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Top 10: Best international collaborations involving Jamaican artistes

Though musical genres such as hip-hop, rock and roll as well as R&B may cop more accolades and mention on the international scene, it’s an undeniable fact that Dancehall/Reggae has left an indelible mark on pop culture worldwide.

Ever since Bob Marley was in his hay day, Jamaican music has impacted and inspired fans, observers and artistes of various backgrounds, with many of today’s most prominent acts such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and several others employing Dancehall/Reggae sounds in their music. Furthermore, many internationally acclaimed artistes and bands have done successful collaborations with Jamaican artistes, most recently with breakthrough Dancehall artiste, Popcaan and Jamaican born hip-hop star, Busta Rhymes on the Only Man She Want remix.

That joint effort has garnered Popcaan positive international recognition after dominating the local industry in 2011. With that in mind, here’s a look a ten memorable collaborations involving Jamaican artistes that helped shape the careers of many prominent Dancehall/Reggae acts.

10: Shabba Ranks feat. KRS-One – The Jam: In the late 80s, Dancehall was a slowly developing genre which was gaining steam locally and in the Caribbean thanks to artistes like Yellowman and Shabba Ranks. However, it was Shabba who would introduce Dancehall to an international fan base as he teamed up with foundation hip-hop artiste, KRS-One for the mixed genre single, The Jam. Featuring a mixture of Dancehall and hip-hop sounds, The Jam introduced the world to Shabba Ranks as a hardcore, sharp-thinking lyricist who could mesh with artistes of different sounds. The collaboration later garnered Shabba his first international recording contract as he signed with Epic Records in 1991. From there, Shabba Ranks never looked back as he scored a pair of Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album over the next two years and even became a fixture on American Television with famous comedian, Marlon Wayans doing a memorable skit of him on In Living Color.

9: Patra feat. Yo-Yo – Romantic Call: As Shabba Ranks was to setting the bar for male Dancehall artistes overseas, so was Patra to females in the industry. In the late 80s and early 90s, Patra amazed local audiences with her raunchy, no holds barred musical persona; garnering her mass attention and accolades for her work. Ironically, it was Shabba Ranks who gave Patra her first big break international as she collaborated withhim for the single, Family Affair in 1994 which cracked the top 100 of the U.S. Billboard singles charts.

However, it was 1995 when Patra elevated herself to elite status when she collaborated with female hip-hop starlet, Yo-Yo who was a protégé of former NWA rap superstar, Ice Cube.  Their collaborative effort, Romantic Call earned her a top 60 place on the U.S. Hot 100 Billboard chart and exposed her as one of Jamaica’s must-see acts. A cameo was even made by the late great Tupac Shakur for the accompanying video.

 

 

 

8: Stephen Marley and Mos Def – Hey Baby: How did Stephen Marley become the most accomplished Marley disciple internationally, in terms of awards? Perhaps it dates back to his memorable 2006 collaboration with veteran hip-hop superstar, Mos Def for the remix of his single, Hey Baby.

The lead single off Marley’s album, Mind Control, Hey Baby immediately became a sensation locally and overseas and, in part, propelled the album to top the Billboard Reggae charts once it was released in March 2007. A pleasant mixture of Reggae and hip-hop sounds, many still regard Hey Baby as Marley’s most insightful track to date as he speaks of love using unique concepts. Mind Control later won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album and he’s since won two more, including for Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life which featured a sultry collaboration with Canadian R&B sensation Melanie Fiona (No Cigarette Smoking).

 

7: Baby Cham and Alicia Keys – Already regarded as one of Bounty Killer’s most successful disciples, Cham was hungry to take his success to a higher leveland after his chart-topping smash, Ghetto Story became an anthem for inner-city communities across the island, he enlisted the services of Grammy-winning R&B singer, Alicia Keys for a thought-provoking remix of the highly-acclaimed single. Ghetto Story: Chapter 2 reached the top 100 of the U.S Billboard charts and solidified his place as a prolific Dancehall star on an international level.

