NIGO recently retuned with his first album in 17 years, I Know NIGO!, but he brought it to life on Wednesday night (March 30) during an exclusive party helmed by Spotify’s flagship hip-hop playlist RapCaviar.
The private “family reunion” was hosted at interior designer Kelly Wearstler’s 1920s Beverly Hills estate complete with; a guest book with individual Polaroid photos and notes for NIGO; floating duck mats in the pool to match the 2022 album artwork; and customized pillows and towels bearing the LP’s title.
The 51-year-old Japanese fashion designer, DJ and producer was accompanied by his closest collaborators, such as the project’s executive producer Pharrell and featured artist Pusha T and more rappers, including Smino, 24KGoldn, A$AP Nast and IDK, as well as co-writer/producer Jozzy, Bel-Air actress Coco Jones and talk show host/DJ Kerwin Frost. Together, they celebrated the new project by the A Bathing Ape founder (otherwise known as Bape) and Kenzo’s latest artistic director, which comes almost two decades after NIGO’s debut solo album Nigo Presents: Return of the Ape Sounds in 2005.
“It’s been an honor working on this project with NIGO and Pharrell. It’s been like a dream come true,” said Steven Victor, CEO of Victor Victor Worldwide, in a short speech introducing NIGO’s DJing set on Wednesday’s event.
Pusha was the first guest to take the turf-covered stage for a galvanizing performance of his latest single “Diet Coke,” which is the lead single from his upcoming album he teased at the after party of Kenzo’s debut at Paris Fashion Week in January. Pusha later delved into “Punch Bowl,” the collaboration between Clipse (Pusha and Malice) and NIGO, from I Know NIGO! as well as album cuts “Morë Tonight” (by Teriaki Boyz, NIGO’s old group) and “Hear Me Clearly,” which received the music video treatment on Wednesday.
“Originally, it was supposed to be just Pharrell and maybe Pusha-T, but then I started reaching out to different people, and everyone was just like, ‘Yes!'” Victor told Complex‘s Jordan Rose back in January, when NIGO and Kid Cudi‘s “Want It Bad” premiered during Kenzo’s Paris Fashion Week show months before the album dropped, which also features Tyler, the Creator, A$AP Rocky, Gunna, Lil Uzi Vert, Pop Smoke and more.
I Know NIGO! proves that only a tastemaker like NIGO can take a nearly 20-year hiatus and come back to reunite the A-list Gen-X and Gen-Z MCs for a project that partially debuted during Paris Fashion Week, the pinnacle of couture and culture that NIGO represents well within his own brand.
After a short intermission, Skateboard P popped up with the man of the hour behind the deck and gave a special shoutout to all of the “Beautiful” women at the event with a special performance of his Billboard Hot 100 No. 6 hit with Snoop Dogg and Charlie Wilson of the same name. Then, sans Gunna, Pharrell took over the first live performance of “Functional Addict” from the new project.
“This project has been a long time coming, and a true dream come true, bringing together some of my closest friends on the album,” NIGO said in a statement released after the event wrapped. “Spotify has been a great partner in my musical journey and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate the release with them, along with my close friends Pharrell, Pusha T and biggest fans. We had an epic time!”