Tag Archive | "DAMIAN MARLEY"

Imperial performs rousing sets across Florida as he promotes new album

rsz_-1As he drops Dancehall Knowledge for a third time on the music industry, Imperial is building on his momentum with a series of performances featuring a litany of Jamaican music’s most influential figures while garnering stronger fan support.

Imperial appeared at Waggy T’s Bashment Explosion on March 21 in Pembroke Pines, FL, performing alongside prominent Reggae singer and long-time friend,Wayne Wonder. The duo delivered a slew of their classics for a more-than-satisfied Florida crowd asImperial also performed tracks off his new album,Dancehall Knowledge: Volume 3, drawing many forwards from patrons.

Then, it was on to Miami where the artist formerly known as Alley Cat would perform at Winter Music Massive on March 22, organized by Large Up magazine and 222 Worldwide. The show, co-hosted by Melanie Fiona and producer extraordinaire, Tarik ‘Rvssian’ Johnston saw Imperial produce a well-received, pulsating set, which saw him perform hits such as Real Ghetto Story, Why Why, Hot Gal, Brag and Boast, Girls Tour and many more. The performance also gathered the artist props on social media, with DJ Gravy tweeting that he got ‘three forwards in 2 minutes!’

The show also featured appearances from Reggae linchpins, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley and Stephen Marley, as well as Jo Mersa Marley, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons. In the meantime, Imperial says he is concentrating on pushing Dancehall Knowledge: Vol. 3 while promising fans can expect to see lots more of him in the near future.

He is currently lined up for a show this Saturday at the Purdy Lounge in Miami (South Beach) as well as a performance in West Palm Beach April 19th.

Promoters who wish to book Imperial can email him at [email protected] or call 954-515-2795.

Imperial and Damian Marley


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Damian Marley’s Reggae Cruise ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ Sells Out Nearly a Year in Advance


Less than a month after its lineup of top tier Jamaican acts was announced on his Facebook page, Damian Marley’s inaugural Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise has sold out all of the 2,300 available cabins aboard the Norwegian Pearl cruise liner, Damian told Billboard.biz in an exclusive interview.

So named for Damian’s 2006 Best Reggae Album Grammy Award-winning “Welcome to Jamrock” (Universal Motown/Tuff Gong), which peaked at no. 7 on the Top 200, and its blockbuster title track which reached no. 55 on the Hot 100, the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise will sail from Miami to Jamaica, October 20-25, 2014, docking for daytime excursions and beach parties in the island’s resort towns, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

The enthusiastic, globe-spanning response to the cruise — cabins were purchased by reggae fans from Asia, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas — signifies reggae’s broad-based, continual appeal, despite the genre’s persistently modest sales. “Reggae doesn’t traditionally move a lot of numbers but it is loved the world over and this cruise is a testament to that; we haven’t done any marketing except announcing the lineup in late September, and it sold out,” Damian told Billboard.biz on the phone from his Miami studio.

The lineup features Damian and his older brothers Stephen and Julian Marley; dancehall superstars Sean Paul and Shaggy, contemporary roots singers Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure, and Etana; sing-jay Busy Signal, Jamaican-American sibling band Morgan Heritage and the roster of acts from the Marley family’s Ghetto Youths International imprint: Wayne Marshall, Black-Am-I, Christopher Ellis (son of Jamaican rock steady legend, the late Alton Ellis) and Stephen’s son, Jo Mersa Marley. Also on board will be renowned UK selector Sir David Rodigan and three veteran reggae sound systems Jamaica’s Stone Love and Renaissance Disco and Japan’s Mighty Crown.

The proliferation of successful American and internationally based reggae acts over the past few years and their dominance on the Reggae Album chart prompted Damian to choose acts coming from the music’s birthplace for the inaugural Jamrock cruise, which will be an annual event. “Reggae’s root is Jamaica, and it seems that the world is losing a bit of that history so we were very strict in having most of the lineup for the first cruise be of Jamaican heritage,” Damian stated.

“We are very excited to have a reggae success story and another platform to present artists that we think so highly of,” added Damian’s manager Dan Dalton of Red Light Management. “There has never been a fully chartered cruise ship devoted to reggae so this will be like a festival with sound systems playing, a rock steady lounge or dub lounge, an 80s dancehall club, a multifaceted Jamaican musical experience.”


Marley and Dalton envisioned the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae cruise several years ago and shared their concept with Brian Edelman of William Morris Endeavor (WME), longstanding booking agent for Damian and Stephen Marley; Mike Rosenfeld, head of WME’s newly developed Cruise Division was also recruited to help spearhead the project. Noting the success that genres such as country and jazz have had with theme cruises in recent years, the team believed chartering a ship and taking reggae to the Caribbean Sea would be an easy sell, but they encountered many challenges in securing financial backing. “We were repeatedly told that the typical reggae fan doesn’t have enough disposable income to afford a cruise and that reggae events don’t sell out tickets in advance and because a lot more goes into chartering a cruise ship instead of renting out a club or an amphitheater, it’s more expensive and a greater risk,” Edelman explained.

“There are tiers of pricing depending on the view, the level of the cabin on the ship, interior or balcony, the number of people who will stay in the cabin and because there are so many variables, cruise promoters like Flying Dutchman have the proprietary software that enables them to easily ticket the passenger, which cuts through another layer of complexity like buying a ticket through Ticketmaster,” offered Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld has put hundreds of acts on cruise ships and says the Jamrock cruise is among the fastest-selling he has seen. “We just had the third annual Backstreet Boys cruise, which sold out in about the same amount of time and a year in advance, but the Jamrock cruise sold out after just a few posts on Facebook. The vast majority of the world doesn’t know this cruise exists because no traditional marketing or advertising was done, so we have barely scratched the surface of the potential for this market.”

