Distant Relatives

Distant Relatives
Distant Relatives
Studio album by Nas and Damian Marley
Released May 18, 2010 (2010-05-18)
Recorded 2008–2010
Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Genre Hip hop, reggae fusion
Length 61:48
Label Universal Republic, Def Jam
Producer Nasir Jones (also exec.), Damian Marley (also exec.), Stephen Marley
Nas chronology
Distant Relatives
Life Is Good
Damian Marley chronology
Welcome to Jamrock
Distant Relatives
Singles from Distant Relatives
  1. "As We Enter"
    Released: February 23, 2010
  2. "Strong Will Continue"
    Released: April 13, 2010
  3. "My Generation"
    Released: August 30, 2010[1]

Distant Relatives is a collaborative studio album by American rapper Nas and Jamaican reggae artist Damian Marley, released May 18, 2010, on Universal Republic and Def Jam Recordings. Production for the album took place during 2008 to 2010 and was handled primarily by Damian Marley and Stephen Marley. Fusing musical elements of hip hop and reggae, Distant Relatives features lyrical themes concerning ancestry, poverty, and the plight of Africa.

The album debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 57,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, Distant Relatives received positive reviews from most music critics.



News of the album first came at the 2009 Grammy Awards, when 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. 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."[2] 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.[3][4] 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.[5]

Recording and production

Nas and Marley began recording in 2008; recording sessions took place in Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida. Marley and his brother, Stephen, produced the majority of the album, using live instrumentation in the recording process.[6] They collaborated with guest artists, including Stephen Marley, Joss Stone, Lil Wayne, and K'naan.[5][7] On the album's production, Marley told Rolling Stone, "We're trying to have a sound that's reminiscent of both of us, but not exactly like either... A lot of charity albums come off corny. We want this to be something you'd play in your car."[6]


Fusing hip hop and reggae musical elements,[8] Marley and Nas also incorporated samples from African music into the album.[5] The album's lyrical content heavily revolves around themes concerning Africa, from ancestry and poverty,[5][9] with social commentary of the United States and Africa.[8][10] The track "Count Your Blessings" reflects on the plight of Africa.[6]

Release and promotion

Nas and Marley performing in Wellington, New Zealand, 2011

The album was released May 18, 2010 on Universal Republic and Def Jam Recordings.[11] Its proceeds will go to a project in Africa, with the possibility of building a school in the Congo.[6]

Panel discussion

At a sold-out panel discussion on the African diaspora and its relation to music, sponsored by National Geographic, Damian and Stephen Marley and Nas were among the several hip hop and reggae musicians voicing their solidarity. The discussion focused on the collaborations between artists of the two genres, and highlighted the Distant Relatives project.[12]


The first single, "As We Enter", was released on iTunes on February 23, 2010.[13] It has so far peaked at #10 on the iTunes Hip Hop/Rap charts and #41 on the iTunes Music charts. The single debuted at number 39 on the UK Singles Chart.[14] "Strong Will Continue" is featured in the soundtrack for 2010 FIFA World Cup video game. "My Generation" was released in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2010.[1]


Commercial performance

The album debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 57,000 copies.[15] It serves as Nas's tenth top-ten album and Marley's second top-ten album in the United States.[15] The album also entered at number four on Billboard's Digital Albums,[16] and at number one on its R&B/Hip-Hop Albums,[17] Rap Albums,[18] and Reggae Albums charts.[19]

Internationally, Distant Relatives attained some chart success.[20][21] It entered at number 33 on the European Top 100 Albums chart.[22] In the United Kingdom, it debuted at number 30 on the UK Albums Chart and at number four on the R&B Albums Chart.[23][24] In Canada, the album entered at number 10 on the Top 100 Albums chart.[25] In Germany, it debuted at number 38 on the Media Control Charts,[26] and in the Netherlands, the album debuted at number 72 and peaked at number 65 on the Mega Album Top 100.[21]

Critical response

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[27]
Robert Christgau (A-)[28]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[29]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[30]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[31]
Pitchfork Media (6.1/10)[32]
PopMatters (7/10)[33]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[34]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[35]
The Village Voice (mixed)[36]

