With rap veteran Nas and reggae star Damian Marley making headlines last year courtesy of their Distant Relatives collaboration album, SOHH recently chopped it up with Shaggy to get his take on the hip-hop meets reggae mash-ups.
Although Shaggy was impressed by Nas and Marley’s joint effort, he said too many collaborations are done for the wrong reasons these days.
“It’s good and it’s a good collaboration because it was organic when it happened,” Shaggy told SOHH referring to Nas and Damian Marley’s Distant Relatives. “A lot of people do collaborations these days because the person is hot. Collaborations aren’t done for the right reasons. The collaboration between Nas and Damian was one that came out of a relationship that they had. It didn’t matter if Nas was hot or Damian was hot. It was just the fact that […] two people connected musically and came out with a product and enjoyed making it together. They enjoyed promoting the project and just being part of it. They really connected. A lot of collaborations are political. It’s about who’s hot and who’s not. I don’t think I would want to get into it like that. I would rather not do a collaboration if it’s all about that because then the egos turn into problems and the record companies [get involved] and all of that. It has to be organic and if it’s not organic, I would rather not get into it.” (SOHH)
Asked to name his dream collaboration, Shaggy said he needed to look no further than the late Notorious B.I.G.
“My favorite has always been Biggie,” Shaggy added when asked what dream collaboration he always wanted. “Biggie. That’s one of those guys that just had me glued to the CD where you would recite every line and every joint because lyrically, he was just so relevant. He was saying what you were living. It was like you were creating a movie to his words. You could just picture it. That’s true artform artistry. So yeah, he’s definitely one of my favorites.” (SOHH)
Last year, Nas opened up about the Distant Relatives theme.
“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)
Upon its May 2010 release, Distant Relatives debuted within the Top 5.
Hip-hop duo Nas and Damian Marley’s Distant Relatives leads the way this week at No. 5 as Glee: The Music tops the chart with 135,800 sold albums. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the duo’s new collaboration album has sold 57,500 records after a week in stores. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Check out a portion of Distant Relatives below: