News: Nas On "Distant Relatives" Global Message, "The Topics Can Be Related To By People In Sweden, Germany & China"

Monday, Dec 14, 2009 12:00PM

Written by Rosario Harper

Rapper Nas has discussed the aim of his upcoming joint album with Damian Marley, Distant Relatives, and said the material will appeal to fans in all countries.

The New York-based emcee believes that their project will lead to various humanitarian efforts.

"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)

With the project slated for an early 2010 release, Marley recently explained what he has taken from his time with the rap veteran.

"[Sometimes this project seems] meant to be, as if it couldn't be coincidence," he explained in an interview. "That's just been the energy throughout the project. Working with Nas, has been...wow, that's been a dream come true. We've just been trying to figure out organic qualities, it's a homegrown album, the whole concept, and the melodies and the whole feeling of the album - cats really work off of feeling. That's how I approach music still. I'm not really somebody who has to overthink too much about the format of the music. It's about feel. That's what really what the experience has been about: making music that we feel and love. Whatever Nas feels and loves, we come together and make music based on that. We've been gettin' to know Nas, in terms of outside career and music and these kind of things. We've been just trying to, like you say, have conversations with him. Sometimes lyrics will lead to hours of conversation and things of this nature. The whole experience behind this has been a lot of fun also." (Hip Hop DX)

A tracklisting for Distant Relatives landed online in early September, however, was never confirmed from either artist's camp.

01 Intro (Something New) (prod. Damian Marley), 02 As We Enter (prod. Damian Marley), 03 Revolutionary (prod. Damian Marley), 04 Count Your Blessings (prod. Damian & Stephen Marley), 05 Belief is Key (prod. Damian Marley) 06 Africa Must Wake Up f. K'naan (prod. Nas, Damian & Stephen Marley) 07 Black Horizon f. K'naan (prod. Damian Marley) 08 Only the Strong (prod. Damian & Stephen Marley) 09 Our Generation f. Joss Stone & Stevie Wonder (prod. Damian Marley) 10 Empowerment (prod. Stephen Marley) 11 AID (prod. K'naan & Nas) 12 Let's End It (Poverty) f. K'naan (prod. 9th Wonder & Damian Marley) 13 The Earth f. Bob Marley (prod. Salaam Remi, Damian & Stephen Marley) 14 Black Man's Paper f. Erykah Badu (prod. Afry) [UK Bonus] 15 Weed On f. Snoop Dogg (prod. Damian Marley) [iTunes Bonus] (2DopeBoyz)

Nas recently spoke on the album and explained why he expected it to have a greater impact than 2008's controversial Untitled.

"The next thing for us is the tour with me and Damian," Nas revealed in an interview. "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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