One is arguably the most iconic lyricist in rap history; the other is a reggae star and the son of a legendary musician/activist (Bob Marley). So when Nas and Damian Marley announced plans to collaborate back in February 2009, fans from both genres eagerly anticipated the result.
Originally, the idea was to release just an EP, but when the duo hit the studio to record last year, they decided to turn it into a full record, entitled Distant Relatives.
“Reggae is one of the roots of hip-hop. Hip-hop music has helped reggae in its transition periods. Together we kind of wanted to give people that. To find the roots of reggae and hip-hop,” Nas told the Omaha World Herald back in June 2009. In the same interview, the Queens rapper also discussed the meaning behind the album’s name: “We’re in a recession. It’s a hard time for America. People are killing themselves over jobs, but we take for granted what we do have here… In the world, we’re family. We’re all relatives in a way. So we named the album Distant Relatives because it talks to all people.”