Meet nasthug: The Rising Star of Tokyo’s Club Scene
February 8, 2024
February 8, 2024
When most music fans mention Jay Z, Eminem, and Nas in the same breath, they are usually arguing about who is the greatest of all time. For James D’Agostino pka DJ Green Lantern however, he’s probably thinking about what songs were in their setlists…Green Lantern owns the bragging rights to having been the tour DJ for all three living legends. But ask him, and he’ll tell you the most exciting part of his career is just getting started.
Growing up in Rochester, NY, Green developed a reputation for being adept at chopping samples and having some of the hottest beats around. DJing was so far from his mind that he had to borrow crates from friends for his first gig, which he only initially agreed to do because it paid $500. Instantaneously finding that he had a knack for controlling the crowd, Green steadily built a reputation as the go-to party DJ in his area. However, his creative background and producer pedigree screamed for an outlet, which ended up being mixtapes. “Around ‘96, I made my first mixtape,” Green recalls. “I used a four-track recorder. I understood you have to stand out and so I started putting hooks in and switching shit up.” Green’s trademarks quickly became his self-produced remixes, and a cohesiveness that had many of his mixtapes sounding like albums. The overwhelming critical acclaim made him a rising star with bookers requesting his presence on the tables everywhere from Connecticut to Japan, and all over Europe.
His ascent into the upper echelon of mixtape DJs caught Eminem’s attention. Called on to helm the now classic Invasion mixtape series, Green provided a platform to showcase Shady Records’ impressive stable of artists. Eventually the synergy between the two was so strong, Eminem asked Green to join him as his DJ on the “Anger Management” tour. Green jumped at the opportunity, not only for the chance to share the stage with Eminem, but also for the opportunity to put original production in front of the undivided attention of Eminem on the road. “For so many years, I was focusing on DJing,” says Green. “But producing was so much my passion. The Eminem opportunity was a great way to get back into what I loved and use the name I had to propel a production career.”
Green continued churning out mixtapes after the tour when he was approached by Jay-Z to handle the DJ responsibilities on his first international tour. Green humbly accepted and toured throughout Europe and the rest of the world with the most influential artist in the history of music. Most people would be able close the book right there, content with such high accolades, but not Green Lantern. Soon after, Green started his “Invasion Radio” show (which now lives on Sirius/XM radio every Monday on Hip Hop Nation) giving the world new music and giving him a platform to grow his brand while showcasing his original music. Next came the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto’s fourth installment, Liberty City Invasion, which Green produced, and served as the sonic backbone for a game that sold 3.6 million copies in its first day of release.
After interviewing Nas on his Sirius/XM show, Green passed him a beat CD. Within 20 minutes of Nas’s departure he called Green estatic about the track,” Black President,” which was then the first single off of Nas’s critically acclaimed ‘Untiteld’ album. Once again, Green was approached about a DJ gig. At first hesitant, but when Nas asks you to be his DJ, you stop what you’re doing, pack your backs and go. Green did just that, traveling around the world with one of the greatest lyricist in music, as well as a two year tour with Damien Marley, on their Distant Relatives tour. Up until the end of this year, Green will be touring with Nas. For, Green, however, the creative itch is back, and needs to be scratched.
For the last two years, Green has quietly been taking notes while becoming a huge fan of the EDM explosion in the States. And after hours, days, weeks, and even months working on new original material, Green is ready to transition into a new space with the passion and hunger he had many years back growing up in Rochester. The goal is to make a lasting impression in EDM no different than he has in hip hop, through fantstic production and showmanship which has taken him to the top of the hip hop world. Already getting co-signs by everyone from Bro Safari to Skrillex, Green has taken his love, knowledge and access to hip hop and applied it to electronic music, giving fans something brand new. Last month, while readying his first, trap influenced single and putting finishing touches on his “Altitude” mix, Green signed with mega-agent Lee Anderson and AM Only to support his touring efforts, which will get underway in early 2013.
It’s evident that Green’s passion for creating and giving people unforgettable aural experiences is constantly at the forefront of his mind. “I’ve never been one to be in this music game just to eat off of it. I always contribute and bring a dish to dinner.” Given the feedback, it looks like people are enjoying what Green’s been cooking.