According to Edelman 48% of the cabins sold were purchased by reggae fans from outside North America, representing 40 countries, with an age range evenly split among 25-50 years old. 170 people are on the waiting list should cabins become available for the 2014 cruise, and over 200 are on the waiting list for the 2015 cruise, the dates for which have not yet been announced. “I work in the live side of the business, I have been to events all over the world and this is the most globally diverse event I have ever been a part of,” Edelman acknowledged.

“We are also trying to get a few promoters to come on board, to draw attention to reggae from a business perspective, to open people up to taking more risks with our music,” Damian acknowledged. “The cruise will provide great exposure for our Ghetto Youths acts, but it is a broader mission to give exposure to the genre and show there is more that we can do to get the music out there besides putting out records.”

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Gyptian’s ‘Hold Yuh’ certified gold

GyptianAccomplished Reggae/Dancehall star, Gyptian has made a bit of history thanks to arguably his biggest hit as his 2010 single, Hold Yuh is now certified gold.

On Thursday, it was announced that Hold Yuh was officially declared a gold record by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), meaning it has now eclipsed 500,000 copies sold. The song, produced by Ricky Blaze is the first by a Jamaican Dancehall/Reggae artist to be certified gold since Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley’s Grammy-winning single, Welcome to Jamrock achieved such status in 2005.

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Damian Marley, Mr. Vegas and Tarrus Riley cop multiple awards at IRAWMA

Damian Marley Grammy AwardsAccomplished Reggae/Dancehall acts,Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Mr. Vegas andTarrus Riley are celebrating triumphs achieved at this year’s International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) after each winning two honors during the show.

The event, which took place at the Coral Spring Centre for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale Saturday night was highlighted by the three men, who were the only Jamaican acts to take home multiple awards on the night. Marley took home Entertainer of the Year and Best Crossover Song for his chart-topping collaboration with Skrillex (Bun Dem). Riley copped the awards for Best Male Vocalist and Most Cultural/Educational Entertainer while Mr. Vegas won Best Song for Sweet Jamaica and Best Music Video for Bruk It Down.

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Damian Marley and Skrillex top Billboard’s digital Reggae chart with ‘Make It Bun Dem’

Skrillex and Damian MarleyHighly acclaimed Reggae/Dancehall singer, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley has become a fixture on Billboard’s Reggae digital songs chart thanks to his chart-topping single, Make It Bun Dem, crafted by popular American dance producer, Skrillex.

Premiered in January of last year, Make It Bun Dem has scored over 317,000 downloads, including nearly 7,000 download this week alone. The song has spent 21 weeks at the top of the chart and has also made an impact on charts worldwide, placing as high as 15th in Belgium, 16th in New Zealand and 16th on the UK dance chart.

It has also become a hit with Jamaicans, topping a number of charts, particularly TVJ’s Entertainment Report chart for several weeks.

Originally released as an instrumental in 2011, Make It Bun Dem was then re-recorded with vocals from Damian Marley‘s chart-topping smash, Welcome To Jamrock. However, Marley offered to do new, original lyrics for the song and by May of last year, the current version of the song was released.

The official video for Make It Bun Dem was subsequently unveiled in September and has garnered over 40 million views on YouTube alone.

Marley currently has four songs on Billboard’s Digital Reggae charts, including the aforementioned Welcome To Jamrock, Patience and Road To Zion, with the latter two songs featuring long-time collaborator and hip-hop superstar, Nas.

Skrillex, a California native, has been active in the music scene since his days as the lead singer of

From First To Last. The 25-year-old musician released two albums with the band before leaving in 2007 to pursue a solo career. He has also released tracks such as Bangarang (feat. Ellie Goulding) and Breakn’ A Sweat (feat. The Doors).

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Mr. Vegas cops six 2013 IRAWMA nominations

Mr. VegasVeteran Dancehall/Reggae entertainers, Mr. Vegas and Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley lead the nominations list for the 2013 International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), scheduled to take place May 4 at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Vegas, who topped charts worldwide for his hit, Bruk It Down garnered six nominations including Best Male Disc Jockey/Rapper, Best Song and Best Crossover Song while his critically-acclaimed album, Sweet Jamaica earned a nod in the Best Album category.

Marley copped five nominations of his own, including the Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year as well as Best Song for his number-one hit, Affairs of the Heart.

Newly-established mainstream stars, Konshens and Romain Virgo earned four nominations including Most Promising Entertainer while Sean Paul and Third World copped the same amount of nods.

Grammy-winning Reggae singer, Jimmy Cliff is one of four acts with three nominations, includign one for Entertainer of the Year where he contends with the likes of Stephen Marley, Tarrus Riley as well as the aforementioned Damian Marley, Third World, Romain Virgo and Sean Paul.

Other notables include Chronixx, No Maddz and Tommy Lee Sparta, who were each nominated for Best New Entertainer, Lady Saw, who contests rivals Tifa and Macka Diamond for Best Female Entertainer and rap legend turned Reggae crooner, Snoop Lion who earned a nod for Best Crossover Song (La La La).

Meanwhile, former Jamaican prime minister, the Hon. Edward Seaga, famed producer, Donovan Germain and the first winners of the Best Reggae Album Grammy, Black Uhuru will all be receiving special honors at IRAWMA.

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Bob Marley Grammy tribute gets mixed reviews from Jamaican music lovers

600702_485373901510717_1192814469_nIt was billed as one of the greatest tributes ever to an iconic musician; however fans and music lovers were left with mixed feelings following Sunday night’s honorary performance at the 55th Grammy Awards, dedicated to late Reggae legend, Bob Marley.

