Smirnoff Hosts Signature Mix Series Listening Party in NYC [Exclusive Coverage]
New York, NY – Velvet ropes, guest lists and plus ones are all expected nuisances at industry events in New York City. Tuesday’s Smirnoff Signature Mix Series listening session, held at Chinatown’s chicly concealed Apotheke Bar was the perfect event to bring out members of New York’s hip-hop media through nearly 11 inches of snow—and it involved none of the aforementioned hassles.
The manufacturers of the popular vodka asked contemporary hip hop artists to create unique original versions of timeless hip hop classics for their second annual signature mix series. Among those featured on the compilation are Nas and Marsha Ambrosius, who rework “If I Ruled the World,” Buckshot and Kardinal Offishall, who revisit “I Gotcha Opin,” and Nice & Smooth and Pac Div, who contribute an updated version of “Funky For You.”
Smirnoff mixologists were on hand to prove that flavorsome cocktails are cool when shaken or stirred. In the course of the night, attendees were treated to a set by DJ 9th Wonder, as well as an impromptu performance by Nice & Smooth.
Kardinal Offishall and Buckshot revealed to DJBooth.net that they were able to collaborate through Cornerstone Promotions’ founder Rob Stone and Dru Ha. Buckshot explained, “Smirnoff wanted to do something different; every year they have a different campaign…they wanted to do ‘I Gotcha Opin,’ and [we] thought a brother that’s crazy and represents his own section like we do is Kardinal, and the vibe was perfect.”
Kardinall Offishall told DJBooth.net “I come from the school of the Buckshots, the school of the Nas and the Biggies and all of them. Those are the people who helped to mold and partially shape who I am. When you think of an iconic song, this is a song that has not only changed many of the fans’ lives, it’s changed the way people look at music. When they came out with ‘I Got Cha Opin,’ the flow that he had [had never been visited] in hip hop music.”
Marsha Ambrosius filled DJBooth.net in on what it was like working with Nas, stating that, although she has worked with him in the past, it was still a “mind-blowing experience” collaborating with him on the modern-day revamp of his classic track. She also said that if she ruled the world, she would “let everyone know the importance of truly living life. I think people need to gather around those that they love and show that they care. It’s the little things! I want to instill family values, I know it sounds corny!”
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