If you think it would be hard to impress a man like Nas, you would be right. Since the release of his debut album Illmatic—which turns 22 this month—the rap icon has sold countless albums, cemented himself as one of the greatest lyricists in history and has even made waves as an investor, so it’s easy to see why it takes a lot to get the legend’s attention. From the artists he collaborates with to the companies he invests in through his L.A.-based QueensBridge Venture Partners, Nas is notoriously selective about who he works with, making his long-term partnership with Hennessey, for which he’s an ambassador, all the more impressive. To celebrate the launch of Hennessey’s latest campaign, featuring a commercial for which Nas does a voiceover, Nas hosted an intimate dinner at the Mondrian’s Ivory on Sunset to talk booze, pushing the limits, and gave a live concert to further solidify his relationship with the city he calls home.
NEWPOPDAILY: You’ve lived in L.A. for several years now. What brought you to the West Coast?
NAS: I live in L.A. because my kids do. Home is where my kids are for me.
NEWPOPDAILY: You and Hennesey go way back. How did the partnership come about?
NAS: It was the only brand that would have mattered more than just a check to me. That’s why I did it. 2016 marks the 4th year in a row I’ve officially worked with Hennessy, but the relationship has been years and years in the making.
NEWPOPDAILY: It’s even made its way into your rhymes.
NAS: I’ve been talking and rapping about Hennessy since Illmatic. In 2013, I was the face of the second year of the brand’s “Wild Rabbit” campaign. This year, I’m lending my voice for the newest iteration of the campaign called “The Piccards.” The message behind the campaign is all about pushing the limits of one’s potential and breaking down barriers.
NEWPOPDAILY: What are some synergies that you share with Hennessy?
NAS: “Never stop. Never settle.” I believe in this message. I push my own limits every day, every moment – in the studio, on the stage and beyond so it’s truly a genuine fit.
NEWPOPDAILY: What does a day off in L.A. look like for you?
I spend a lot of time with my family. If I do go out, I’ll go to Ivory at Mondrian, Chateau Marmont, Nice Guy and a few other spots.
NEWPOPDAILY: What is inspiring you creatively right now?
NAS: My family, friends, the world’s conditions and rap.
NEWPOPDAILY: Can you give us any hints as to what themes will be on your rumored upcoming album?
NAS: Nas themes.