This week, Hennessy launched its Very Special Limited Edition bottle collaboration with Hip-Hop icon Nas in South Africa in commemoration of Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary with a spectacular event in South Africa.
Hosted by TV presenter and cultural figure Siyabonga Ngwekazi, aka Scoop Makhathini, the marque event celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop took place at the South African Hip Hop Museum in Newtown, Johannesburg on Friday. Performances by South African Hip-Hop royalty from both the new and old school; A-Reece, Stogie T, DJ Ready D, Amu, Moozlie and Uncle Party Time entertained guests throughout the night.
Hennessy connected some of these SA Hip-Hop greats for a conversation around the past, present, and future of Hip-Hop facilitated by Scoop. They also spoke candidly about the state of South African Hip-Hop and celebrated Hennessy’s rich history with Hip-Hop both locally and internationally. The discussion can be viewed on SlikourOnLife and GQ South Africa.
The limited edition bottle features a bold design that mixes elements of Hip-Hop aesthetic with Hennessy’s iconic branding – an impactful juxtaposition of timeless tradition and disarming unconventional certainty. Handwritten notes from a love letter to Hip-Hop written by Nas are offset by vibrant orange accents (the recording artist’s favorite color), resulting in a disruptive, seemingly spontaneous visual collage anchored by a powerful black-and-white portrait of Nas. In an unexpected playful namesake branding twist, “HenNASsy” is displayed across the packaging, with subtle references to graffiti art, the New York City flag, and one of the artist’s recent album artwork.
Speaking on the collaboration Nas said, “It’s an honor to collaborate with Hennessy to commemorate this moment for the art form. Hip-Hop has always had a special connection with Hennessy, and I’m excited to celebrate the culture’s 50th anniversary with a brand and product that pays tribute to its history and impact.”
“Hennessy has always had a strong connection with the music industry, particularly Hip-Hop,” said Laurent Boillot, Hennessy’s CEO. “Hennessy is truly the original spirit of Hip-Hop, which the culture embraced as a badge of success and good taste. We, as a brand, are particularly honored by this recognition. We leaned into this and continuously supported the culture. To celebrate this heritage we couldn’t have a better partner than Nas.”
Hennessy and Nas’ relationship dates back to the 90s, and Hennessy and Hip-Hop have a long affinity that dates back decades. Hennessy, which was one of the first brands to be embraced and inherited by the culture, remains one of the most lyrically-referenced alcohol brands in Hip-Hop, with mentions in more than 2,500 songs.
Since its inception in 1973 in The Bronx, New York, Hip-Hop has evolved into a global cultural phenomenon that has created icons and united people across continents through its five elements; emceeing, deejaying, breaking, graffiti, and beatboxing. South Africa has one of the most exciting Hip-Hop scenes in the world and it’s estimated to be 40 years old.
Celebrations will continue at Africa’s largest Hip-Hop festival, Back To The City, of which Hennessy is the title partner. The 17th annual Back To The City festival will take place on the 7th of October at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown. The festival is known for celebrating all elements of Hip-Hop and boasts an extensive line-up of both established and emerging South African acts and one surprise international act.
Join Hennessy in raising a toast to Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary and honoring its legacy by following on social media (@Hennessy on Facebook and Instagram) and using the hashtags #HennessyHipHop50 and #HennessyxNas.
For more information and updates on our collaboration with Nas, visit https://www.hennessy.com/en-int/collaborations/hennessy-vs-x-nas