 

 

 

 

 

6: Supercat and Heavy D – Dem No Worry We: Having collaborated with Kris Kross and P Diddy in the early 90s, Supercat showed the world that he was truly the Don Dada of Dancehall. However, 1992 saw arguably his best international collaboration as he teamed with Jamaican-American hip-hop superstar, Heavy D for the single, Dem No Worry We. Given their backgrounds, this mixture seemed destined from success from the jump and elevated the auras of both prominent artistes as they continued to stamp their authorities on their respective genres throughout the early 90s.

 

 

5: Damian Marley and Nas: Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one song these two have done as it seems that anytime Damian Marley and Nas join forces, a smash hit is born. Dating back to their 2005 collaboration, Road to Zion, ‘Junior Gong’ and ‘God’s Son’ showed a remarkable chemistry few artistes can replicate. The single reached number 57 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts and prompted both artistes to work on a joint album, Distant Relatives which was released in 2010. Their album debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 charts, featuring hit singles like Patience and Land of Promise, a remake of Dennis Brown’s classic, Promised Land.

After a highly successful world tour, many fans continue to hope that Damian Marley and Nas a similar project going forward and considering their success to date when joining forces, why not?

 

4: Bounty Killer and The Fugees – Hip-Hopera: The 1990s were long dominated by the intense rivalry between Dancehall giants, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man. However, while they continued their battle for supremacy, it was the ‘War Lord’ who scored first when it came to international collaborations as he joined forces with The Fugees for the uniquely conceptualized single, Hip-Hopera in 1997. Draped in royal attire, Bounty Killer displayed his lyrical dexterity for the world to see alongside Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras and copped at Billboard Hot 100 spot in the process.

This collaboration helped bridge the gap between Dancehall and hip-hop while also creating opportunities for younger Dancehall acts to make names for themselves overseas.

 

 

 

 

3. No Doubt feat. Lady Saw – Underneath It All: Though she never appeared in the video for Underneath It All, Lady Saw made her presence felt on No Doubt’s sultry, Reggae-themed single, Underneath It All. With scintillating vocals on offer by No Doubt’s lead singer, Gwen Stefani, Underneath It All captured the hearts and minds of fans in Jamaica and overseas during 2002, doing well on the U.S. Billboard Charts and earning a top 20 spot on the UK Singles Charts.

The single propelled Lady Saw to unprecedented heights as it landed the ‘Queen of Dancehall’ a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2004.

 

 

2. Beenie Man and Mya – Girls Dem Sugar: Though Bounty Killer may have had first dibs on a successful collaboration with international artistes, it was Beenie Man who scored the bigger hit with an overseas act. In 1999, the ‘King of Dancehall’ combined with then upcoming producer Pharrell Williams and R&B sensation, Mya for Girls Dem Sugar, a song inspired by Beenie’s chart-topping single, Who Am I. With Mya offering a soothing set of vocals, Girls Dem Sugar reached number the top 50 of the U.S. Hip-Hop/R&Bcharts as well as number 13 on the UK Singles Charts.

Well received in local circles, Beenie Man ensured that Dancehall would finally garner the respect and accolades it so richly deserved and paved the way for artistes to follow his path to international stardom in the 2000s.

 

 

1.Beyoncé and Sean Paul – Baby Boy: Perhaps the artiste who took the most advantage of Dancehall’s rapid growth overseas was Sean Paul. Enjoying his most successful run of form yet with chart topping singles such as Get Busy and Gimme the Light, Sean Paul forever asserted himself as an elite artiste when he joined forces with former Destiny’s Child lead singer, Beyoncé Knowles for the single, Baby Boy.