Word of this planned event broke late last week after a picture emerged of prominent Barbadian pop singer, Rihanna with Bob’s sons, Ziggy Marley and Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley; all of whom were rumored to be performing the tribute. After days of anticipation and over two hours into the Grammy Awards, internationally-acclaimed singers, Bruno Mars and Sting started off the tribute with a pair of Reggae-influenced songs: Locked Out of Heaven and Walking To The Moon respectively.

Both performances were received well by the star-laden audience, but were mere appetizers to the main course a few minutes later when Rihanna and the Marleys appeared.

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Damian Marley, R. Kelly hit all the right notes on Sumfest’s closing night

After two days of memorable performances that had thousands of patrons in undeniable awe, it was only fitting that the son of Reggae’s greatest product brought a remarkable end to Reggae Sumfest 2012.

Grammy-winning Reggae superstar, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley drew several comparisons to his late father, Bob Marley following an impeccable performance on

International Night 2 on Saturday night at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay; prompting conversation that it was one of the greatest sets in Reggae Sumfest history.

With Damian Marley’s dreadlocks down to his feet, it became only fitting that his performance mirrored the aforementioned hairstyle; flowing from head to toe with energy and identity that made him stand out amongst fellow greats who graced the Sumfest stage.

The internationally acclaimed Reggae superstar amazed the audience with many of his classics such as More Justice, Still Searching and Beautiful; engaging the crowd who echoed Marley’s notes on those tracks. Furthermore, Jr. Gong performed another more smash hits such It Was Written and The Mission to rousing ovations while his chart-topping single, Affairs of the Heart had women in the audience screaming for more.

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Mp3: Wayne Marshall Ft Damian Marley, Aidonia, I-Octane, Assassin , Bounty killer, Vybz Kartel – Go Hard

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DOWNLOAD: Wayne Marshall Ft Damian Marley, Aidonia, I-Octane, Assassin (876)
Mp3: Wayne Marshall Ft Damian Marley, Aidonia, I-Octane, Assassin – Go Hard

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2CD Set Includes This Year’s Biggest Hits from Sean Paul, Melanie Fiona, Popcaan, Konshens and Busy Signal & Damian Marley
The Series’ Most Crucial Songs from Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Sizzla, Mavado, Bounty Killer, Beres Hammond & Buju Banton
VP Records is set to release the 20th edition of the best-selling annual reggae compilationReggae Gold next week on June 26 with VP Records. This year’s two disc set offers double the hits.  The deluxe package includes a commemorative sticker and 15″ x 10″ fold out poster of the this year’s Reggae Gold cover girls.

The compilation’s first disc carries on the Reggae Gold tradition with the year’s most popularreggae hits. Highlights include Sean Paul’s latest single “She Doesn’t Mind,” Konshens’ chart-topping anthem “Gal A Bubble,” Jamaica’s hottest newcomer Popcaan’s “Only Man She Want” and four newly commissioned songs including Busy Signal’s “Kingston Town Remix” featuring Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley” (listen via Complex ), Tarrus Riley’s “Not Missing You” (listen to premiere on Large Up) Etana’s “Reggae” and Gyptian’s “Overtime.”

Feel free to post MP3 streams:

Busy Signal – Kingston Town ft. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

Disc 2 is a commemorative collection of Reggae Gold classic hits spanning the past two decades. The all-star lineup includes Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Bounty Killer, Beres Hammond & Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Sean Paul, Sizzla, T.O.K. and many other names that fans of the series have come to know and love.

The Reggae Gold series was launched in 1992 by VP Records and provides a round-up of each year’s most popular dancehall, roots & culture and lover’s rock hits on one go-to summer compilation.  Reggae Gold has consistently earned best seller status and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Reggae Chart, landed consecutively on the Billboard Top 200 chart and earned a Top 20 spots on the Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop and Independent chart. Reggae Gold serves fans of both reggae and dancehall music by gathering the big names, trends and styles from the specific year into one timeless set.


1.   She Doesn’t Mind – Sean Paul
2.   Only Man She Want – Popcaan
3.   Yah Suh Nice – Potential Kidd
4.   Gal A Bubble – Konshens
5.   Cheater’s Prayer – Christopher Martin
6.   Come Over (Missing You) – Busy Signal
7.   Reggae – Etana
8.   Will I Wait In Vain – Iba Mahr
9.   Kingston Town (Remix) – Busy Signal ft. Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley
10. I Know Better – Romain Virgo
11. Do Sum’n – Konshens
12. Wine – Cham featuring O
13. Overtime – Gyptian
14. Like I Love You – Melanie Fiona
15. Not Missing You – Tarrus Riley
16. In My Arms – Beres Hammond

17. Terry Linen – I Look To You


1.   No Letting Go – Wayne Wonder
2.   Hold You – Gyptian
3.   Temperature – Sean Paul
4.   Romie – Beenie Man
5.   Benz And Bimma – Bounty Killer
6.   When I Hold You Tonight – General Degree
7.   Heads High – Mr. Vegas
8.   So Special – Mavado
9.   Pull It Up – Beres Hammond & Buju Banton
10. Can’t Satisfy Her – I Wayne
11. Just One Of Those Days – Sizzla
12. It’s A Pity – Tanya Stephens
13. Below The Waist – Queen Ifrica
14. Healing – Lady Saw featuring Beenie Man
15. Footprints – T .O.K.
16. Down By The River – Morgan Heritage

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Busy Signal extradited to the United States

Internationally acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae megastar, Busy Signal has officially been extradited to the United States as he prepares to face criminal charges in the state of Minnesota.

The prominent singjay, whose real name is Glendale Gordon was under heavy police custody on Tuesday as he was accompanied by a group of U.S. Marshals who had arrived in Jamaica a day prior. The highly acclaimed entertainer was shielded from the media before the official execution of his extradition shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday morning as he entered a private plane at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston which would carry him to Minnesota.

