How is Busta Rhymes planning to celebrate his 50th birthday this weekend?
“I’m going to do a little bit of partying. I’m going to do a little bit of relaxing, and I’m going to do a little bit of work,” said Busta on Wednesday night in New York. “I love to work, because my job is not really work to me. It’s my passion, my love, my fulfillment — so going and making my music is part of me appreciating my gift and what I’ve been blessed with.”
The rapper was kicking things off at AP House in the Meatpacking District, where Audemars Piguet hosted friends of the brand to mark the official debut of Audemars Piguet’s swanky social lounge, as well as the 50th anniversary of the AP Royal Oak.
“I am just a fan of phenomenal craftsmanship and elegance,” said the rapper, adding that the watches represent attributes — quality and beauty among them — that he works to embody; he’s been collecting AP timepieces since he was 28.
“It’s one thing to get gifts from people, but it’s always an amazing feeling to bask in the gifts that you’ve been blessed with,” said Busta. “The studio does that for me, my family does that for me, and being able to gift my family love, friendship and commitment to each other. Sometimes we exemplify that not just through emotion, but through the act.”
Sometimes that act is the gift of an AP watch, or dinner — “things that will make people smile,” he added. “And sometimes it’s just a mere celebration of life, and being able to be with each other and enjoying that time together in whatever way you choose to express that. As long as it’s something that can add to the happiness and peace of mind of the individuals that we’re celebrating — that’s the most important thing at the end of the day.”
Busta was also in town to pay homage to another New York rap icon, the Notorious B.I.G. The two New York rappers were born one day apart, and on Friday Busta is slated to perform alongside his music industry peers during the late rapper’s 50th birthday celebration. The city is planning to light up the Empire State Building in Biggie’s honor, and the MTA is rolling out special subway cards near his childhood neighborhood in Brooklyn on May 21.
Ghetto Gastro, a longtime fan and friend of Audemars Piguet, passed around snacks as Heron Preston DJed and guests including Sebastian Stan, artist Nina Chanel Abney and Hannah Bronfman congregated nearby on a private outdoor terrace.
“This is Audemars Piguet’s friends and family,” said Ginny Wright, chief executive officer of the Americas for the brand. “Music, fashion and gastronomy are all present here. That’s what AP House is about; it’s not a boutique, it’s about a place for people to come and connect about the culture, not just about watches.”
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