Rap mogul Nas made his presence at the annual South By Southwest music festival felt over the weekend after popping up at an open panel discussion with renowned entrepreneur Ben Horowitz.
During their panel discussion, Nasty Nas credited Horowitz for having a serious impact on his life.
The unlikely duo of Nas and Ben Horowitz served as a reminder on stage Sunday at SXSW that successful people flourish in part thanks to their ability to connect and learn from those they might appear to have little in common with. “Thank you both as a listener and a writer for your honesty. It’s completely changed my life,” Horowtiz said to Nas. “You changed my life too, man,” Nas said. “We have so many conversations about life. [I’ve] been at your home, your beautiful family. The beautiful group of people that I’ve been meeting with you. It’s opened up my head to a lot of different things, investing and things like that.” (The Washington Post)
Nasir Jones also gave Ben props for schooling him with literature.
Nas eagerly described reading Horowitz’s book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”: “As I’m reading the book I’m having heart palpitations. He talks about throwing 20 billion and stuff like it’s 20 dollars!” The pair spoke of their shared interest in Toussaint Louverture, a slave who successfully led the Haitian Revolution. “You gave me a book on him and I was shocked,” Nas said. “You gave me one of the best books I ever read on him, and also that you even cared and know about this guy that no one seems to talk about.” (The Washington Post)
Over the past few years, Horowitz has made a name for himself with various high-profile business ventures.
Ben Horowitz is a co-founder and general partner of the venture capital fund, Andreessen Horowitz. Horowitz was a co-founder and CEO of Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), which was acquired by HP in 2007, and Horowitz was appointed vice president and general manager of Business Technology Optimization for Software at HP. Earlier, he was vice president and general manager of America Online’s E-commerce Platform division, where he oversaw development of the company’s flagship Shop@AOL service. (Crunch Base)
Recently, Nas talked about why he ventured into a sneaker venture instead of more popular trends like electronics and beverages.
“Everybody was already doing all those other things and those things have those guys’ signatures on them. We can all open sneaker stores, but who is going to care enough to do it? Everybody in the country, outside the country, loves sneakers. For me, it was something I wanted to do a long time ago; even before I met Nick. Nick was already doing his thing in the business, so the timing was just perfect.” (Complex)