Nas and Hit-Boy, rap’s latest dynamic duo, are channeling the energy of another great tag team, EPMD, for their latest single. The track—which is named after the two-man group from Long Island—originally appeared on the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack, but Nas and Hit-Boy dropped the “EPMD” video on Thursday.
With Nas’ ability to be both Esco and a thought-provoking poet, the clip doesn’t shy away from that duality. In it, Nas reasserts himself as one of rap’s crown jewels by enjoying the spoils that his success has brought him. Yet while he’s floating through a mansion’s courtyard, he never strays too far away from his roots. He trades the typical morning tea for a double shot of Hennesy and makes sure his famed Queensbridge chain is in nearly every shot.
“EMPD, we back in business,” Nas raps in reference to EPMD’s 1992 album. “I visualize what it is, not what it isn’t/We in the mafia table next to the kitchen/Eating Michelin Star, counting a million.”
Hit-Boy and Nas also pay homage to the original EMPD in the video. In several shots, they wear bucket hats, a nod to the group’s signature style. They take things a step further near the end of the clip by putting their spin on EMPD’s Unfinished Business album cover. Instead of wearing matching outfits and sitting on the hoods of two separate luxury cars like Erick and Parrish, Nas and Hit-Boy decided to wear the same clothes while standing on top of a vintage Mercedes-Benz.
The Nas and Hit-Boy pairing has proved to be fruitful. Together, they put out the album King’s Disease, which helped put a bow on Nas’s already-iconic tenure by earning him his first Grammy award.
Watch the video for Nas and Hit-Boy’s “EPMD” above.