News: Nas Says Damian Marley Collaboration Album Is 90% Done, "It Was Me & Damian Finding Our Way"

Wednesday, Jul 8, 2009 1:40PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Nas recently spoke on the progress of his upcoming collaboration album Distant Relatives with Damian Marley and the feedback he's received from fans on the Rock The Bells 2009 tour.

While a confirmed release date has not yet been announced, the duo expect to begin working on the project again upon the tour's end in late August.

Nas estimates it's about 90 percent done, Marley guesses a more conservative 75 percent, with songwriting contributions by Marley's brother Stephen and a guest feature by rapper K'Naan. "I just think it was me and Damian finding our way," Nas said about the project. "When you have two different artists working on a record when they're used to doing their own thing their own way, it's not as easy as people may think. We just flowed, and the next thing we looked up and there were so many songs done or so many songs started and worked on...we just decided to keep it going. It's not reggae. It's not rap. It's different sh*t for each of us...I know people are kind of like, 'What's happening? What's Nas doing? What's Damian doing? Is this really happening?' ... So just being out here on the road we get a good feel from people about this whole thing." (Billboard)

Nas recently said the album was originally going to be released as an EP.

"I liked his music and what he does," Nas explained in an interview last month. "The feeling was mutual. So we started working on it and thought it might as well be an album. Hopefully [it'll be released in] the fall. We have a few more things to tweak. Reggae is one of the roots of hip-hop. Hip-hop music has helped reggae in its transition periods. Together we kind of wanted to give people that. To find the roots of reggae and hip-hop. Of course, Africa is the main theme that made us put this album together. (World Herald)

He leaked the project's first single "As We Enter" in late June.

"HERE IS AN EXCLUSIVE," Nas wrote. "SNEAK PEEK AT THE FIRST SINGLE FROM THE NEXT ALBUM I'VE BEEN WORKING ON WITH MY MAN DAMIAN MARLEY!! LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK??" (Global Grind)

Nas first announced his collaboration project with Marley last February.

"Right now, I'll tell you first, I'm working on an album with Damian Marley, and we tryin' to build some schools in Africa with this one, and trying to build empowerment," Nas 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. That's coming out real soon...Too early to tell the title or anything like that," he said. "Shout out to my man Jr. Gong, we getting it in right now." (MTV News)

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