Distant Relatives received positive reviews from most music critics.[37] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73, based on 23 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[37] Allmusic writer David Jeffries complimented its themes concerning Africa, calling it "one purposeful monster and a conceptional bull's eye that fully supports its title".[27] Entertainment Weekly's Simon Vozick-Levinson commended Nas's and Marley's "righteous tones that only occasionally lapse into preachiness".[29] Sputnikmusic's Ryan Flatley gave the album four out of five stars and commented that "Nas and Damian Marley are a formidable pairing, seemingly on the same level throughout most of the album in thought and overall presence".[38] Steve Jones of USA Today gave it three-and-a-half out of four stars and called it "[a] potent and often provocative collaboration".[39] Dave Simpson of The Guardian gave the album four out of five stars and described its music as "thoughtful, sincere, weighty stuff, tackling subjects from African poverty to the diamond trade without sounding preachy or schmaltzy".[30] Jesal Padania of RapReviews gave Distant Relatives a 10 out of 10 rating and commented that "neither Nas nor Marley come across too preachy [...] yet they also manage not to patronise Africa".[40]

In contrast, Spin's J. Gabriel Boylan gave the album a six out of 10 rating and found its "revelatory message blunted by digressions".[41] Sean Fennessey of The Village Voice viewed it as "rudimentary", calling the album "a tasteful affair full of uninteresting revelations and self-serious proclamations".[36] Los Angeles Times writer Jeff Weiss commented that the album "vacillates between the dreary and dynamic" and viewed its "didacticism" as a weakness, stating "leadened by reductive philosophies and crippling self-seriousness, the record often feels overly ponderous".[31] Pitchfork Media's Tom Breihan found the album's lyrics trite and stated "Nas and Marley fall into a sort of middlebrow funk, kicking overripe platitudes over sunny session-musician lopes and letting their self-importance suffocate their personalities [...] When these guys stop trying to be positive and just vent, they do great things".[32] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club called it "an Afrocentric manifesto sometimes loaded down by the weight of its noble ambitions".[42] While noting that its "live-band reggae sometimes feels sleepy", Rolling Stone writer Christian Hoard stated "Nas is there to slap the track awake".[34] Jesse Serwer of The Washington Post commented that Nas "is often guilty of coasting [...] leaves the heavy lifting to Marley", but praised each artists' "inspired lyrical performances".[43]

David Amidon of PopMatters stated "The collision between hip-hop and reggae is a little overblown [...] but the alchemy between Nas and Junior Gong’s voice is obvious and engenders a strong sense of unity".[33] BBC Online's Mike Diver complimented "the balance between Zion-celebrating lyricism and the real-life observations that accompany hip hop".[44] Slant Magazine's M.T. Richards called the album "a bright, richly cultured work" and praised its themes of humanity and humility, writing that it "shines with passion and zeal, both in its content and production, which oozes earthy warmth".[35] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, critic Robert Christgau gave Distant Relatives an A- rating,[28] indicating "the kind of garden-variety good record that is the great luxury of musical micromarketing and overproduction".[45] Christgau complimented Marley's production and the album's themes, stating "The result is an exceptionally melodic reggae album that's intensified by rapping devoid of dancehall patois and a hard edge unknown to roots revivalism. The result is also an exceptionally political hip-hop album that's most convincing when it doesn't multiply Afrocentric distortion by Rastafarian reasoning".[28]