Busy Signal faces accusations of absconding bail in relation to a 2002 narcotics charge he faced in Minnesota. Though the singjay is reportedly wanted on several drug charges in the U.S., the nature of this extradition request regarded the charge of absconding bail only.

Late last month, Busy Signal waved his rights to fight extradition to the United States as he prepares to fight the aforementioned charge.

In the meantime, Busy Signal has kept to his promise of releasing new material while in custody as he recently unveiled a collaborative effort with Grammy-winning Reggae megastar, Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley entitled Kingston Town (Remix).  His most recent studio effort, Reggae Music Again continues to perform well on local and international charts as a track from the compilation dubbed Come Over currently hold the top spot on the New York Top 30 Reggae Chart.

Additionally, Busy Signal teamed with award-winning American rock band, No Doubt on the single, Push and Shove which will feature on the group’s upcoming studio album which will be unveiled this September.

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Akon plans to unveil all-Reggae album

Internationally acclaimed hip-hop superstar and singer, Akon looks to truly connect with fans of another popular genre as he plans to release an all-Reggae album in the near future.

Currently completing work on his fourth studio album, Stadium, the Senegalese-born artiste insists that he was inspired to work on an all-Reggae project after visiting Jamaica in January. During his time in the island, Akon visited Tuff Gong studios where he worked on projects with prominent Reggae megastars, Damian Marley andStephen Marley as well as Julian Marley. Additionally, he toured the Bob Marley Museum and even tweeted pictures while on the legendary premises.

In a recent interview with Billboard.com, Akon spoke of his admiration for the Marley’s, insisting that they motivated him to achieve greater heights while in the creative process of music.

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Mp3 – New Artist Spotlight : Miami Vice – Jahfe – Must Listen !!!

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“Jahfe, which means “creation” is a band based out of Miami, FL. Their musical style fuses roots reggae with many other genres including rock, dub, soul and R&B, creating a unique blend of organic sounds. The members of Jahfe´ hail from nations all around the world including Haiti, Spain, Israel, Cuba, Czech Republic, Morocco and the United States. The first ever conscious reggae band to be fronted by a female, “Jahfé hits Mach 2 within the opening measure of their music, with a powerful presence from Esther Fortune, lead vocalist for the 10-piece band.”

Jahfe is for the People” is the chant that can be heard at every show. The band represents the youth with a voice. It embodies the power of a young generation and the wisdom of roots culture. The music of Jahfe´ reflects the true ability of conscious music to connect people everywhere. Jahfe´ uses its music to speak out against the injustices plaguing the world. They have been featured in documentaries about domestic violence and have worked to increase awareness about the genocide in Darfur. Jahfe´’s music is filled with references to many of the serious issues that take place around us every day: hunger, poverty, disease, rape and the hatred between nations. Jahfe´ is a movement that seeks to touch people all over the world with its message.


The band is comprised of some of the hardest working musicians in Miami. Collectively, Jahfe´ has worked with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Thievery’s Corporations, Ky-Mani Marley, the BlackOut Movement, Paul Fakhourie (producer: Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Gwen Stephanie), Karl Pitterson, Inner Circle and The Grammy Foundation, among others. Jahfe´ has shared the stage with such notable artists such as Damian, Stephen, Julian and Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Buju Banton, Capleton, Collie Buddz, Midnite, Toots and the Maytals, Pato Banton, Nas, Maxi Priest and Johnny Dread. Currently Jahfe´ is playing all over the Southeast US. Their highly anticipated new album, “The Solution” has just been released and is currently available online and at live shows.

The band is comprised of some of the hardest working musicians in Miami. Collectively, Jahfe´ has worked with Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Thievery’s Corporations, Ky-Mani Marley, the BlackOut Movement, Paul Fakhourie (producer: Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Gwen Stephanie), Karl Pitterson, Inner Circle and The Grammy Foundation, among others. Jahfe´ has shared the stage with such notable artists such as Damian, Stephen, Julian and Ky-Mani Marley, Steel Pulse, Buju Banton, Capleton, Collie Buddz, Midnite, Toots and the Maytals, Pato Banton, Nas, Maxi Priest and Johnny Dread. Currently Jahfe´ is playing all over the Southeast US. Their highly anticipated new album, “The Solution” has just been released and is currently available online and at live shows.

Jahfe’s single off of the album Reggae Wave powered by Inner Circle
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Damian Marley to premiere ‘Set Up Shop’ video

Internationally acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley will finally unveil the visuals for his hit single, Set Up Shop this Friday.

The highly acclaimed song, produced by Ghetto Youth International, has garnered strong buzz since its initial release in October. Set Up Shop has copped over 350,000 YouTube views and has been a fixture on local and international radio stations.

Damian Marley will host the world premiere of the Set Up Shop video which coincides with the international premiere of Marley, the first official documentary on the life and work of his iconic father, Bob Marley. A preview of the Set Up Shop visuals was unveiled via Damian Marley’s official YouTube channel on April 13, earning over 30,000 views in less than a week.

Marley’s currently enjoying universal chart success with his mega hit, Affairs of the Heart while the accompanying video has copped 1.5 million YouTube views on Marley’s official VEVO outlet.

You can support Damian Marley and buy Set Up Shop via iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/set-up-shop-single/id474518500

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Buju Banton cops IRAWMA nominations

Despite the fact that embattled Reggae superstar, Buju Banton languishes in a Miami federal prison, his music continues to garner positive attention, locally and overseas.

The currently incarcerated singjay copped a pair of nominations for the 31st annual International Reggae And World Music Awards (IRAWMA), scheduled to take place on July 5 in Chicago, Illinois. This marks the second award show that Buju Banton has nabbed nominations since he received a ten-year sentence on federal drug charges last June.

