Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nas and Damien Marley - Distant Relatives

Due to my lack of posts, I'll go with another New Music Tuesday entry. That brings me to a hip hop and reggae mash-up that features Nas and Damien "Jr Gong" Marley. A little background on each fella, Nas has been putting out rap records since 1994's 'Illmatic'. The knock on Nas is simply that he goes from dropping top 10 of all time type records and then the next one will be total trash. For that reason, I've never been a huge Nas guy, but I admit that when he drops a mixtape or a new single, I'm all over it. He's done some great callabo work in the past, so this cd doesn't surprise me all that much. Damien however is as much known for his humanitarian work as his musical prowess. (and if you think that's no big deal - he's won 3 grammys) Bob Marley had about 2,000 kids, and Damien is one of them. Devotees know that his name was Bob 'Tuff Gong' Marley, so he's got a play on that going. He only has 4 studio records including this one, and all of them have gotten solid reviews. Anyway, the marriage seems to kind of make sense - Damien has done some really hard hitting stuff with The Game in the past that everyone enjoyed. Nas is a fairly spiritual man as well - which seems to flow into Damien's beliefs. My comment on this album is - I don't get it. I mean, I expected each track to have some influence of each artist, but that isn't the case at all. Some tracks have a beat and a hook and some tracks are pure reggae that Nas isn't featured on. I think the best selling callabo record ever is Jay-Z and Linkin Park - and they did a nice job at imposing each style on the listener at every turn. Even if the result was less than stellar, that was the style. This one can't seem to make up its mind. They should consider sticking to individual works, as that will sell better. I'll give this one a couple more chances, but I don't expect to jam on it too much more. Check it out as it's semi neat - just don't expect the world.

1. As We Enter
2. Deadly Equation (Tribal War)
3. Strong Will Continue
4. Leaders
5. Friends
6. Count Your Blessings
7. Dispear
8. Land of Promise
9. In His Own Words
10. Nah Mean
11. Wisdom
12. My Generation
13. Africa Must Wake Up

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. As We Enter
2. My Generation
3. Tribes At War

2.25 out of 5 stars

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