A sumptuous single with Arabic music influences and a Reggae-like theme, Baby Boy shot straight to number one on the Billboard Charts and stayed there for nine straight weeks. Though it launched Beyoncé’s solo career, it’s undeniable that Sean Paul’s Jamaican flavor and lyrical touchmade Baby Boy a classic and as a result, helped his album Dutty Rock to win the Best Reggae Album Grammy Award in 2004. Since then, Sean Paul has arguably become the biggest Jamaican musical fixture overseas, joining forces with artistes such as Rihanna (Break It Off), Busta Rhymes (Make It Clap) and Alexis Jordan (Got 2 Luv U) amongst many others. Though many fans locally have criticized Sean Paul’s style of music, it’s unquestioned that he’s a major factor in why Dancehall/Reggae has become so popular worldwide.

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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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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.

#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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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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Mp3: Nas & Damian Marley – Africa Must Wake Up

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

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And the music keeps coming in, new joint from Nasir and Damian featuring Knaan, which is about 6 minutes long. The record is courtesy of DJ Semtex.

Nas & Damian Marley Ft. Knaan – Africa Must Wake Up

And the music keeps coming in, new joint from Nasir and Damian featuring Knaan, which is about 6 minutes long. The record is courtesy of DJ Semtex.

Nas & Damian Marley – Africa wake Up

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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, 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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The ongoing collaboration between rapper Nas and reggae artist Damian Marley seriously does keep getting and better. In addition to the May 18th release of their joint album Distant Relatives, the musicians have also announced plans for a lengthy summer tour.

Nas and Damian Marley announce summer tour

The ongoing collaboration between rapper Nas and reggae artist Damian Marley seriously does keep getting and better. In addition to the May 18th release of their joint album Distant Relatives, the musicians have also announced plans for a lengthy summer tour.

Tickets for the upcoming dates will go on sale starting Saturday, April 3rd via Ticketmaster.com.
Dates
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

05/02 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Sunfest

05/21 – Arcata, CA @ Arcata Community Center

05/22 – Eugene, OR @ Cuthbert Amphitheater

05/23 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo

05/25 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater

05/26 – Santa Barbara, CA @ University of California Santa Barbara

05/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern

05/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint

05/30 – Valley Center, CA @ Open Sky Theater

05/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival

06/02 – Santa Fe, NM @ Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre

06/08 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues

06/09 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs

06/11 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival

06/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle

06/13 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues

06/27 – Brussels, BE @ Couleur Cafe Festival

06/28 – Paris, FR @ Paris Hip Hop Festival

07/01 – Ardenal, NO @ Hove Festival

07/03 – Cologne, DE @ Summerjam

07/04 – Gdynia, PL @ Heineken Opener Festival

07/06 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega

07/07 – Hultsfred, SE @ Hultsfred Festival

07/09 – Frauenfeld, CH @ Openair Frauenfeld

07/10 – Montreux Vaud, CH @ Montreux Jazz Festival

07/11 – Rotterdam, NL @ Holland North Sea Jazz

07/13 – Hamburg, DE @ Stadtpark

07/14 – Munich, DE @ Tollwood Festival

07/16 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy

07/17 – Dublin, IE @ Tripod

07/20 – Hammersmith, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo

07/23 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Splash Festival

07/31 – Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront

08/01 – Bridgeport, CT @ Gathering of the Vibes

05/02 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Sunfest
05/21 – Arcata, CA @ Arcata Community Center
05/22 – Eugene, OR @ Cuthbert Amphitheater
05/23 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo
05/25 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
05/26 – Santa Barbara, CA @ University of California Santa Barbara
05/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
05/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
05/30 – Valley Center, CA @ Open Sky Theater
05/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival
06/02 – Santa Fe, NM @ Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre
06/08 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
06/09 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs
06/11 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
06/13 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
06/27 – Brussels, BE @ Couleur Cafe Festival
06/28 – Paris, FR @ Paris Hip Hop Festival
07/01 – Ardenal, NO @ Hove Festival
07/03 – Cologne, DE @ Summerjam
07/04 – Gdynia, PL @ Heineken Opener Festival
07/06 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega
07/07 – Hultsfred, SE @ Hultsfred Festival
07/09 – Frauenfeld, CH @ Openair Frauenfeld
07/10 – Montreux Vaud, CH @ Montreux Jazz Festival
07/11 – Rotterdam, NL @ Holland North Sea Jazz
07/13 – Hamburg, DE @ Stadtpark
07/14 – Munich, DE @ Tollwood Festival
07/16 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy
07/17 – Dublin, IE @ Tripod
07/20 – Hammersmith, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
07/23 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Splash Festival
07/31 – Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront
08/01 – Bridgeport, CT @ Gathering of the Vibes

