’t live without our radios.