Chris Rock, Kendrick Lamar and more gather for Nas’ 50th birthday celebration 

Written by on September 16, 2023

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Comedian Chris Rock, rapper Kendrick Lamar and singer Mary J. Blige were among a long list of celebrities who turned out for Nas at the hip-hop legend’s 50th birthday party on Thursday night in New York City. 

Rock delivered a rousing toast at the lavish affair, according to video shared on social media.

“The first art form created by free Black men,” Rock said of the genre that was launched in New York’s Bronx borough.

“Everything else — rock and roll, jazz, the blues — [was] created by slaves or n*gg*s  living in slave-like conditions,” he said, generating laughter. “Hip hop was created by free Black men.”

The black-tie affair went down at The Grill in Midtown Manhattan on 52nd Street where guests gathered for cocktails, dinner and a party that featured a performance from The Roots.

Hip Hop 50 Live
Nas performs onstage during “Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium” on Aug. 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

DJ Jazzy Jeff handled the ones and twos, spinning the night’s soundtrack for stars like music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, actor Robert De Niro and rappers Q-Tip, Jadakiss, Styles P, N.O.R.E., Fat Joe and AZ, Nas’ longtime partner.

After the custom-Hennessy cocktail hour, guests sat for a four-course dinner at 9 p.m. to enjoy filet mignon, branzino and pasta from the legendary Italian restaurant Carbone. Hennessy presented Nas with a specially-commissioned abstract painting for his birthday.

Styles P of The Lox also spoke at the party, praising Nas for his influence on other rappers.

“He’s the golden child from the golden era. He’s the direct disciple of Kool G [Rap], [Big Daddy] Kane, KRS [One] and Rakim. He’s paved the way for all of us. He was able to drop some ill lyrics in the golden era,” the artist from Yonkers said.

The soirée coincided with the release of Nas’ latest album, “Magic 3.” The project marks the sixth consecutive album in three years from Nas and producer Hit-Boy. Both collaborators have confirmed “Magic 3” will be the last project of their prolific collaboration, which includes the first two installments of the “Magic” series and three “King’s Diseases” albums, starting in 2020.  

The first “King’s Disease” album earned Nas his first Grammy trophy for Best Rap Album. He previously received 12 Grammy nominations without a win. Since then, he’s received two more Grammy nods, including Best Rap Album for “King’s Disease II.”

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