Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (pronounced /nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), who performs under the mononym Nas (/ˈnɑːz/), formerly Nasty Nas, is an American rapper and actor. Damian Robert Nesta "Junior Gong" Marley (born July 21, 1978) is a reggae artist, a humanitarian, and also the youngest son of Bob Marley. He has won three Grammy awards.
They have been working closely together for a few years now and are releasing an album together named, Distant Relatives is a collaborative studio album by American recording artist Nas and Jamaican recording artist Damian Marley
News of the album first came at the 2009 Grammy Awards, Nas told MTV reporters "Right now, I'll tell you first, I'm working on an album with Damian Marley. We tryin' to build some schools in Africa with this one, and trying to build empowerment," he said. "We're tryin' to show love and stuff with this album. So, the record's … all about really the 'hood and Africa also as well.
Marley told Rolling Stone, "We're trying to have a sound that's reminiscent of both of us, but not exactly like either," says Marley, who adds they cut the disc with a live band. Proceeds will go to a project in Africa — possibly building a school in the Congo — and songs like "Count Your Blessings" reflect on the plight of the continent. "A lot of charity albums come off corny," says Marley. "We want this to be something you'd play in your car." The album title derives from Nas and Marley's relationship, their shared African ancestry, and the shared ancestry of the entire human race; which musically and lyrically inspired each recording.
Leftover tracks from Nas and Marley's previous albums were originally planned for an EP based on Africa. After working together, the duo decided to record a full album together.The album's content will heavily revolve around Africa, from ancestry and poverty. The duo worked to maintain the theme, which will contain samples from African music. The album will offer their social commentary of the United States and Africa.
Mixing hip hop and reggae, Nas and Marley began recording in 2008; recording sessions took place in Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida. Marley and his brother, Stephen, produced a majority of the album. The feature guests will include, Stephen Marley, Joss Stone, Lil Wayne, K'naan and other artists.
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