Nas has come a long way since Illmatic. Nine solo albums, millions of records sold, and countless Grammy nominations later, he’s an esteemed hip-hop veteran. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley is cut from the same cloth of greatness. After being the only Jamaican artist to garner two Grammys on the same night for Welcome to Jamrock, he’s well on his way to following in the legendary footsteps of his late father Bob Marley.
As a collective, Nas and Damian Marley grab from reggae, hip-hop, and dancehall on their joint effort Distant Relatives (May 18), an album paying homage to their motherland of Africa. The fusion of a man from Kingston, Jamaica, and another from Queens, New York, coupled with tribal drums and instruments, creates a mighty sound. With production by Damian and his brother Stephen, combined with appearances by Lil Wayne and K’Naan, the duo isn’t just making hits, they’re creating history.
Rap-Up.com walks you through Nas and Damian’s journey track by track as they bridge the continental divide.