Back when MTV was still pretending to be a music network, executives at the channel would make sure to include some kind of artist-based element in its programming — some of which seemed a bit far-fetched. Like making rapper Xzibit the host of a show that's about tricking out people's whack cars called Pimp My Ride.
However, the concept worked and there probably isn't a single person who watched TV in the mid-2000s that hasn't seen an episode of the series.
So where is the cast of the popular MTV show now?
Where's the cast of 'Pimp My Ride' now?
The half-hour series ran for six seasons and 73 episodes and the basis of the show was a simple one: Folks would submit their lame rides that they were embarrassed to be seen driving around in and would implore Xzibit and a team of mechanics to hook them up.
Xzibit and their crew would take a look at the car and take some time to get to know the individuals they were helping out to suss out their likes, hobbies, and interests, which would often be incorporated into the final design of the vehicle.
One of the biggest criticisms of the program, one that was aired out by a participant in the show who had their ride pimped, was that changes to the vehicle were primarily cosmetic. Which meant if your car ran like crap, then it still ran like crap after the show, but it just looked cooler.
Below, we take a look at where the cast is today.
While X to the Z hosted the show for six seasons, the rapper wasn't exactly happy with the way Viacom CBS handled the show after it stopped airing. In 2022 he called the network out, stating that he was owed money in royalties for the program, and highlighted that he didn't earn a penny when the show went to streaming and that MTV edited his face out of DVD box sets and music out of episodes.
While Xzibit endured an unfathomable personal tragedy when his 11-day-old son passed away, and would go on to suffer career blows that would put a massive dent in his financial earnings, causing him to accrue a significant amount of back taxes to pay the IRS, he ultimately paid off his debt. He currently oversees Napalm brands, a marijuana distribution company named after the studio album that got him back in the game.
Quinton "Q" Dodson
Q, a sales rep for West Coast customs and one of the OG members of the business, was a staple for the first three seasons of Pimp My Ride. He actually first met Ryan Friendlinghaus's father while working as a beer truck driver to a liquor store that Ryan's dad owned. After striking up a conversation about car customization, the two decided to get into business together and West Coast Customs began.
After Q left the series, he stuck around WCC for a while before going off on his own. Hot Cars writes that he operated a shipping business called Road Rage Transportation, had his own custom whip shop called Coast II Coast Customz, and reported for the All Ends auto magazine.
His Instagram account indicates he's a spokesperson for the brand HR Headlight Restoration, but he hasn't posted to the 'gram in about two years as of this writing.
According to a 2016 Forbes article, Ryan Friedlinghaus was approached by MTV producers with the idea for the show; apparently they were having difficulty finding a shop that could do all of the things they wanted for the series under a single roof.
At the time, Ryan said, West Coast customs was a much smaller operation based out of Inglewood, Calif.
He added that executives originally wanted Shaq to host the show, which they may've brought up because his shop tricked out a Lincoln Navigator that belonged to the NBA star. However, since they didn't have a massive budget for the program, Shaq wasn't a viable option.
Ryan said that's when he suggested that they take a look at Xzibit, who he was friends with and was always hanging around the shop, and the rest was history.
The West Coast Customs owner did find himself in some hot water long after he left the show in the fourth season and it came off air due to alleged mistreatment of workers by subjecting them to 60+ hour work weeks and not paying them fair overtime hours.
Michael "Mad Mike" Martin
Fan favorite Mad Mike was a West Coast Customs OG who persisted throughout all six seasons of the series. When Ryan's shop decided to part ways with the series after he felt that the often cartoonish cars were giving his business a bad name, Mad Mike ended up working with Galphin Auto Sports which took on pimping duties for the series' final two batch of episodes.
Mad Mike is still working at Galphin Auto Sports to this day as a customizing supervisor, and has been featured on other reality TV car shows like Car Kings in 2020 for eight episodes.
A lot of fans of the original show clamored for it to return — and while it did (somewhat), in the form of a YouTube series based in the United Kingdom in conjunction with eBay motors — a "legit" return to networks or streaming with new episodes doesn't seem like it's on the horizon.
And if you're that invested in the series, maybe you could try and track down all of the cars that were customized on the show like some kind of deranged Pokemon master?