News: Nas Breaks Down "Distant Relatives" Roots, "Reggae & Hip-Hop Are Cousins"

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 4:15PM

Written by Rosario Harper

Grammy-nominated rapper Nas has spoken on the underlying theme behind his forthcoming Distant Relatives collaboration with Damian Marley.

According to Nas, the new album shows him connecting with his reggae background.

"Reggae and hip-hop are cousins,'' he said in an interview. "Go back before the '90s and think about the music that was playing on the ghetto blasters and you'll hear it...The whole world is like family, split up all over the place. It's overdue, and I want to help build whatever we can [in Africa]. I've worked with a lot of reggae artists, like Sizzla and Supercat, but not until [2005's] Jamrock did I get a chance to work with Damian. I love his music and I'm a big fan of Bob Marley and the whole family. We haven't worked out any tour dates yet. But I'm sure Damian and I will do something soon." (Miami Herald)

A single from the album was released earlier this month.

It seems the title was changed from 'Only The Strong' to 'Strong Will Continue'. This is the rumored first single from the upcoming Distant Relatives album produced by Damian & Stephen Marley. I'm feeling this. Exclusive info: Album has been pushed back to April 20th. (Hip Hop N More)

Last month, Nas spoke on being unsure of what his fans would think of the project's release.

"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 humanfamily," 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)

Distant Relatives will reportedly be released Tuesday, April 20th.

Check out past Nas footage down below:

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