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Although an album has yet to be dropped, the Distant Relatives known as Nas and Damian Marley are still trying to leave their impact outside of the music. Teaming with National Geographic and V-Tech, the duo will have a panel debate next month in Washington D.C.

Nas, Damian Marley bring debate to Washington


Although an album has yet to be dropped, the Distant Relatives known as Nas and Damian Marley are still trying to leave their impact outside of the music. Teaming with National Geographic and V-Tech, the duo will have a panel debate next month in Washington D.C. Paying homage to the art of Hip Hop, the discussion will explore the origins of the genre and reveal what type of impact it has had across the globe. The event is set to take place at National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium on December 12.

Of course a history lesson wouldn’t be as effective without relevant teachers, as the two will be accompanied by legends in the game such as Rakim, DJ Kool Herc, DJ Red Alert, Jeff Chang and more. Clearly a momentous occasion, MTVs own Sway Calloway will serve as the moderator for the event, which will also be filmed for a future documentary.

Fans will be in store for a surprise following the event as there will be an after party, as well as, an open-mic show at the nightclub Zanzibar. Tickets for the panel discussion are quite limited and will run for about $25, but the fee will also serve as a ticket into the party following.

Those that are unable to dig deep into their pockets shouldn’t be worried about missing the actual debate as it will be streamed live and broadcasted through National Geographic’s Web site.

In terms of the album, Distant Relatives is set to drop sometime in 2010.  Serving as a social commentary with content heavily revolving around Africa, features so far are rumored to include Young Jeezy, Joss Stone, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Marley, Snoop Dogg and K’naan.

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Queensbridge native Nas has recently been in the news as of late, but unfortunately it has had nothing to do with his music. Dealing with Kelis and her money grubbing ways has taken the rapper out of the musical realm and his album with Damian Marley seemed to have been put on hold.

Distant Relatives Rumored Track Listing. Is the Album On the Way?


Queensbridge native Nas has recently been in the news as of late, but unfortunately it has had nothing to do with his music. Dealing with Kelis and her money grubbing ways has taken the rapper out of the musical realm and his album with Damian Marley seemed to have been put on hold.

A rumored tracklist recently hit the net which would suggest that the album is actually still on the way, although no release date has been announced as of yet. The project was originally slated to hit shelves in August, but it’s clearly September now. As it stands, 2009 should be the year to expect the final project.

It was reported that a portion of the profits that come from the purchase of the album Distant Relatives will go towards building a school in Africa. See, Oprah isn’t the only person that cares.

Nas has stated that he is already in the process of beginning to work on his tenth studio album and should go into grind mode after the release of the collab album. After the release of Untitled it might be time to place heavy priority on this joint effort coming out quickly so Nas can continue the reign of lyricism in Hip-Hop that has emerged in 2009.

Referring to the tracks, it is evident that they were serious when they said the album was meant to put focus on Africa and bring it into the light for everyone to be aware of and acknowledge. The continent has been raped and gone through countless trials that it is still forced to endure, but it seems as though its problems don’t hit the radar in terms of significance to the overall picture of the world. Clearly an album will not change everything, but hopefully the two have compiled a body of work that will shake the foundation and open a few eyes to the motherland.