Track listing

  • All tracks were produced by Damian Marley except tracks 4, 9, and 11, produced by Stephen Marley.
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "As We Enter"   Nasir Jones, Damian Marley, Mulatu Astatke 2:58
2. "Tribes at War" (featuring K'naan) Jones, Marley, Keinan Warsame 4:30
3. "Strong Will Continue"   Jones, Marley 6:02
4. "Leaders" (featuring Stephen Marley) Jones, Marley, Stephen Marley 4:20
5. "Friends"   Jones, Marley 4:49
6. "Count Your Blessings"   Jones, Marley 4:24
7. "Dispear"   Jones, Marley 5:53
8. "Land of Promise" (featuring Dennis Brown) Jones, Marley, Dennis Brown 3:54
9. "In His Own Words" (featuring Stephen Marley) Jones, D. Marley, S. Marley 5:00
10. "Nah Mean"   Jones, Marley 4:09
11. "Patience"   Jones, Marley, Amadou Bajayoko, Mariam Doumbia 5:46
12. "My Generation" (featuring Joss Stone & Lil Wayne) Jones, Marley, Dwayne Carter 4:00
13. "Africa Must Wake Up" (featuring K'naan) Jones, Marley, Warsame 6:41
Sample credits

List of samples used for Distant Relatives adapted from liner notes.[46]

  • 'As We Enter' contains samples of Mulatu Astatke's song Yegelle Tezeta.
  • 'Tribes at War' contains a sample from Tribal War by Earl Lowe.
  • 'Friends' contains a sample from Undenge Uami by David Zé.
  • 'Land Of Promise' contains a sample from Promised Land by Dennis Brown.
  • 'Nah Mean' contains a sample from Kurikute by Sara Chaves.
  • 'Patience' contains a sample from Sabali by Amadou & Mariam from the album Welcome to Mali.
  • 'My Generation' contains a sample from Generation by Ziggy Marley.


Credits for Distant Relatives adapted from Allmusic.[47]

  • Luke Aiono – guitar
  • Rahsaan Alexander – vocals (bckgr)
  • Chris Athens – mastering
  • Kreiger Bailey – vocals (bckgr)
  • Amadou Bajayoko – composer
  • Miguel Bermudez – assistant
  • Chad Blaize – vocals (bckgr)
  • Dennis Brown – composer, vocals (bckgr)
  • Llamar "Riff Raff" Brown – keyboards
  • Ann Marie Calhoun – violin
  • Andrea Carter – guitar
  • James "Bonzai" Caruso – mixing
  • Jason Chantrelle – A&R
  • Daniel Chappell – brass
  • Squiddly Cole – percussion, drums, keyboards
  • Shiah Coore – bass, drums, vocals (bckgr), handclapping
  • Greg DePante – assistant
  • Courtney Diedrick – drums, handclapping
  • Sean Diedrick – keyboards
  • Mariam Doumbia – composer
  • Dwayne Carter – composer
  • Nabil Elderkin – photography
  • Paul Fakhourie – bass, keyboards
  • Andre "Illestr8" Forrest – vocals (bckgr), handclapping
  • Rovleta Fraser – vocals (bckgr)
  • Nesta Garrick – art direction, design
  • Neville Garrick – photography, art consultant
  • Marcus Garvey – quotation author
  • Rannoy Gordon – guitar
  • Andrew Green – engineer
  • Tim Harkins – engineer
  • Phillip "Winta" James – keyboards, vocals (bckgr), handclapping
  • Nasir "Nas" Jones – composer, writer, rapper, executive producer, producer, vocals (bckgr)
  • Keinan Warsame – composer
  • L.A.'s Best Sunny Brae Choir – vocals (bckgr)
  • Marc Lee – engineer
  • Funji Legohn – brass
  • Casey Lewis – engineer
  • Damian "Junior Gong" Marley – composer, producer, programming, vocals (bckgr), handclapping, executive producer
  • Stephen Marley – guitar, composer, keyboards, programming, producer
  • George Massa – engineer
  • Christopher Merridith – bass, guitar, keyboards
  • Jah Amen Mobley – vocals (bckgr)
  • Leon Mobley – percussion, vocals (bckgr)
  • Vernon Mungo – engineer
  • Josh Newell – engineer
  • Bobby Newland – assistant
  • Steve Nowa – assistant
  • Oakwood School 5th Grade Choir – vocals (bckgr)
  • Raymond Onyai – vocals (bckgr)
  • George Pajon – guitar
  • Lisa Parade – director
  • Josef Powell – vocals (bckgr)
  • José Quintero – assistant
  • Benjamin Reid – engineer, assistant
  • Mike Rowe – keyboards
  • James Rudder – assistant
  • Noelle Scaggs – vocals (bckgr)
  • Miles Tackett – cello
  • Charles Wakeman – engineer, mixing, assistant
  • Oren Waters – vocals (bckgr)
  • Will Wheaton – vocals (bckgr)
  • Roselyn Williams – vocals (bckgr)
  • Betty Wright – vocals (bckgr)
  • Eric "Twizted" Young – assistant
  • Gabriel Zardes – A&R
  • Danny Zook – sample clearance