The artiste, whose real name is Mark Myrie earned a Best Song nomination for his internationally acclaimed collaboration, Jah Army alongside fellow Reggae superstar, Damian Marley and Stephen Marley. 

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Damian Marley calls for Jamaica to revamp Reggae music

With the apparent declining stronghold that Reggae music has within Jamaican culture, one of its premiere disciples hopes the local industry will help that change for the better.

Internationally acclaimed Reggae superstar, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley addressed the local and universal state of Reggae music during an interview on CVM’s OnStage this past Saturday. Marley, who’s spent recent months back home after spending most of 2011 overseas recording and touring, believes that Jamaicans need to once again reap the benefits that Reggae music has provided to fans and musicians worldwide.

With many prominent foreign artistes such as Beyoncé, Justin Beiber and Rihanna using Reggae Riddims in recent hit songs, Marley insists that Jamaicans need to get back to their musical roots and show appreciation for the genre they helped make popular.

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Celine Dion and local artistes shine at Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival

Nous t’aimons! Or “We love you” in English. That became the sentiment from Jamaican fans at the end of a thrilling three day Jamaica Jazz and Blues 2012 festival, capped off by the effervescent presence of French-Canadian songstress, Celine Dion.

The Grammy-winning sensation graced the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny late Friday night; her first ever performance on Jamaican soil. As Dion entered the stage, shouting “Hello Jamaica!” she immediately garnered several shouts of appreciation from the locals as the prominent singer opened with her classic single, I Drove All Night.

Dion made her debut performance in the island count as she sparked memories with hits like Beauty and the Beast, Where Does My Heart Beat Now and Because You Loved Me, which triggered a slow dance session amongst the patrons. Additionally, Dion shared the stage with Jamaican Reggae singer, Diana King, who recently returned to the island to unveil some new projects. King and Dion unleashed a rousing duet with the performance of Treat Her Like A Lady.

Dion’s hour-long set featured four costume changes and even a wardrobe malfunction as a short gold mini dress she rocked on stage accidentally flashed fans looking below. Nevertheless, it was Dion’s performances that proved more eye-popping as she sang more classics such as It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, All By Myself and the resoundingly popular soundtrack of the classic Titanic movie, My Heart Will Go On.

Overall, Dion’s experience with Jamaican fans proved enjoyable as she even expressed regret for not visiting the island sooner.

“I have some making up to do for all that lost time. I can’t believe we’re really here in your beautiful country; the home of the great Bob Marley, the best place on earth to get an amazing plate of jerked chicken!” she said during her performance.

Furthermore, Dion wished fans a Happy 50th year of Independence as they showered her with love throughout the set.

Earlier that night, Dancehall/Reggae superstars, Shaggy and Richie Stephens were honored following strong performances of their own. After performing several of his classics alongside fellow artistes, Rayvon and Rik Rok, Shaggy received an award from Jazz and Blues organizers, honoring his contribution for promoting Jamaican culture worldwide. Meanwhile, Stephens, who performed Live Your Life alongside German Reggae star, Gentleman, copped an award celebrating his nearly two decades of contributions towards Jamaican music.

Local Reggae superstars such as Tami Chynn, Tessanne Chin, Christopher Martin, Damian Marley and Etana gave strong accounts of themselves on stage during the event as well as Dancehall stalwart, Agent Sasco and Dancehall patriarch, Yellowman who performed classics such as I’m Getting Married, Zungu Zungu Zeng, amongst others.

Veteran Reggae acts such as Half Pint, Maxi Priest, George Nooks, John Holt and Marcia Griffiths also proved their capabilities with strong sets. Griffiths, Holt and the aforementioned Yellowman each were honored for their abilities to pave the way for today’s generation of Dancehall/Reggae artistes.

Celine Dion wasn’t the only overseas-based superstar to leave an indelible mark on Jazz and Blues as Canadian songstress, Jully Black, Trinidadian soca superstar, Destra Garcia, American R&B superstar, Cee-Lo Green as well as Heads of States (consisting of former New Edition members) all dazzled the Greenfield Stadium stage.

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Akon recording with Marleys in Jamaica

Senegalese rap superstar, Akon has become the latest international artiste to grace Jamaica’s shores as he joins forces with Reggae’s most prominent family.

The Ghetto singer recently arrived in the island, as he will be recording new material alongside Damian “Junior Gong Marley, Stephen Marley and Julian Marley at the highly regarded Tuff Gong studios in Kingston. In addition to his musical exploits, Akon also visited the Bob Marley Museum in Liguanea, St. Andrew; posting pictures of said visit on his official Twitter profile.

Akon is no stranger to the Dancehall/Reggae industry as he’s previously joined forced with Jamaican artistes such as Shaggy for What’s Love and, most recently, Mavado with Survivor.

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Damian Marley has big plans for 2012, wants more exposure for Jamaican artistes

Internationally-acclaimed Reggae artiste, Damian Marley aka Junior Gong has an optimistic outlook for the New Year following a rather successful 2011.

Marley enjoyed several accomplishments during 2011, including a completion of his Distant Relatives tour alongside hip-hop superstar, Nas as well as the formation a new super group, Super Heavy including British songstress, Joss Stone and Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger. Their subsequent, self-titled debut album and the success of other collaborative efforts such as Jah Army with Stephen Marley and Liquor Store Blues alongside R&B sensation, Bruno Mars rose Marley’s international stock as he continues to build a legacy somewhat reminiscent of his legendary father, Bob Marley.

Looking ahead to 2012, Damian Marley seeks to enhance his international reputation once more. In a recent interview published via the website of Reggaeville Magazine, Marley hopes to unveil new projects as well as groom some of his family members, such as Joseph and Daniel Marley, who each released singles last year.

