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Nas, Damian Marley Reveal ‘Distant Relative’ Details

In a behind-the-scenes video released today, Nas reveals more about his forthcoming album with prolific reggae artist Damian “Junior Gong” Marley. As we said back in February, the two have been working on a record that melds hip-hop and reggae. While it was originally slated for spring, then summer, we’ve gotten word that it’s now going to drop in September.

Entitled ‘Distant Relatives,’ the duo reveal that the album’s not-so-subtle intentions are to raise awareness around Africa. “The idea started out as doing an EP together,” Marley says. “This project with Nas is to come together and do some music on behalf of Africa. ” While the video doesn’t give much away in terms of the actual music, there are hints that it’s going to incorporate a bevy of live instrumentation arrangements, including guitars and string sections.

“The hunger and all that shit is way too much,” Nas remarks later. “We have to wake up. It’s not a matter of us saying “hey who are we to tell you to wake up.” You have to wake up.” Of the sound, Nas says “it’s not reggae. It’s not rap. It’s some different shit.”

As told on their MySpace page, Nas and Marley met back in 1996 and have always been fans of each other — which we got a taste of when Nas joined Marley on the track ‘Welcome to Zion’ from 2005’s ‘Welcome to Jamrock.’ The two are slated for a hefty summer trek, headlining the Rock the Bells tour as well as a handful of club dates.

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