2023 marks the 50th anniversary of hip–hop, arguably the most vibrant, and far-reaching music cultural movement of our time. Hennessy has been there throughout the genre’s history, and is here in the present, and plans to continue supporting the culture into the future.
On August 11th, 1973, in New York, a group of teenagers threw a back-to-school party in rec room of an apartment building in the Bronx, presided over by the eighteen-year-old deejay Kool Herc.
50 years later, to the day this week, hip-hop officially celebrates its 50th birthday.
Since that Kool Herc party, the seeds of hip-hop were considered to be sown, and from the triumvirate of rap, graffiti and breakdancing, the music element has evolved and expanded beyond its humble beginnings to become a dominant culture and force of the music world.
As it did so, its practitioners built its foundational textbook of cadence, rhythm, flow patterns and wordplay, as references became codified text, to be repeated throughout the lineage of hip-hop history.
One such prominent reference is Hennessy, the cognac drink founded in France in 1765 by Corkonian Richard Hennessy, which has been name-checked in well over a 2,500 songs including such luminaries as 2Pac, Biggie, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, The Weekend and Kendrick Lamar.
Hennessy was originally adopted by the hip-hop community as a badge of social status, success and style from its early days, after its widespread acceptance in American street culture, which helps explain hip-hop’s early endorsement of the cognac once it began to develop into a phenomenon.
Hennessy or the slang “Henny” is now staple of the hip-hop lexicon. It is shorthand for an artist with good taste, sophistication and luxury, a phonetic wellspring that has continue to have a surprising versatility in the genre.
To mark the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Hennessy has launched a limited Edition Hennessy V.S Bottle created with hip-hop superstar Nas, who as you’ll see below is a big fan of referencing Henny.
The orange-accented limited edition bottle design features Nas’ handwritten diary notes inspired by shared stories and late-night lyric-writing fuse with nods to graffiti, the New York City flag, and the rapper’s King Disease II album art.
On the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, this limited edition bottle celebrates the close link between Hennessy and hip-hop, with one of the genre’s classic artists.
The following are 10 of our favourite examples of this recurrent Hennessy motif in hip-hop music, along with a playlist of 50 Henny-referencing songs below…
The Hennessy Hip Hop 50th anniversary limited edition V.S bottle created with Nas is available exclusively from 80 SuperValu stores across Ireland, costing €41.