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Damian Marley hints at new album with Nas

Prominent Reggae artiste, Damian Marley aka Junior Gong could soon work on a follow-up to the highly successful joint album, Distant Relatives, which featured American hip-hop superstar, Nas.

The two internationally-acclaimed acts released Distant Relatives in May 2010 via Universal Republic as well as Def Jam Records; fusing elements of hip-hop and Reggae while singing about social issues such as poverty and ancestry. The collaborative album debuted at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts; showcasing hit singles such as As We Enter, Patience and Land of Promise, a remake of the classic song by Reggae legend, the late Dennis Brown entitled Promised Land. Additionally, the album feature other prominent acts such as Lil Wayne, Joss Stone as well as Damian’s brother and fellow Grammy-winning Reggae artiste, Stephen Marley.

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Mp3: Ludacris Ft Damian Marley and Kevin Cossom – Cross My Mind

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Mp3: Ludacris Ft Damian Marley and Kevin Cossom – Cross My Mind

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Demarco’s “Love My Life” banned from YouTube

It appears that any positive feelings in the aftermath of a historic feat achieved by Dancehall star, Demarco, have subsided following the ban of his popular single from YouTube.

Just weeks after Demarco’s internationally acclaimed single, Love My Life, recorded over 25 million hits, via the video-sharing website, the song and accompanying video have been removedfrom a pair of popular YouTube channels. Love My Life attained just over 14.7 million views via the Vap Buss Music YouTube channel while the video for the 2010 track earned over 10.5 million views. Said statistics put Demarco in elite company; joining Shaggy, Damian Marley and Sean Paul as the only Jamaican artistes to eclipse 20 million YouTube views for a single since the video-sharing outlet’s debut in 2006.

However, both videos were removed from their respective channels with YouTube claiming that they received various complaints from site users.

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Mp3: Damian Marley – Set Up Shop

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Demarco’s “Love My Life” tops 25 million YouTube views

Dancehall singjay and Starkutt Records artiste, Demarco has found himself in unchartered territory, thanks to YouTube, as a result of his internationally acclaimed single, Love My Life.

The uplifting Dancehall single from Demarco has achieved over 25 million views to date on the Google-based video sharing website to date; one of the highest figures ever recorded by a Dancehall artiste. Love My Life, released just last October, attained over 14.5 million views via one YouTube channel (VapBassMusic) while the accompanying video for the track accumulated another 10.5 million views on the popular Gazaprince11 YouTube Channel.

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Marley Africa Road Trip, A travel documentary

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When you are the son of a legend such as Bob Marley, whose music still lives more than three decades after his death, it is hard to make something out of your life without being compared to your father.

This has been the story of all of Marley’s sons, but most of them chose to make music anyway. While they may not have surpassed the father’s musical accomplishments, the Marley brothers have ensured that the family name is still held in high regard through their professional and personal lives.

Stephen, Damian, Ky-Mani, Ziggy, Rohan and Robert Marley have all had their go at music. Though kids these days may probably know Damian (aka Junior Gong) as the hot thing, big brother Ziggy has been making music for decades and even won a Grammy.

So, having seemingly accomplished all that can be done in the music industry, it is only appropriate that Marley’s first-born son leaves the reggae behind for a bit to venture into television.

Coming to your screen tonight will be his first production, Marley Africa Road Trip, a travel documentary that follows him, Rohan and Robert.

With the show premiering on Discovery, Ziggy took time out to speak to Tonight about it.

“All three of us are fans of motorcycles and riding a motorcycle… the experience is very mental. It’s very conscious. You have to be aware and we like that, you know. We did the trip on bikes just to be open to the elements and to the people,” he explained.

The brothers travel the South African countryside on their bikes. It is the ultimate survivor’s dream as they attempt to live under the stars and ride from dusk till dawn while exploring the land.

“It’s a much more open way to travel,” he said, referring to their preferred mode of transportation.

“You get a much more real experience being on a motorcycle travelling through a country than you would in a car, or any other way, or by any other means.

“We stopped when we felt like it and we got involved with the communities wherever we stopped. It was just a way to have a more open and not-so-insulated view of the land.

“I think being on a motorcycle gave us that opportunity and the freedom to explore places and people we probably wouldn’t if we were just driving in a car.”

Whenever an outsider makes a first visit to the country it is always interesting to hear their views on the place before the visit. Ziggy had an interesting take on the subject.

“It was my first time to South Africa and I was kind of, I wouldn’t say surprised, but I felt very good about what I saw because before we made the trip I remember there was some sceptical news about how you need to get a vest for knife attacks and things like that because South Africa is so dangerous. So I think this film will show Africa in a light that I think a lot of people who have never been here before don’t really know of, and I think that’s good for Africa,” he said.

Ziggy could have shot this production with anyone else, but he chose to do so with Rohan and Robert, for specific reasons.

“We work well together but we are kind of different, you know what I mean?” he asked, but I didn’t know what he meant so he carried on.

“I am really into the adventure stuff and my brother Rohan is not so much into it. He doesn’t like camping and things like that.

“Robbie is… he’s like the most quiet one of us all, so it was interesting.

“The trip showed different sides of us I think, because look, I like roughing it, but Rohan ended up driving in a Rolls-Royce at one point. I thought we were supposed to be on bikes, roughing it, but he would rather be in a Rolls-Royce. So I gave him some attitude about that, you know, but I mean, we have differences, but we get on together well,” he said, defining the typical sibling rivalries.

If you could digest Kim Kardashian and her sisters, then you would enjoy this as the brothers give a bit of themselves, away from the stage or studio.

lMarley Africa Road Trip airs today at 9.05pm on Discovery World (channel 250).

