It’s hard to believe the cultural phenomenon known as HennyPalooza was started by Kameron McCullough and just a few of his friends in his Harlem apartment only five years ago. The requirements for entry were simple: Hennessy and fried chicken. And WHO can resist brown juice and fried chicken? One of Kam’s friends (a little-known DJ by the name of Meka of Two Dope Boyz) was solicited to provide the music, and unbeknownst to them, a WHOLE movement had been started.
McCullough told HuffPost in 2014, “The thought process behind HennyPalooza was pretty simple: I wanted to enjoy cognac and my friends. I had a game night a month prior at my house, and people really enjoyed it.”
That small kickback in Kam’s Harlem apartment transitioned into one of the country’s most sought-after party series in years. It’s amazing how much joy good music and a full cup of Hennessy can bring you. The admittance fee has changed a bit, though. Now, for the general price of $50, you receive about six hours of a Hennessy open bar (yes, you read that correctly). You also get music vibes provided by the hottest DJ’s around, including Austin Millz, Genius HD, DJ Meka, and Yo Showtime. The most energetic hosts ever—Nile “Lowkey” Ivey and Chris Stylez—keep the crowd motivated and never ever disappoint. Surprise musical guests have included the likes of; Wale, Nipsey Hussle, YG and Cam’ron, just to name a few.
For the last two years, HennyPalooza has been on tour, infecting major cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles, and even the Caribbean island of Bermuda. Seeing the words “SOLD OUT” grace the social pages of the movement’s leaders is a common occurrence, and the hashtag #HennyPalooza is a trending topic on Twitter every weekend the event takes place.
While all may seem effortless on the forefront of the movement, however, the guys have been missing one crucial element during the past five years of their glow-up: an official endorsement from Hennessy. It’s hard to believe the elite cognac brand refuses to endorse them after five successful years, but that’s their truth. And since the fellas knew they couldn’t move to higher levels without that endorsement, some changes have been made.
Those changes were announced by the movement’s fearless leader via Instagram on Monday:
September 30th, 2015 was the date. Lenny S called @lowkeyuhtn and myself to come to his office. He wanted to shoot us as a part his #GoldStandard photo series. He introduced us as "the Henny sippers" followed by "we gone change that." Fast forward to February of 2016, and the good brother @taxstone called me and said that D'usse wanted to meet with us. He said those were words straight from Hov himself. After 10 minutes of telling Tax he was a liar, he connected me to @baxelrod and the D'usse family. I'm a firm believer in timing and it wasn't quite the right time yet. We went on to body an international tour for the next two years as #HennyPalooza. Then this past summer, 4:44 was released and my favorite rapper kept encouraging to start your own, support your own, and invest in your own. As a believer in timing, I couldn't ignore the signs that were in front of me. There was a golden opportunity right in front of us. Around this time, people kept asking what's next for #HennyPalooza. It was time for us to elevate the brand, and there was one clear way to do it….alignment. People were/are shocked every time I tell them that the other brand would have nothing to do with us. Who could possibly understand where we were coming from? We're a self-made group of friends in business that were just looking for an opportunity, sound familiar?! Not only is the opportunity here, but we now have the PERFECT partner in D'usse/Hov/Roc Nation. When I said Terminal 5 was the last #HennyPalooza, I meant it. I'm proud to announce that we've officially partnered with @dussecognac to bring you all #DussePalooza!! Same crew. Same energy. New Rules.
Yes, after five years, HennyPalooza has officially transitioned to DussePalooza with an official endorsement from the brand’s fearless leader, JAY-Z.
How’s that for leveling up?
“A brand we respect insanely saw what we were capable of. It not only breathes new life into us but into the party culture. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership with D’USSE cognac,” Ivey tells CASSIUS. “The days of supporting those who don’t support us are over. We’re aligning with the best example we have in the modern business of doing it yourself,” McCullough chimed.
Founding member Kazeem Famuyide called the accomplishment “a long time coming.”
“In 2018, we’re not giving cultural currency away to people that don’t understand us anymore,” Famuyide shared. “D’USSE and RocNation is a perfect partnership for us, because not only do they understand us, but they will help elevate us. Couldn’t be happier.
We couldn’t be happier for them.