Funk on Wheels

If you happen to have a 1940 Cadillac gathering dust, you ought to call Funkmaster Flex. Football legend John Madden has recruited Flex to shop for just such a ride, then pimp it out. Way before MTV started transforming rusted-out dorkmobiles into space-age bachelor chariots, Flex was customizing wheels for everyone from Eminem to Shaquille O'Neal -- and broadcasting the results on his Spike TV show, Ride with Funkmaster Flex.

When we get Flex on the phone, he's cruising eBay for cars to see "if I stumble onto some real good deal." Yep, this is the same superstar DJ who, six nights a week, drives his '96 Impala to work at New York City hip-hop station Hot 97. Instead of a side job, he has a side empire: He's designed a driving shoe for Lugz; created a line of toy cars for Hot Wheels; written car columns for The Source; secured endorsement deals with JL Audio and BF Goodrich; and launched an automotive marketing company. Sunday, he steers the Funkmaster Flex Celebrity Car Show into Miami.

Flex is bringing Missy Elliott's '79 Camaro, Tyson Beckford's motorcycles, and 50 Cent's '65 Impala -- but he's relying on y'all to fill up the rest of the parking lot. "The best creativity comes from the regular people," he says. "They put a lot of personality into their cars." Drivers can compete in about 50 categories, like Best Scion, Best Undercarriage, and Best Lowrider Bicycle. The Best of Show winner heads home with a wallet $2,000 fatter. At the end-of-the-day concert, see Ludacris, Kevin Lyttle, Trina, Wyclef Jean, Fat Joe, Elephant Man, Lil Jon, Pitbull, Dirtbag, and Jin. Or catch celebrities as they wander around and scope out the goods. Rather than hiding backstage, "they'll stay with the crowd," Flex says. "And you can't get me away from all that." -- Deirdra Funcheon

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