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SuperHeavy – Miracle Worker – Super Group including Damian Marley

SuperHeavy, the supergroup made up of Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, AR Rahman, Damian “Jr Gong” Marley and Dave Stewart, have posted the video for their debut single online.

The video is for “Miracle Worker”, which is the first track taken from the group’s self titled debut album, which is due out on September 19. The album has been produced by Jagger and Stewart.

The track is heavily reggae influenced, with Stone, Jagger and Damian Marley sharing lead vocals. The song’s video also features The Rolling Stones man in an extremely dashing pink suit.

Jagger has previously compared Super Heavy to The Rolling Stones, claiming:

“If you’re a Rolling Stones fan there’s definitely stuff you can relate to. Other stuff that you can’t relate to so much, maybe if you listen you’ll enjoy it. I don’t think it’s so far off the beaten track that you can’t understand it.”

The group have yet to announce any live dates.

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Video:Damian Marley Featuring Stephen Marley – Jah Army

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The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, Damian Marley, Dave Stewart joins forces in a new band

Rolling Stones Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones has reportedly formed a new supergroup with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, British soul singer Joss Stone, Indian musician and producer A.R. Rahman, and Jamaican reggae artist Damian Marley, the youngest son of Bob Marley. The group have apparently been recording together for the last 18 months, but have yet to release an album or give a public performance. They are currently calling themselves Super Heavy.

The New York Post has received conflicting information as to how serious this group is. One source claims that Super Heavy have finished a record and a video and are now in the process of negotiating a deal with at least one major label. Another source, a representative for Jagger, says the group simply “thought it would be interesting and great fun to go into the studio and play some music.” According to this source, no video has been shot and there is no record label involved.

Jagger is not the first Rolling Stone to start a new band. Keith Richards, whose 2010 autobiography “Life” repeatedly rakes Jagger over the coals, formed a group called X-pensive Winos in 1987, when the Rolling Stones were on hiatus. Though the X-pensive Winos have not recorded or performed together in years, Richards has recently revealed that they are now working on a new project. The Rolling Stones have not released an album since 2005 and have not toured as a group since 2007.

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Video: Bruno Mars ft. Damian Marley – Liquor Store Blues

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Video: Nas and Damian Marley – “Patience”

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Video: Stephen and Damian Marley – It Was Written – Live At Reggae On River

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Nas Reveals He Considered Giving Up Solo Projects after working with Damian Marley – MTV

Nas spent last year touring in support of Distant Relatives, his joint project with Marley. The rapper said he was so comfortable working alongside Bob Marley’s offspring that he momentarily considered putting his solo career on the back burner.

“I been so caught up into me and [Damian's] thing that I started to get used to it,” Nas recalled. “Like, I didn’t want to do the solo thing for a while. Me and D have just been doing our thing, reaching millions of people, but it’s that time.”

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Mp3: Jah Army – Stephen Marley Ft Damian Marley and Buju Banton

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Mp3: Damian Marley- Just Aint the Same

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DOWNLOAD: Damian Junior Gong Marley-Just Aint The Same (171)

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Mp3: Liquor Store Blues – Bruno Mars feat Damian Marley

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Damian Marley feat. Stephen Marley & Wayne Marshall – The Mission (Live)

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Damian Marley – War / No More Trouble (Live)

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Nas & Damian Marley – “As We Enter” (Craig Ferguson Live)

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Nas & Damian “Jr Gong” Marley Performed On Jimmy Kimmel Live

“As We Enter” LIVE

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“Count Your Blessings” LIVE
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In Stores Now
Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Distant-Relatives-Nas/dp/B0039ZF8D2/
Universal Republic

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#Review: Nas and Damian Marley – Distant Relatives

Black music has many streams of expression, 2 of the most prominent being Hip-Hop and Reggae.  And when you go back far enough, these traditions are seen to have their roots in the music of Africa. This truth is the basis for Nas and Damian Marley’s unique collaboration Distant Relatives, which aims to not only bridge the gap between their cultures, but also raise funds for a school in the Congo. And this focus has resulted in an album that will undoubtedly enrich the musical legacies of both men.

From the outset, it’s very obvious to listeners that both men took their time and built up a genuine, strong chemistry over the estimated year and a half recording period. The duo comfortably trade quick bars over the first single “As We Enter,” easily handling the several rhythm changes punctuated by horn and piercing drums , which is reminiscent of Welcome to Jamrock’s “All Night”. “As We Enter” serves to establish the direction of the LP, as Damian Marley proclaims them to be “street intellectuals,” and Nas posits their purpose as “real revolution rhymers.”

K’Naan guests on “Tribal War,” which address the in-fighting the plagues people of color around the world. Damian Marley crafts a beat of urgency using bongos and sorrowful chorus signing, as each emcee tackles the issue from different perspectives. Nas parallels international conflicts such as those seen in Darfur with American gang warfare, while K’Naan reflects on how Africa’s contributions are ignored or belittled in today’s society (“I drink poison/Then vomit diamonds/I gave you Mandela, Black Dalai Lamas/I gave you music/You enthused in my kindness/So how dare you reduce me to Donny Imus?”). And Damian Marley addresses the futility of man’s violent nature (“We nuh want no more of that/Everyone deserves to earn…Man a war tribal/Over colors/Over money, over land, and over oil, and over God” ).

Damian’s brother Stephen Marley assists on 2 tracks, “Leaders” and “In His Own Words.” On the former, Stephen handles chorus duties over a traditional, reggae-flavored track. But it’s Nas who shines in his 2 verses, using allusions to the Biblical figure of Esau, Prohibition gangster Bumpy Johnson, and Marcus Garvey to argue that a leader can come from any facet of society if they’re willing to answer the call.

