Rolling Stone spoke to rapper Bun B about this year’s race from Miami to Ibiza:
“The Gumball is not a bunch of rich people just showing off cars,” says Bun, rap icon and confirmed habitué of the rally. “I understand why people would think that because the people that do it are wealthy. But once we get on that highway, money can’t help you in certain situations. You’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna cry, you’re gonna be happy and angry. And it takes your brothers to help you get through it all. The Gumball is a brotherhood.”That brotherhood began in 1999, when former skater Maximillion Cooper invited 50 of his friends to take part in a 3,000-mile drive around Europe. Winning wasn’t nearly as important as the parties that followed each leg of the race, and not surprisingly, within a few years, word of the rally began to spread. Today, the Gumball is not only one of the world’s largest motor rallies, it’s also considered the ultimate road trip for car aficionados worldwide, a rite of passage for both automotive kidults and well-heeled members of the party elite.
The rally has been in the news more than usual recently. The Canadian DJ Joel Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, completed the race with wingman Tory Belleci of “Mythbusters” fame. And then on Monday, he put his Ferrari 458 Spider on Toronto’s Craigslist — it has since been taken down, possibly because the site thought it was a hoax — with a starting price of $380,000. Zimmerman, who confirmed the listing on Twitter, plans to donate any proceeds greater than his asking price to the Toronto Humane Society. It’s certainly one-of-a-kind; Zimmerman nicknamed the car the “Purrari” since it’s wrapped in Nyan Cat wallpaper and comes with an iPod loaded with Nyan Cat songs.
Wondering what the heck Nyan Cat is? It’s a meme: an animated cat with the body of a pop tart who flies through space, poops rainbows and sings, “Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya.” Sort of like the “Hamsterdance Song,” but with a cat who is Japanese. Sort of.
“Only a monster like this could come out of his brain,” Belleci said. “I mean seriously, look at the car wrap. You look around at all these cars and everybody’s like black and race stripes and look at how bad-a– these cars are. And then you look at this and it’s just so freaking hilarious.”
“It’s like the Marmite of cars,” Zimmerman said. “You either love it or you hate it.”
This year, Cooper marked the end of the rally with his marriage to the actress and former Ruff Ryders rapper Eve, who he met at the 2010 Gumball Rally. Zimmerman, who documented the trip with live-streaming video, posted a picture with the happy couple on Instagram: