Aaron DiManna
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For Real Though, Hobo Johnson really Loves his Crosstrek

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Hobo Johnson on stage
How Hobo Johnson looks when he thinks about Subaru
Photo: Bruce Via Flikr

Recently, I’ve written multiple times about indie musician Hobo Johnson and his ongoing and rather delightful relationship with his Subaru Crosstrek. In short: Johnson released a single/music video entitled Subaru Crosstrek XV, which is essentially two-and-a-half minutes of him rapping about how awesome his new ride is (and making fallacious statements about its towing abilities).


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In my first article, I speculated that maybe Johnson (whose actual name is Frank Lopes Jr.) was looking to arrange a brand deal with Subaru. In a recent interview with Billboard, the musician clarified what he was hoping to get out of releasing the video. He also provided some backstory as to how he and his beloved crossover SUV found each other.

Lopes, 22, recently signed a deal with Reprise Records that allowed him to finally move out of his used Toyota Corolla, so he decided to go shopping for a new set of wheels. “I’ve been broke since I was an adult,” he says in the interview. “So when I finally got signed, I thought I’d buy a reliable car, something nice.”

Perhaps he got carried away by the thrill of having a few extra dollars in his pocket, because he didn’t leave the lot with a practical ride. He left with a Mercedes convertible. But that pairing wasn’t meant to be. He returned the flashy vehicle the next day, calling the initial purchase “vain,” and bought his true vehicular love: a Subaru Crosstrek. The rest is history.


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The interview also addressed the fact that the song is essentially an unsolicited advertisement. To explain, Lopes said, “As a musician, that kind of stuff [product placement] comes up all the time and you can’t fault someone for wanting to take the money… But I’m just giving it to them because I personally love Subaru.”

So that’s that, the man just loves his car.

Subaru, as responsible as ever, responded, “We commend Mr. Johnson on his success and his excellent choice in vehicles. But as a company that prides itself on safety, we would remind him that the Crosstrek’s IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating only comes into play when the occupant is actually riding in the vehicle and is securely belted in their seat.”

Source: Billboard