How much swag do Kanye West and Jay-Z have? Enough to trash a $350,000 Maybach in their "Otis" video and laugh about it. The conspicuous-consumption-loving clip is a lesson in the dynamics of hip-hop power, with two of the biggest names in the game flexing their muscle by taking one of the world's most expensive luxury cars and essentially turning it into a torn-up plaything that's probably not even street legal, according to Myles Kovacs, president and co-founder of DUB magazine.
"It's a great gimmick and it looks 'Mad Max'-ish. ... They're clearly rich enough that they can take something most people could never dream of owning and tear it up," Kovacs said of the dismantling of the car that takes place in the clip.
Experts dissected the meaning of "Otis" and the Maybach for us. What starts out as a mint vehicle is quickly stripped down in the Spike Jonze-directed clip. With the glass roof tossed to the side, the doors ripped off and welded to the back, the front grill removed and stuck on the tail end and fender walls created out of sheet metal, Kovacs said the actual work done on the car was minimal, but the damage was maximum.
"If it's just for show or to make a movie car, it's pretty simple," he said. "You're just trashing the car, bolting on fake bumpers, pushing the wheels out, removing doors, cutting the roof off and adding flame throwers on the exhaust. But these guys are crazy to spend money to ruin a car like that." The Maybach is on display at the Watch the Throne pop-up store, and MTV News was on the scene. While 'Ye and Jigga are clearly having a blast driving the chopped and screwed 'Bach in "Otis," Kovacs said at this point the frame of the car is probably buckling and it's folding up "like a taco," because it appears that the center roof supports have been taken out.
He originally guessed that a job like this might cost $150,000 and take two to three weeks if you were aiming to have the car be street-legal and reinforce the frame. Making it just safe enough for the video would set you back $100,000 or so. But if all they did was cut the doors and roof out and do some welding here and there, the right tech could do that in a week. Add another for painting and the right shop could get the job done for $20,000 or so.
"The thing is, the value of that car is nothing now, you couldn't drive it on the street," he said. "It would start malfunctioning big time."
That's something to consider for anyone thinking about taking the car off their hands. The last frame of the video declares, "The vehicle used in this video will be offered up for auction. Proceeds will be donated towards the East African drought disaster." Their heart is in the right place, even if their grill isn't.