Rumored Tracklist for Distant Relatives:

1. Intro (Something New) (prod. Damian Marley)
2. As We Enter (prod. Damian Marley)
3. Revolutionary (prod. Damian Marley)
4. Count Your Blessings (prod. Damian & Stephen Marley)
5. Belief is Key (prod. Damian Marley)
6. Africa Must Wake Up f. K’naan (prod. Nas, Damian & Stephen Marley)
7. Black Horizon f. K’naan (prod. Damian Marley)
8. Only the Strong (prod. Damian & Stephen Marley)
9. Our Generation f. Joss Stone & Stevie Wonder (prod. Damian Marley)
10. Empowerment (prod. Stephen Marley)
11. AID (prod. K’naan & Nas)
12. Let’s End It (Poverty) f. K’naan (prod. 9th Wonder & Damian Marley)
13. The Earth f. Bob Marley (prod. Salaam Remix, Damian & Stephen Marley)
14. Black Man’s Paper f. Erykah Badu (prod. Afry) [UK Bonus]
15. Weed On f. Snoop Dogg (prod. Damian Marley) [iTunes Bonus]

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Nas and Jr Gong perform a few older tracks together as well as two new tracks form the upcoming album Distant Relatives.

Nas & Damian Marley Live At Rock The Bells (video)

The two recently previewed the album , shared some of their music with Rock The Bells crowds, and treated fans to records like “As We Enter,” “Strong Will Continue,” and “Africa Must Wake Up,” all of which have garnered positive fan reactions.

“I like to come out and tell the people live in person, ‘Yo, the album is coming’ and give them a little bit of music to start to get excited about it,” said Marley. “I think it also will help with the finishing of the album because we’re seeing how things work.”

Nas said that the Rock The Bells Tour has allowed fans to get acclimated to the idea of him doing a full album with a prominent Reggae artist.

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According to Nas, the album is 90% complete. He expressed plans to continue touring with Marley once the album is released. Originally set for a June release, Distant Relatives is scheduled to hit shelves in August.

Nas and Damian Marley Give Update On Distant Relatives

Nas & Damian Marley

Nas & Damian Marley

When Nas and Damian Marley hit the studio to work on a record inspired by Africa, they only planned on putting out an EP. But as the artists continued to invest themselves in the creative collaboration, the album that was supposed to contain only a few tracks, grew into something bigger, and eventually evolved into  a full length LP titled Distant Relatives.

Marley told Billboard.com, “Once we started working on the music, it was Nas who said to me, ‘Yo, we should just make this a full album.’ He really liked the energy, I guess.”

Nas added, “I just think it was me and Damian finding our way. When you have two different artists working on a record when they’re used to doing their own thing their own way, it’s not as easy as people may think. We just flowed, and the next thing we looked up and there were so many songs done or so many songs started and worked on…we just decided to keep it going. It’s not reggae. It’s not rap. It’s different shit for each of us.

The two recently previewed the album ,  shared some of their music with Rock The Bells crowds, and treated fans to records like “As We Enter,”  “Strong Will Continue,” and “Africa Must Wake Up,” all of which have garnered positive fan reactions.

I like to come out and tell the people live in person, ‘Yo, the album is coming’ and give them a little bit of music to start to get excited about it,” said Marley. “I think it also will help with the finishing of the album because we’re seeing how things work.

Nas said that the Rock The Bells Tour has allowed fans to get acclimated to the idea of him doing a full album with a prominent Reggae artist.

I know people are kind of like, ‘What’s happening? What’s Nas doing? What’s Damian doing? Is this really happening? So just being out here on the road we get a good feel from people about this whole thing.”

According to Nas, the album is 90% complete. He expressed plans to continue touring with Marley once the album is released. Originally set for a June release, Distant Relatives is scheduled to hit shelves in August.

Author: Salima Koroma

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Nas & Damian Marley Takes you on a journey and a behind the scenes sneak peek at their upcoming Album "Distant Relatives

Nas & Damien Marley – Distant Relatives

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Updated Dec 9th Radio – PRESS PLAY

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Buy Now