Chart positions

Chart (2010) Peak
Austrian Albums Chart[20] 53
Canadian Albums Chart[25] 10
Dutch Albums Chart[20] 72
German Albums Chart[26] 38
Norwegian Albums Chart[21] 32
Swedish Albums Chart[21] 42
Swiss Albums Chart[20] 11
UK Albums Chart[23] 30
UK R&B Albums[24] 4
US Billboard 200[48] 5
US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[17] 1
US Billboard Rap Albums[18] 1
US Billboard Reggae Albums[19] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
US Billboard 200 170[49]


  1. ^ a b http://www.radio1.gr/music/forthcoming_uk_singles.htm
  2. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2009-02-09). "Nas Confirms Kelis' Pregnancy, Talks New Album". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1604589/20090209/nas.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  3. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (2009-04-08). "Nas, Damian Marley Prep Collaborative Album". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/nas-damian-marley-prep-collaborative-album-1003960203.story. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  4. ^ Cline, Georgette. "Nas & Damian Marley Prep Joint Album". Rap-Up. http://www.rap-up.com/2009/04/08/nas-damian-marley-prep-joint-album/. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2009-04-22). "Nas and Damian Marley on their 'Distant Relatives' collaboration". Entertainment Weekly. Time. http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/04/nas-damian-marl.html. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Spring Music Preview: June". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. 2009-03-20. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/26796184/spring_music_preview_june. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  7. ^ Graff, Gary (2009-07-08). "Nas, Damian Marley Preview Album Collaboration On Rock The Bells Tour". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/nas-damian-marley-preview-album-collaboration-1003991562.story. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  8. ^ a b "Nas Announces Damian Marley Album". MTV One. 2009-04-08. http://www.mtv.co.uk/artists/nas/news/112307-nas-announces-damian-marley-album. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  9. ^ Thiessen, Brock (2009-04-08). "Nas and Damian Marley Become Distant Relatives, Join Rock the Bells Tour". Exclaim!. http://exclaim.ca/articles/generalarticlesynopsfullart.aspx?csid1=131&csid2=844&fid1=37732. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  10. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2009-04-07). "Nas And Damian Marley Team Up For Rock The Bells Tour, Joint Album". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1608773/20090407/id_3108857.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  11. ^ Marley, Damian (2010-02-18). "Damian Marley speaks". Reggaeville. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.10839/title.damian-marley-speaks-about-lil-waynes-distant-relatives-feature. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  12. ^ The Source, Nas and Damian Marley Distant Relatives Coming in 2010, TheSource.com, 14 December 2009. Accessed 6 January 2010.
  13. ^ Single Cover: Nas & Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley – ‘As We Enter’. Rap-Up.
  14. ^ The Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart - 23 May 2010. BBC Online. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  15. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith. 'Glee' Stops the Show at No. 1, Stones Come in Second On Billboard 200. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-26.
  16. ^ Digital Albums - Week of June 05, 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  17. ^ a b R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Week of June 05, 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  18. ^ a b Rap Albums - Week of June 05, 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  19. ^ a b Reggae Albums - Week of June 05, 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  20. ^ a b c d "Nas & Damian Marley - Distant Relatives". Ultratop. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Nas+%26+Damian+Marley&titel=Distant+Relatives&cat=a. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b c d Album Performance: Distant Relatives. acharts. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  22. ^ European Albums - Week of June 05, 2010. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  23. ^ a b The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart - 23 May 2010. BBC Online. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  24. ^ a b UK Top 40 RnB Albums - 23 May 2010. BBC Online. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  25. ^ a b Top 100 - For the Week Ending 20 May, 2010. Jam!. Retrieved on 2010-05-27.
  26. ^ a b Album Top 50 KW 20 - Gültig ab 28.05.2010. MTV. Retrieved on 2010-05-28.
  27. ^ a b Jeffries, David. Review: Distant Relatives. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  28. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Distant Relatives". MSN Music: June 2010.
  29. ^ a b Vozick-Levinson, Simon. Review: Distant Relatives. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  30. ^ a b Simpson, Dave. Review: Distant Relatives. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  31. ^ a b Weiss, Jeff. Review: Distant Relatives. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  32. ^ a b Breihan, Tom. Review: Distant Relatives. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2010-05-21.
  33. ^ a b Amidon, David. Review: Distant Relatives. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2010-06-01.
  34. ^ a b Hoard, Christian. Review: Distant Relatives. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  35. ^ a b Richards, M.T. Review: Distant Relatives. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-05-25.
  36. ^ a b Fennessey, Sean. Review: Distant Relatives. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2010-05-19.
  37. ^ a b Distant Relatives Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  38. ^ Flatley, Ryan. Review: Distant Relatives. Sputnikmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-19.
  39. ^ Jones, Steve. Review: Distant Relatives. USA Today. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  40. ^ Padania, Jesal. Review: Distant Relatives. RapReviews. Retrieved on 2010-05-20.
  41. ^ Boylan, J. Gabriel. Review: Distant Relatives. Spin. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  42. ^ Rabin, Nathan. Review: Distant Relatives. The A.V. Club. Retrieved on 2010-05-25.
  43. ^ Serwer, Jesse. Review: Distant Relatives. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  44. ^ Diver, Mike. Review: Distant Relatives. BBC Online. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  45. ^ CG Grades 1990- : Key to Icons. Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  46. ^ Track listing and liner notes per Distant Relatives album
  47. ^ Credits: Distant Relatives. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-05-18.
  48. ^ "Chart History - Distant Relatives". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. http://www.billboard.com/#/album/nas-damian-junior-gong-marley/distant-relatives/1325580. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  49. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. http://www.billboard.com/#/charts-year-end/top-billboard-200?year=2010. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Distant Relatives — Album par Nas Damian Marley Sortie 18 mai 2010 Enregistrement 2008 2010 Los Angeles, Miami Durée 61:48 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Distant Relatives (band) — Distant Relatives Distant Relatives in 2010 Background information Origin San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA …   Wikipedia

  • Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers — (Kilifi,Кения) Категория отеля: Адрес: Seahorse Road, 8010 …   Каталог отелей

  • Distant Origin — Star Trek: Voyager episode The Voth archaeology lab Episode no …   Wikipedia

  • Distant — Dis tant, a. [F., fr. L. distans, antis, p. pr. of distare to stand apart, be separate or distant; dis + stare to stand. See {Stand}.] 1. Separated; having an intervening space; at a distance; away. [1913 Webster] One board had two tenons,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nas — For other uses, see Nas (disambiguation). Nas Nas performing in Italy, 2007 Background information Birth name Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones …   Wikipedia

  • T–V distinction — In sociolinguistics, a T–V distinction is a contrast, within one language, between second person pronouns that are specialized for varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, or insult toward the addressee. Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

  • Chinese kinship — The Chinese kinship system (simplified Chinese: 亲属系统; traditional Chinese: 親屬系統; pinyin: qīn shǔ xì tǒng) is classified as a Sudanese kinship system (also referred to as the Descriptive system ) used to define family. Identified by Lewis Henry… …   Wikipedia

  • Damian Marley — Background information Birth name Damian Marley Also known as Junior Gong , Gong ZILLA …   Wikipedia

  • Noble Causes — Cover of Noble Causes vol. 2, 3 (Sept, 2004).Art by Tyler Kirkham. Publication information Publisher Image Comics …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”