On the latter, the trio gives listeners the first overtly spiritual track in “In His Own Words.” Again Nas works with 2 verses, and sharply notes his struggle with balancing his art, and how it has brought him closer to God (“How I balance between the streets and the theories of/collegiate literature/I hold mirrors up/Give combinations of pain, joy, fear, and love/Through my perspective/I can see Jah reflection”). Stephen’s bluesy, paced vocals provide a nice contrast with Nas’ faster flow, and Junior Gong brings it home lyrically in rhyming on the unity of creation (“All things are related/And creation is a package/Generate together/And we increase the wattage/A how them a go manage? Tell Babylon them can’t do Rasta damage”).

Since Damian Marley handled the majority of the production duties, the beats are void of any contemporary-styled Hip-hop rhythms. However, Junior Gong shows his versatility and knowledge of his partner’s strengths by making strategic rhythm changes to accentuate Nas’ style, as heard with the beautiful, guitar driven transition on “Count My Blessings.” Instinctively, both Nas and Marley fervently attack the songs with strong drums like “Friends,” “Dispear,” and “Strong Will Continue.” Ironically, the track with the closest link to boom-bap (“Nah Mean”) is dissected and dominated by Damian’s patois (“We nuh like dem colonial regime/Nah mean/Mi Queen hafi rock and come in/Nah mean/and jump pon mi big trampoline/Nah mean/And boost up her self-esteem”).

The remaining guests do exceptionally well in maintaining the theme of the album. Reggae fans will be delighted in hearing legend Dennis Brown helping in the remake of his classic “The Promised Land.” The seminal, bass-heavy funk of the song is perfect for any reggae/dancehall artist as Damian shows in his verse connecting America and Africa. But Nas also doesn’t misstep and incorporates end of days imagery in his portion (“If these are the last days/And 100-foot waves come crashing down/I’ll get some hash and pound/Pass around the bud then watch the flood/Can’t stop apocalypse/My synopsis is catastrophic”). Joss Stone compliments the child singing chorus on “My Generation,” and Lil Wayne shows his underrated adaptability with a succinct verse on his role with today’s youth (“This generation/I’m a represent/A generation led by a black president…So when you finish reading Revelations/Thank God for my generation”).

The album concludes with the poignant, lush ballad “Africa Must Wake Up.” The song is a call for those of African descent to not only remember their lineage, but establish an identity for the future, as sung by Damian (“Yesterday we were kings? Can you tell the young ones/Who are we today?”). Nas utilizes his 2 verses to speak on African culture’s discoveries in religion, architecture, and astronomy which assisted in humanity’s development. K’Naan reappears to offer a short, rhetorical refrain in Somali (“And when a country is built. Aren’t you the ones to tear it down?/ And when one attempted to tell the truth, aren’t you the ones to cut him down?). Nas ends the LP on a unifying note, explaining that because civilization derives from Africa, we are all family just spread out across the globe regardless of race.

Distant Relatives is an amazing achievement for both artists. For Damian Marley, it shows in these 5 years since this last LP (Welcome to Jamrock), he has grown as a producer and can lay claim to being one the most talented of Bob Marley’s children. Nas continues to evolve and age gracefully. Since 2002’s God’s Son, Nas has opted to use music to look inside himself for identity, rather than media, fans, or trends to define him. Instead of attempting to relive past glory (Illmatic) or personas (The Firm), he’s doing something many emcees become fearful to do; grow up with their audience and challenge themselves. And with the way he handled the varying production from Marley, Nas again shows why 19 years after his first appearance he’s still one of the premier lyricists in Hip-Hop.

Distant Relatives is a rewarding listening experience in its musicianship and lyricism, and one you can expect to go back to in the years to come.

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The Grammy Museum Interview: Damian Marley & Nas Talking About their New Album DISTANT RELATIVES

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Mp3: Nas & Damian Marley – Africa Must Wake Up

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Album in Stores May 18th  – Pre-order Now!!!

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Nas & Damian Marley ft. Lil Wayne & Joss Stone – My Generation

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Album in stores – May 18th

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Nas & Damian Marley – As We Enter (video)

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Nas & Damian Marley On The Set For “As We Enter” (Photos)

Check out some behind the scenes photos of Nas and Damian Marley on set for their video “As We Enter” from their anticipated album Distant Relatives which drops May 18th. The video was directed by Nabil and shot in downtown Los Angeles last weekend. More photos after the jump. Shouts to Honey.

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Nas, Damian Marley, Usher Cancel Tours Due To Volcanic Eruption

A highly anticipated concert featuring Nas and Damian Marley in the United Kingdom has been cancelled, due to a massive ash cloud that formed as a result of a volcanic eruption in Iceland.  Nas and Damian Marley were slated to perform at The Electric Ballroom in London this Wednesday (April 21st).
The event has been scrapped due to the eruption of a volcano beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland.

The volcano began erupting on March 20th, after being dormant for over 200 years. According to witnesses, the volcano spit fire streams as high as 100 meters.
Thousands of flights have since been cancelled and over 23 countries in Europe have been affected by the eruption.
Usher’s tour plans have also been impacted. The singer was slated to launch a promotional tour in the UK this week to support his #1 track OMG, but that also has been cancelled.

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OkayplayerTV: Nas and Damian Marley Part I

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Nas and Damian Marley Host Press Conference for “Distant Relatives”

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Rapper Nas and Bob Marley’s youngest son, reggae singer Damian Marley, held a press conference announcing their several upcoming collaboration projects, including an album and a tour, at Digiwaxx Media Thursday (Apr 1) in New York City.

Nas and Damian are putting out a joint-album together next month (May 18th) called Distant Relatives. The project will also feature collaboration from Damian’s older brother Stephen Marley, and rappers Lil Wayne and K’Naan.

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Nas & Damian Marley – The Making Of Distant Relatives (Drops May 18th)

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