After Nas taught audiences what it was to be a N***er too, he will be aligning himself with Damian Marley to teach the world about Africa. This is more than any history book will ever tell you.
Initially the collaboration between the two was only meant to produce an EP, but as they have continued to work together and create records, their effort has evolved into the LP known as Distant Relatives.
Prior to this encounter, the two artists came together to produce the song “Road to Zion” that was featured on Damian Marley’s debut album Welcome to Jamrock in 2005. They initially met one another in 1996 and had maintained a mutual respect and friendship.
The album will showcase the musicianship of Marley which will be laced with the thought-provoking lyrics of Nas. Distant Relatives has deep ties to the continent of Africa, and both have expressed wanting to speak on their African ancestry.
“Africa is the backbone of the world and the foundation of everything and Africans are in a situation where they need help more than anywhere else,” Damian Marley said. “We know there are dire situations here in America but when you look at America—with public libraries and free education—these are not opportunities most Africans have. It’s a completely different scale of trying to help people. As human beings, we’re part of a human family.”
“As an American, we have so much even in a so-called recession that a neighborhood like Queensbridge or Red Hook is Beverly Hills compared to the way people are living in Nigeria, Sierre Leone, and Ghana,” said Nas. “So obviously if we making records with that theme, there’s gonna be things I want to build on. I think Africa has a lot to teach us.”
Currently headlining on the Rock the Bells tour, they have started to give fans a glimpse of the album and everything that they have been working on. They have performed new records like, “As We Enter,” and “Africa Must Wake Up.” These songs, along with others, have been able to receive positive feedback from fans.
Even with Marley handling most of the production, it has been rumored that they will be stepping out to get beats from the likes of Large Professor, The Alchemist, J.R. Rotem, and DJ Khalil. Features have reportedly ranged from Stevie Wonder to Young Jeezy.
Although reported to hit stores June, and it’s clearly July, the album has now been set for a release in August.