Nas & Damian Marley put out a press release today about their upcoming album, Distant Relatives. They collaborated in 2005 on Damian Marley's track, Road to Zion, off the Welcome to Jamrock album. Distant Relatives is set for release on June 23. They are also headlining at this year's Rock The Bells.
“The album features the signature instrumentation and musicianship of Marley with the hard hitting beats and lyrics of Nas. Throughout the course of their musical careers, the duo has taught each other and always admired each other’s style. Since first meeting in 1996 the two artists have shared a mutual respect and camaraderie that was most recently showcased on “Road to Zion,” a standout track from Damian’s critically acclaimed album, Welcome to Jamrock. After having such a positive experience working together, they have now joined forces again for Distant Relatives…..”
The album title refers not only to the bond of Nas and Damian, but the bond to their African ancestry, which inspired the album both musically and lyrically. “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,” notes Damian Marley. “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 humans beings, we’re part of a human family.”
Nas agrees, “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,” says the emcee. “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.”