"Express yourself... From the heart, ‘Cause if you wanna start to move up the chart, Then expression is a big part of it.”
–N.W.A. - “Express Yourself"

This excerpt from N.W.A.’s "least gangsta" song on their classic gangsta rap album, Straight Outta Compton, is one that Dr. Dre starred on from start to finish. These words from the track always struck me as one that came straight from the "artist" side of the group’s mentality, and not so much their portrayed "street thug" image.

What I’m getting at here is that Eazy E, Ice Cube, and Dre weren’t really out doing all the hood rat stuff they talked about on their albums, but they were still expressing themselves and interpreting the world around them. Same thing goes for Chris Caruso and his “hip-hop” Tacoma on the cover this month. The paint alone tells a story of inner cities everywhere, not just Southern California where this truck happens to call home. Graffiti culture, hip-hop and bass music, and skateboarding all played a part in sculpting who Chris is today as well as what his longtime project truck has become. Both truck and owner are true to life products of their shared environment.

In other news, it’s the middle of September as I write this, and you’re holding the January issue. Yeah, I’ll always be just as confused by this as you are. Well, you have one more issue after this one to look forward to in 2012 calendar year, and damn what a year it’s been. Spend some time reflecting on the trucks we've featured over the year and stay tuned to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/minitruckinmag) for your chance to vote for your favorite. And for you hacker and geek squad types out there, we’ll more than likely be limiting votes somehow. In years past, voting has been a bit skewed, but if you can get breach our security measures, then more power to you. But if you’re gonna go through all that trouble to vote for your friend’s truck a million times, at least try to not make it too obvious. OK? Cool.

Welp, it’s about that time to sign out once again and start on the next edition. And don’t worry, we’ll end this year with a bang. We’ll even throw in a blast for good measure. Enjoy this issue, and maybe you’ve got something on your mind—comments, suggestions, hate mail, nudie pics of your aunt when she was a crazy college coed? Send it all to john.mata@sorc.com.

See ya in December!