News: Nas Accepts "Distant Relatives" Risk, "I Don't Know Who's Gonna Like It, Who's Gonna Hate It"

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009 2:50PM

Written by Rosario Harper

Grammy-nominated rapper Nas recently opened up about taking a risk with his upcoming Damian Marley collaboration album,  Distant Relatives, and said the project feels "right" for him.

For the New York-based emcee, the forthcoming duet album represents the next step of his music career.

"I feel good about it," Nas said about the album and his legacy. "So I can't say how it's gonna affect my musical legacy. I just think that with everything I do, I want it to mean something. Like ['Tony Montana'] said, 'I tell the truth, even when I lie.' What he was sayin' is, he never lies. He's honest, even when he makes mistakes or misjudgements, he did it in truth. Everything I'm doing is because I feel right about it. The benefit of it [is] we contributed something to the world. Something like this...I don't know who's gonna like it, who's gonna hate it or whatever, but it's another contribution to the world. One more thing to just listen to." (Hip Hop DX)

He also believes the project will lead to more humanitarian efforts across the world.

"You, me, Damian, people out there -- we're all a human family," Nas said in an interview. "What we're talking about on this record is nothing too new; people know about political corruption in Africa and so many different things going on out there in the continent, but what we do is come together and make music. I think the topics can be related to by people in Sweden, by people in Germany, by people in China -- because we're all human; we all go through craziness. I want to build whatever we can build [from the profits]. We can build schools, states, hospitals. I mean, we want to give our whole heart." (National Public Radio)

Nas described the progress of Distant Relatives and the feedback he's received from fans on the Rock The Bells 2009 tour last summer.

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)

The rapper also explained why he expected it to have a greater impact than 2008's controversial Untitled earlier this year.

"The next thing for us is the tour with me and Damian," Nas revealed in an interview with DJ Semtex. "And probably a film we're working on based on the project and we plan to make a lot -- if we can help anybody in Africa, Kingston or Queens, or London, or wherever, if we can help anybody with this record, not with just hearing it but monetarily, we don't like to just get caught up in all of that charity bullsh*t that everybody, sometimes it gets a little weird with that, you know. If we can help anybody with this thing then mission accomplished because that's what it's about. Distant Relatives, you, me, that's what it's about. And I think the title alone just says, it opens up a whole different conversation about what this is all about, distant relatives, family everywhere. I wanted to be more impactful than my last album, my Untitled album, because it was just certain things on that, I didn't really get a chance to pull it off a hundred percent. There was a lot of pressure on that record. I do what I do and however it comes out, I'm happy, I'm thankful. I think this one will be a great turn-out as well." (Semtex TV)

Distant Relatives is slated to land in stores Tuesday, March 16th.

Check out a preview of Distant Relatives below:

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