Album Review: Nas & Damian Marley - Distant Relatives

Mister B.Mister B. Still the Devil's #1 Advocate. Come on out that box!Posts: 14,947 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 2012 in Reviewably Incorrect
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OK, so I got this album today off iTunes ($9.99). And it's been on the Pod pretty much all day. Having seen these two in concert not too long ago in Atlantic City, I'm sure I was ready to hear some great stuff. But even I was impressed.

Why this album just....excels: Well, first off, you got one of Hip-Hop greatest emcees, and the heir to the Reggae throne for 13 tracks. But, too be more specfic, they collab very well together. The album's intro "As We Enter" is a fast-paced start that has Nas & Jr. Gong finishing each other bars a la Styles & Jada. However, being this is mostly a Reggae album, the beat stay constant when Damian sings his soul and even slow down as they convey their message of empowerment, survival, struggle, and redemption. The track "Leaders" is a classic Reggae song, sounding like it's from the spirit of Bob himself. This album is very well produced (by Damian & Stephen), and you get nothing but good vibes listening to it. And, as always, Nas brings his A+ game to the album, displaying that thought-provoking flow that made him one Hip-Hop's all-time greats. Hell, they even managed to get Lil' Wayne to snap a bit on "My Generation".

The flaw that holds this back from "Classic" status: To be honest, I was expecting this to be more of a "Rap/Reggae" album. This came off moreso as a Reggae album featuring a rap artist. Not saying this was neccessarily a bad thing, but a little more diversity would've put the album over the top. Even still, these two blend VERY well, and bring back some feel-good vibes.

Scores:
Lyricism - 10/10

Production - 9.25/10

Album Cohesiveness - 9.5/10

Replay Value - 9.25/10

Overall - 9.5/10

Final Synopsis: This thing is a great piece of work. No bias, no bull, but this album has the potential to make you seriously appreciate good music. Like I said, what makes this album stand out is the fact that you just feel good vibes as the tracks play. It's almost like a concert from start to finish. And I know Reggae has the ability to do that, but adding Nas to that mix tickles your Hip-Hop fancy even more. Honestly, this has "Album of the Year" written all over it. Trust me, GET this. You won't be dissappointed. Plus, part of the proceeds are going to African relief, with the hopes of building a school in the Congo.

Favorite Tracks: As We Enter, In His Own Words, My Generation
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Replies

  • T-RelT-Rel NCPosts: 2,865 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2010
    wasnt really feeling my generation, maybe it was the hook
  • hitman619hitman619 Posts: 7
    edited May 2010
    Not really felling this album
    but i will give it a couple of more listens
  • down2earthdown2earth Chilltown, NC via San Diego, CAPosts: 953 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2010
    This album is fucking crazy. It's 13 tracks of pure heatrock. I didn't have any expectations going into my listening session because honestly, i did not know what kind of sound the album was going to have. The album's production flows really well. I believe Marley did most of the production. I'm not sure why some people were expecting east/west/down south beats and two artists rapping over them. This blew my mind right here. They went in on it. If it isn't a classic, it's pretty gotdamn close.
    onetoughmiracle
  • CMacCMac Posts: 5,748 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2010
    Good solid album not quite a classic but grammy nominated album of the year
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    I keep it real 99.99 % of the time, there anit no 100 % real niggas out there!!!!
  • HeatWaiverHeatWaiver Posts: 29
    edited May 2010
    I had high expectations for this album, and the album didnt live up the personal hype I had for it lol. Wouldn't say the album is trash, but its not on repeat.
    s
    Standout tracks - Tribal War, Strong Will Continue, Patients, Africa Must Wake Up
  • The Smooth OneThe Smooth One Posts: 725
    edited May 2010
    I'm feeling it start to finish... to me the beats don't sound like they lack a hiphop sound. If anyone's heard a reggae-inspired hiphop tune, then tell me this doesn't comply. The beats are complex, with a distinct attention to detail. Those that listen to Nas nowadays gotta know they are going to get more of the elder statesmen from time to time. To me he sounds focused as hell. And he sneaks in the fact he can still Ether cats if it comes to that. I listen for the music, and Nas and Damian won.
  • its....JOHN Bits....JOHN B Posts: 18,164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2010
    TRIBES OF WAR ,Africa must wake up and count your blessings are the stand out tracks

    this album is flawless

    10/10


    im gonna have to agree this is the first flawless album ive heard in a long time, i would say since the lost tapes but i might be missing something, i cant even listen to anything else right now, i havent put the album on my ipod yet and when im using it im searching through thousands of albums and playlists thinking damn i dont want to listen to any of this shit, i got to put that album on here
  • American Loo VII 3DAmerican Loo VII 3D Posts: 6,371 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2010
    T-Rel wrote: »
    wasnt really feeling my generation, maybe it was the hook

    the hook is mad cheezy. lil kids singing hooks is annoying usually
  • T-RelT-Rel NCPosts: 2,865 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2010
    seems like ppl over look Leaders as a great track
    And_So_It_Burns
  • water ur seedswater ur seeds Posts: 16,556 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    Album just turned up yesterday... Its 4.5mics EASILY!!! Best album of the year so far
    'The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It's the same thing, fear, but it's what you do with it that matters.'

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  • Legend24Legend24 Posts: 689 ✭✭
    edited June 2010
    My favourite album in a while... still early but it'll probably get my vote for Album of the Year. I can listen to it from start to finish without having to skip a track, can't say that for most records. The tracks that stand out to me are Tribes of War, Strong Will Continue, In His Own Words and Africa Must Wake Up. Nah Mean and Patience are very close behind those four, but it would seem ridiculous listing half the album as stand out tracks (even though the album IS that good).

