Nas & Damian Marley
Distant Relatives


4.5
superb

Review

by TheIllmatics USER (3 Reviews)
February 17th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "This goes out to all the wisdom and knowledge seekers of the world."

Here Nas and Damian Marley create a perfect blend of two very genres from two artists who appear as completely different, but turn out to be more similar than you'd think. Now, despite all the critical acclaim Nas has received during his career, I still can't help but feel he is still underrated at times. This album is a perfect example of it. Now, I'm not going to get into why I feel this album is underrated but let me say that you should definitely not look over this one. Whether you're a Reggae fan or a Hip Hop fan, this album manages to not only please both audiences, but go far beyond expectations with some of the most intelligent and insightful lyrics I've heard in a long time.

Now, Nas can't be specifically placed into a certain genre of Hip Hop. He has done everything from street tales (Illmatic) to mafioso rap (It Was Written) to mainstream rap (Nastradamus) to politically and socially conscious rap (Stillmatic) and more personal and emotional rap (God's Son). This album definitely falls into the category of politically and socially conscious. Most of the tracks are about the problems in Africa and America as well.

But enough about Nas, let's talk about Damian. Although he is considered reggae, he mostly attempts to rap on this album and I have to say that he is pretty damn good at it. He has amazingly conscious lyrics that really make you think. Damian's talent is best showcased on "Patience" with so many great lines such as "Pay no mind to the youth
'cause it's not like the future depends on it, but save the animals in the zoo 'cause them chimpanzees make big money" and "Are we born not knowing? Are we born knowing all? Are we growing wiser? Are we just growing tall?"

The album starts out immediately with "As We Enter" which, although the most different track on the album, makes the perfect opener because it destroys any doubts you would have about the two different genres clashing together. It is followed by "Tribes at War" which truly showcases how the rest of the album will sound. It is slightly more upbeat than the rest of the album, excluding "As We Enter". It's a song about the problems in Africa such as violence, child soldiers and blood diamonds. It also touches on the subject of gang violence in America. This track also features a memorable verse from K'naan, who talks through an African's point of view. The next few tracks discuss similar topics with "Strong Will Continue" being another standout track discussing racial tolerance. "Count Your Blessings" is yet another standout track with an extremely moving chorus from Damian Marley and lyrics from Nas talking on his son and how they will be hated for starting a revolution and building a new nation. The best track on the album is "Patience", as I said before, Damian Marley did an impressive job with three stunningly conscious and intelligent verses where he touches on everything from people talking too much but never being able to back up what they say, how only rich people benefit from health care, how people forget that the children are the future and ignore them and how the media (specifically paparazzi) only focus on the negative things in life. Nas closes the song with another great verse where he questions society with lines like "What's hue? What's man? What's human?", "Don't you try to get hold of my soul" and "why we born in the first place if this is the way we gotta go?" "My Generation" talks about the importance of the youth and their education. It features a guest appearance from Lil Wayne whose verse will most likely leave even his biggest hater impressed. The album closer "Africa Must Wake Up" addresses how Africa needs to realize the problems they have and how they need to find cures for the diseases and stop the violence and tribal wars.

In the end, Distant Relatives will leave you stunned no matter how skeptical you were about it. This is one of the most intelligent and conscious albums I've ever heard and It definitely belongs amongst Nas' best albums. However, you can't forget to give Damian Marley props with his amazingly smooth production, great singing and very moving lyrical content. This is one of, if not the best, Hip Hop album of 2010 and deserves a listen no matter what genre of music you listen to and whether or not you like Nas or Damian Marley.


user ratings (219)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheMabee (4)
...

dub sean (4.5)
Maybe they really are related....

Ryan Flatley EMERITUS (4)
Nas and Marley prove to be a formidable, unsuspecting collaboration on Distant Relatives....


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheIllmatics
February 17th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha I'm really tired but felt like reviewing this anyway. If you haven't heard this yet, you don't know what you're missing. Anyway, third review and I think it's much better than my other two (especially my first). Constructive criticism please.

Urinetrouble
February 18th 2011


5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

username is TheIllmatics
4.5/5 on a nas review

so not biased at all, in no wat whatsoever

Urinetrouble
February 18th 2011


5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

username is TheIllmatics
4.5/5 on a nas review

so not biased at all, in no way whatsoever

Urinetrouble
February 18th 2011


5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck triple post

Hawks
February 18th 2011


35824 Comments


I really need to hear this.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

TheIllmatics
February 18th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's not really biased. i don't like all of nas' albums (street's disciple, i am, nastradamus, hip hop is dead)

Urinetrouble
February 18th 2011


5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol at listening to anything of nas besides this, illmatic and stillmatic

half decent review, guess i'll pos it

TheIllmatics
February 18th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well i've heard all his albums... lol

Hawks
February 18th 2011


35824 Comments


lol at listening to anything of nas besides this, illmatic and stillamtic

It Was Written?

ihopeuchoke
February 18th 2011


668 Comments


This albums pretty good, but Damien Marley's voice really irritates me and I don't know why.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2011


7996 Comments


Every review is bias, it is impossible to be completely subjective when it comes to music

MUNGOLOID
February 18th 2011


4297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not bad for a review. a lot better than most of your soundoffs.

TheIllmatics
February 18th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol i don't really try on my soundoffs, like i don't bother using punctuation or anything

Bulldog
February 18th 2011


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

lol at listening to anything of nas besides this, illmatic and stillamtic


lol at this post

BigPoppaDiesel
February 18th 2011


150 Comments


Good review. I really didn't think Nas & Marley would be able to pull this off but it comes off clean.

TheIllmatics
February 18th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Every review is bias, it is impossible to be completely subjective when it comes to music


that's so true haha. yeah it's obviously biased in some ways, but I didn't give it a 4.5 just because it's Nas.

MUNGOLOID
February 18th 2011


4297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i bet if you had a signed copy of this, you'd 5 it.

TheIllmatics
February 18th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well i 5'd it originally but i listened to it again before writing this and dropped my rating down slightly

Anji
February 23rd 2011


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well i really like 'As We Enter' and 'My Generation'

The rest of the album is a good showing from an unlikely combination.
I play certain tracks quite alot, really liked Nas' earlier stuff but think he fell off a bit on the last coupld of albums, this one shows his talents again though. Great lyricist, very clever.



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