Man Behind the Ride: Hip-Hop Lyft’s Deco Carter

The eclectic ride share driver sounds off

The animals of Instagram taught us all we need to know about social media success: Be your own beast.

Hip-Hop Lyft’s Deco Carter subscribes to the same philosophy. The stay-at-home dad and former MC’s ride share has quickly evolved into a high-demand cross between Cash Cab and Pimp My Ride, complete with prizes, dance-offs, and its own Twitter feed.

We turned the tables on Carter, quizzing him on everything from surprisingly tasty gas station grub to ghost pedestrians.q&a!Give us the rundown of how Hip-Hop Lyft came to be.
I’d been driving for Lyft for about six months and noticed my passengers would always compliment me on my old-school hip-hop playlists. When I told my girlfriend, she suggested I build around that idea, and thus Hip-Hop Lyft was born. Being a former hip-hop artist myself, my knowledge of the culture is amazing, so I decided to take it a step further and create a hip-hop trivia game for my passengers to play. People love winning the prizes.

Give us a virtual tour.
Inside you will find a little disco ball [and] a little pink monkey named Sir Lyftsalot. [There’s] a special tricked-out LED mustache on the front of my car. Plus, lots of hot prizes like pimp canes, Red Vines, sunglasses, bandanas, necklaces, and playing cards.

hip hop lyft!

What was your rap name?
In the mid ’90s my friend and I had a rap group called Misbehavin. We never made it big, but we had some great times and made some good music. Back then, I went by Dr. C a.k.a. Killah Skrilla.

Time to plan a road trip. Where are we going and what’s playing?
Oh, man, a road trip with Hip-Hop Lyft would be off the hook! I will take us on a trip through hip-hop from San Francisco to L.A. We would start off with the foundation of hip-hop, like Run-D.M.C., Jam Master Jay, Grandmaster Flash, The Furious Five, A Tribe Called Quest, and Leaders of the New School. Then we would go back to the ’90s with artists like Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Biggie, MC Hammer, Nas, Eminem, the House of Pain, Busta Rhymes, Naughty by Nature. Then we would move on up to current artists like Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye West, and 50 Cent. Trust me — I have enough music and hip-hop knowledge to last us for days.

What’s been your craziest passenger story to date?
My wildest story happened about three weeks ago. I had two male passengers coming home from a party in the Castro. They were both wearing these little booty shorts. One sat in the front with me and the other young man sat in the back. They asked me if I had any 2 Chainz. I said, “Of course,” and played a song for them. I pulled up to the stop sign, and the young man in the front sticks his leg out the window and starts twerking. Then the other young man starts twerking in the backseat. I thought, Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, pulled the car over, and we all had a little dance-off in the street at 3:30 a.m.

hip hop lyft!

Halloween’s coming up. Got any good ghost stories?
I drive really late, and sometimes I do see and feel ghosts. There’s a ghost of a lady on South Van Ness that comes out around 3 a.m. I call her Mary. At first she was kind of scary, but now I just wave when I see her.

If you were a car, what would you be and why?
A Cadillac: plenty of room, a smooth ride, and an American classic. That’s me all the way.

Who is your dream passenger?

Barack Obama. I think he would appreciate hip-hop trivia.

Are you one for gas station snacks?
There’s this gas station at 17th and Van Ness that has great honey biscuits and fried chicken wings. You might find me there for a late-night snack.

All right, we’re taking the long way home. What’s your favorite drive in the city?
Twin Peaks. When the weather is clear, the view is magnificent.

Follow the adventures of Hip-Hop Lyft @hiphoplyft.com.

Photos: Andi Hatch for DailyCandy