LOS ANGELES – Damien "Big Percy" Roderick is a man who wears many hats. While owning multiple businesses including a clothing store in Vegas, a liquor company and a golfing tournament, his most recent initiative has been embracing Southern California's car culture. That means getting outside and cruising the streets with his celebrity friends.
"When COVID hit, you know, everybody was cooped up in the house," Roderick said. "So, sitting at home I said, you know what, this is a way to get some fresh air, for everybody to fellowship, get their cars back started."
Roderick reached out to friends and fellow car lovers Cedric the Entertainer and rapper Whiz Khalifa to kick things off. "It was just us three at the beginning," Roderick said, emphasizing how social distance was maintained because everyone was cruising in their own cars.
Now in its eighth week, Roderick's little group has expanded into a larger following which he has dubbed 'Rider Gang.' The cruisers recently gathered at Mel's Diner in Sherman Oaks — once synonymous with cars — where it was plain to see just how Roderick has brought the neighbhorhood together. The diversity in Rider Gang highlights a sense of unification in the community, especially in a time when the country is divided.
"It's a family affair, it's a rider affair, it's a cruise life affair," Khalifa said. "Get your engine right, get your paint right, get your sounds right, get your rims right. Come ride with us."