Nas OPENS Up About Working with Jay Z & Mariah Carey And Dishes On His HSTRY Clothing Line
Hennessy ambassador Nas revealed all to HuffPost to talk about the 20th anniversary of his classic Illmatic disc, his next album and how his HSTRY fashion label will impact the industy. See the highlights inside...
Life Is Good for rapper Nas who celebrated his 40th birthday this year. He's got the relaunch of MASS APPEAL, a lucrative endorsement deal with Hennessy’s “Wild Rabbit”, apps like FANCY & Proven, a new clothing label HSTRY, and the 20th anniversary of his classic disc Illmatic. Oh, and he's still fine.
Nas chopped it up with the HuffPost to reflect on his year, his future in the industry and what he hopes to accomplish with his next album and clothing line. Here are the highlights:
Next year will mark the 20-year anniversary of the release of "Illmatic." Are there any special plans underway to commemorate the milestone?
We’re putting together a concert. And I think we’re going to do something with the album and repackage it with special stuff. I think that’s in the works.
One particular track off the (next) album that has piqued fans' interest is, “Sinatra In The Sands,” featuring Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. What was the recording process like?
Excitement... Excitement to work and be in the place that we’re all are at, musically. Those are the guys who lasted the test of time, and those guys are at the top of their game. They’re just company to be in. So that’s the whole vibe of that. And of course the title says it all.
Lyrically, where are you taking fans on the track?
More like from a musician’s stand point, someone who’ve been around. Because Sinatra has been around and he has a long, long standing with the stage and the audience for years. And he evolved. His talent got better just like wine. And I think that’s something a lot of people want to achieve. So that’s what this song is really about. Striving to be the best you, like Sinatra had become.
In recent weeks you’ve been photographed in the studio with Mariah Carey and Jermaine Dupri. Will the collaboration appear on your album?
That’s on her album, and it’s a banger! [Yassssss!] I was excited to get back in the studio with her. She’s one of the greatest voices of our generation. She’s on another level. Just working with an artist that big really shows me how much further I can go. I’ve been inspired just sitting there talking to her. She’s very smart and extremely talented. And I’m just happy to work with her again.
Aside from the Hennessy campaign and music, you’ve also launched your new clothing line, HSTRY. How much input do you have in each design?
Total input on everything. From picking out fabric to the designs. It’s a collaborative effort between me and Grungy Gentleman. So what you’ve been seeing from HSTRY is not 100 percent HSTRY. It’s half HSTRY, half Grungy Gentleman. That was the way we launched it on that level. But the Spring collection is the next thing. We’re going to have some cool pieces this Winter. But next Spring is where my head is at, which will be 100 percent HSTRY.
Where do you envision your style in the fashion industry?
Just a great look, comfort, and quality. My thing spans from my 90s wear, where it’s all military, it’s all fatigue-style stuff, but just make it higher end and current. And also, the athletic styles of that time. Without revealing all my secrets, I have a wide range of ideas for HSTRY. It’s just unstoppable with all the directions I have for this thing. I’m excited to get that off the ground, and we’re just starting. It looks like 2014 is going to be another big year for me.
Check out the entire interview here.
Photo via Nas' Instagram