Damien Marley & Nas – Distant Relatives
Distant Relatives is collaboration between reggae artist Damien Marley and rapper Nas that is meant to raise money for schools in Africa. The album starts off on a high note with “As We Enter” as Damien and Nas trade versus over a sample from some Ethiopian jazz. This song is a true collaboration between the two. However, after this song, the album sounds less of collaboration and more of a Damien Marley album that happens to feature Nas.
In fact, it would have been an excellent Damien Marley album if they had limited Nas’s appearances. Songs such as “Leader” “Land of Promise” are some of Damien Marley’s best work. On “Tribal War”, guest rapper K’naan overshadows Nas’s verse. Stephan Marley shows up on “Leaders” and “In His Own Words” and continues to solidify his role as Bob Marley’s true heir. “My Generation” features Joss Stone and Lil’ Wayne and while it may seem to be an odd mix of styles, the song actually works pretty well.
Had the album featured Damien and Nas trading versus like they did on the opening track, I think it would worked much better and would have been a more cohesive work. Overall, it’s a good album and it worth picking up.