Grade A Certified

Review: Nas x Damian Marley – “Distant Relatives”

Posted by Oak Jones on May 28, 2010

In the grand scheme of things, the combination of Nas and Damian Marley isn’t something that should’ve come as a suprise to most. I’ve always believed that all forms of black music are intertwined one way or another, as Nas proved in the duet with his father, aptly called “Bridging The Gap”. The offspring of legendary jazz musician, Olu Dara and the undisputed king of Reggae Bob Marley; have come together to collaborate or one of the best hip-hop albums released in a while, titled Distant Relatives. Together, they’ve created a 13 track, near masterpiece; filled with a perfect mixture of reggae, rap, rhythm & blues, and jazz music. Something that has been atypical of Nas’ career, the production on the EP is above average to say the least; it is full of conscious lessons with a twist of African rhetoric that is sure to leave a lasting image with most of it’s listeners.

Throughout these last few months, Distant Relatives was perhaps the most leaked album I’ve ever encountered. After about 5-6 of the tracks were released, I refused to listen to any more of them until the finished product was released… and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The songs such as “Road To Zion” and “As We Enter” are more like proverbs set to a beat, rather than just plain music; which is something that is rarely captured on records in this day and age. The duo of Nas and Jr. Gong would have been enough to carry the EP, but the list of features only add more nostalgia to it. “My Generation” is a passionate track that includes an eclectic duo of Lil’ Wayne and Joss Stone, while K’Naan‘s assistance was used on two cuts, “Tribes at War” and “Africa Must Wake Up”, respectively.

All in all, Distant Relatives is an extremely cohesive album with a melting pot of social commentary, conscious lessons, rap and reggae that would satisfy a broad spectrum of fans. Collaborative EP’s don’t always strike gold, but this combined effort from Nas and Damian definitely comes close. So support the album if you haven’t already… Be safe and God bless.

-Oak

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One Response to “Review: Nas x Damian Marley – “Distant Relatives””

  1. justdc said

    Just waiting for it to get to my country, so I could give them my money 🙂

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