Fueled by their motto “Never stop. Never settle,” the company aims to spread the story of Auguste Piccard who became the first person to reach the stratosphere in 1931. His ambitious bloodline also traveled to his son who became the first individual to reach the deepest depths of the ocean many years later.
“I still look up to those who came before me,” says Nas about his admiration for the Piccards. This campaign is all about pushing your limits and striving for greatness. Considered to be one of the most influential rappers of all time, Nas shares the same beliefs when it comes to his life and career.
“You can’t survive without consistent quality and that drive to always push yourself to discover what’s new and great,” Nas tells VIBE. “With my own music, it’s all about creating something that’s genuine and represents that exact moment. I’m talking about real things in my life. If you’re genuine, it sticks.”
Recently, VIBE spoke to the New York born and bred emcee about his fourth year as a brand ambassador for Hennessy, their new campaign, why he respects the brand and more.
What does Hennessy’s longevity represent to you?
Nas: 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. 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. In 2014 the Wild Rabbit campaign featured iconic racecar driver Malcolm Campbell — and I provided the voiceover for that TV spot. 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. Hennessy and I have been working towards the same end goal: to make sure we inspire people to push the limits of potential in whatever they do.
You’ve stayed loyal to the brand for years… why?
I’ve definitely been loyal to Hennessy for years. Not only is their product consistent but they stand for something, too. That’s what I love about Hennessy and the Wild Rabbit campaign. There’s a real inspirational and aspirational message behind it. They’re asking people to push the limits of potential so they can be the very best version of themselves.
Like Hennessy, the Nas is one that represents originality, style and authenticity. Do you think there are some parallels between your career and Hennessy?
There are definitely parallels between Hennessy’s longstanding business and my career. Hennessy is 250 years old and at the heart of that is a collaboration between two families, Hennessy & Fillioux who produce the Master Blenders, that is unique in the Cognac world and part of Hennessy’s legacy. I can only hope my legacy will be around for that long! We both represent integrity, inner drive and passion. Hennessy and I have that drive to “Never stop. Never settle.” It’s as simple as knowing you can do something and putting your mind to it. I’m sure that’s the mantra the Hennessy family kept in the back of their head all these decades. That’s what kept them going and it’s what keeps me going.
Alright Nas, one last thing. Is there one secret Hennessy drink recipe you can share with us?
[Laughs] Right now, I’m a fan of a cocktail called “The Journey,” which you got to try at the Hennessy V.S Wild Rabbit campaign dinner a few weeks ago. The Journey cocktail is inspired by the story behind Hennessy’s new creative spot, launching this month online and on tv. [It’s just] Hennessy V.S and a blend of fruit juices. The layers of flavors take you on a journey.