• Tyierra R. Henderson

TV Just Ain't The Same: What Happened to Pimp My Ride

Updated: Apr 28

A lot of us may remember a show on MTV that turned broken down eye sours that barely had motors into customized master pieces within a week! I always wanted the crew to coming knocking at my door for that opportunity, even with me not having a car. But I can dream. It was a show that gave hope in the hood that we could turn the hoopties in our front yards into a work of art. At least that what we saw on our TV screens.

But have you ever stopped to think… What happened to Pimp My Ride? What lead to a drop in views? What really went on behind the scenes? Here’s how it all went down:


The half an hour shows were hosted by rapper Xzibit and aired on MTV from 2004 to 2007. It was based around turning pieces of junk into unnecessarily upgraded pimped out rides that had exclusive paint jobs to fit the unique traits of the owners. You got to witness the 5-day transformation piece by piece before the final reveal in the last few minutes of the episode changing some lucky person’s life forever.


After the show was cancelled and stopped airing, however, past contestants began to come out about what was really going on behind the scenes of their taping.


Some of the folks who appeared on Pimp My Ride have come forward in stating that it was all for show and lives weren’t exactly changed! Some of the additions put into the cars would either not work at all or were quickly be ripped out of the vehicles as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. So, say bye-bye to the mobile PlayStation and those 24-inch spinning rims were no more. One of the producers stated that some of the removals were done for safety and not just to “taking away some items.” Some of the TVs would not work and LED lights mounted on the ceiling would be way to hot for comfort.



Not only that, one of the contestants stated it did not take just five days to deck out their whips but closer to seven months! More than half a year their rides would be parked in a garage somewhere and the owners would have to get rental cars at their own expense.


When the show opens, we see backstories of contestants and why they were chosen to be blessed with a new-ish ride. Most of it? Made up or fabricated. They would even tell the consistence to lie about their ages! There are some cases where they would even falsify where the contestant lived and pull up to a completely different location. MTV would rent houses for the taping, place the contestants inside and when Xzibit knocked they were to come out and act surprised.


It doesn’t end there. The show would also stage the cars. Another contestant stated the producers dumb a bunch of used cigarettes in his car to give the appearance of it being smoked in a lot by his grandmother. They also suggested that he breakup with his girlfriend in order to go with the story of being lonely because of the awful looking car he owned.


And those crazy excited reactions when they see their cars at the reveal? Staged!


The worst part of it all… they would make the car look pretty and slap a few cute speakers in the trunk but the mechanical portion of the cars were not given attention at all during the process. One of those who appeared on the show stated he had to shove out $1700 a month later for a new engine. Another car would catch on fire a few years later.


My childhood is a sham! But I can’t say this is surprising. TV especially reality TV, has been turned upside down since Flavor of Love. Now it seems like it is all fake and just made for TV. So remember, when you turn on the tube, believe only half of what you see!

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