    K'naan's verse on Tribes of War paints one of the best pictures on the album in my opinion. Just illustrates how we're fighting against our own over nothing... a couple diamonds or just to show we can. I think Nas spits his best stuff on Strong Will Continue; great flow throughout his verses and it's just some uplifting stuff. In His Own Words is probably my favourite on the album. Damian's verse here is, in my opinion, the best on the album: "Can you think of a colour that you never seen/ Can you reminisce on places you never been". The hook by Stephen Marley is a bit reminiscent of old school roots reggae, which gives a good vibe. Africa Must Wake Up pretty much sums up the entire concept of the album in one track; a great way to conclude an album.
  • goldenjagoldenja Posts: 6,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    the hook is mad cheezy. lil kids singing hooks is annoying usually

    but why joss stone??
    i woulda rather heard BRANDY on the hook, shit even MARIAH CAREY woulda been better (am i the only one who thinks this)?

    no disrespect to joss stone
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  • water ur seedswater ur seeds Posts: 16,556 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    goldenja wrote: »
    but why joss stone??
    i woulda rather heard BRANDY on the hook, shit even MARIAH CAREY woulda been better (am i the only one who thinks this)?

    no disrespect to joss stone


    nah i like joss stone, she a got a real soulful voice, reminds me of marsha ambrosius on that particular tune, she fitted the song well, brandy and mariah aint got the type of voice that complemented that track... marsha would of been nice on the song though
    'The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It's the same thing, fear, but it's what you do with it that matters.'

    http://i.makeagif.com/media/9-04-2015/aUPgli.gif
  • its....JOHN Bits....JOHN B Posts: 18,164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    goldenja wrote: »
    but why joss stone??
    i woulda rather heard BRANDY on the hook, shit even MARIAH CAREY woulda been better (am i the only one who thinks this)?

    no disrespect to joss stone

    i didnt like joss stone but i definitly didnt want to hear brandy or especially mariah on there
  • goldenjagoldenja Posts: 6,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    i didnt like joss stone but i definitly didnt want to hear brandy or especially mariah on there

    lol i guess so..
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  • nujerz84nujerz84 NJPosts: 15,209 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    Count Your Blessings is one of the songs I play the most. Africa Must Wake Up and Friends are two other tracks I like. It a solid 4-4.5 mic album with a lot of positive messages that don't come off as preaching or corny.
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  • S.jR.S.jR. "Living, breathing exigent circumstances." Posts: 4,507 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    One of the best albums I heard in a long time.. I look forward to listening to this CD everytime I ride somewhere in the whip.. Now if Lupe could only get his label to release his album then I'll have something to hold me over til Fall semester starts.. btw give it a solid 9 out of 10.. and that was a great review.. really spot on in regards to the flaw that's not really a flaw... If they had maybe 2 or 3 more songs like "As we enter" this album would be damn near perfect.

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  • its....JOHN Bits....JOHN B Posts: 18,164 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    goldenja wrote: »
    lol i guess so..


    keyshia cole would of been a good fit
    redhandedbandit
  • goldenjagoldenja Posts: 6,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2010
    keyshia cole would of been a good fit

    either her or mary j
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  • qq0452qq0452 Posts: 8
    edited July 2010
    Album just turned up yesterday... Its 4.5mics EASILY!!! Best album of the year so far
  • DougyDorisDougyDoris Posts: 6
    edited October 2010
    Joss Stone, yes. Mariah? No. Mariah would not have done well with Damian Marley and Nas. I thought the album was tight. It's gonna go above platinum...it's gonna go Colloidal Gold.
  • bless the childbless the child Posts: 5,162 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2010
    Patience is the best track on the album imo.
  • westkidwestkid Posts: 2
    edited October 2010
    like DMC said Nas is droppin knowledge, amazin album needed more singles and label backing tho
  • quietaskeptquietaskept Posts: 333 ✭✭
    edited October 2010
    I had to make myself stop listening to this album because I was killing it when it first came out. But now that I have picked it back, I love it as much if not more than when I first got it. Right now Patience is my favorite track. Damian Marley has some slept on gems on this album because Nas came so hard.

    Huh, we born not knowing, are we born knowing all?
    We growing wiser, are we just growing tall?
    Can you read thoughts? can you read palms?
    Huh, can you predict the future? can you see storms, coming?
    The Earth was flat if you went too far you would fall off
    Now the Earth is round if the shape change again everybody woulda start laugh
    The average man can’t prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of
    And still won’t research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of
    Scholars teach in Universities and claim that they’re smart and cunning
    Tell them find a cure when we sneeze and that’s when their nose start running
    And the rich get stitched up, when we get cut
    Man a heal dem broken bones in the bush with the wed mud
    Can you read signs? can you read stars?
    Can you make peace? can you fight war?
    Can you milk cows, even though you drive cars? huh
    Can you survive, Against All Odds, Now?


    ChiCityBOSSExcellencenickel-us PMrCrookedLetteryahwehprofet
  • Justin KaneJustin Kane Posts: 3
    edited October 2010
    Illmatic is my favorite and I feel the best hip hop album of all time but people need to stop praising it like its so far and away the best album and nothing comes close. A lot of albums like Reasonable Doubt, The Low End Theory, Liquid Swords, 36 Chambers, Resurrection, Blackstar, ATLiens, Paid in Full, It Takes A Nation...and Ready to Die are all up there as well imo
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