From the moment you hit play on Illmatic, or any Nas release for that matter, your attention is immediately commanded. From rap fans to aspiring lyricists, Nas has been the catalyst for so much innovation and inspiration. The hood storyteller, the revered lyricist, the flashy thug, the mafioso, the activist, the conscious gangsta; Nas is all those things and more. As Hennessy’s year-long campaign states, for which Nas is prominently featured, it’s all about “Never stop. Never settle.” He is the ultimate embodiment of the hip-hop artist, motivated by artistry and aiming for social change, while still being seduced by the materialistic and destructive elements of the culture. Nas is a multi-faceted artist and person, which is what makes him so relatable, inspirational, and aspirational to fans and artists alike. With his documentary, Nas: Time is Illmatic, hitting theaters, iTunes, and On Demand this week, we take a look at the connections between who and what has inspired him, and how he influenced others along the way.