Distant Relatives

Nas & Damian Marley

EMPOWERING, UPLIFTING, EPIC! - I haven't heard an album as conscious, aware, and penetrating since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  For me, Distant Relatives is a gem of great worth and beauty.  Socially and soulfully provocative, the lyrics inspire action and change in Africa and the Black Community.  Each track features either a killer beat, soul-pleasing instrumentation, and/ or the fusion of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and African music.  The album concept was also well thought and thoroughly developed.  Nas & Damian Marley had a lot to say; the common thread was this message:

We are all distant relatives.  
And as a family, we should stand and rise,
united in purpose and power.

I have much love and respect for Nas & Damian Marley.  I was already a huge fan of Nas before listening to this collaboration album.  Previously (and still), I have had trouble understanding Damian Marley when he raps; but the words that I caught were full of wisdom and spirit, and I'm sure whatever he speaks is drenched in truth.  What is more attractive than two black men who are ultra-confident, intellectually stimulating, spiritually in-tune, and fearless visionaries unafraid to go against the grain?
I LVE their music!

Honestly, I enjoyed every single song on Distant Relatives (that rarely happens)!
Here is a peek into two of my favorite tracks:

"Count Your Blessings"
Beautiful music, beautiful message.  I was deeply touched and moved to gratitude to God for all of my blessings.  Here are some of the lyrics:

"I've got news for rejoicing, now a new sun is rising - I count my blessings.  
That I'm safe when I'm resting, furniture in my nesting.  
Not by force, I'm suggesting, you count your blessings.  

I've got love and assurance, I've got new health insurance, I've got strength and endurance, 
so I count my blessings.  
And give thanks to the Master that through all the disasters, we're still here together after.  Better count your blessings.  

I've got no need to stress for, and so I'll always put my best forth and count my blessings.  And they'll be no need for tissues cause they'll be no further issues.  
If you got someone who miss you, then count your blessings.

I've got joy in abundance, I've got life full of substance. 
I've got something to live for, I've got surplus to give more, and we're all welcome through His door, so I count my blessings." 
-Damian Marley

"My Generation"
This song makes me proud of and hopeful in my generation - makes me want to get up, take action, and initiate change!  Having me feeling all empowered and what not!  Here are more lyrics:

"My generation is so special it will make a change...
So anytime them see the progress they must celebrate...
We keep remaining true without apology...." 
- Damian Marley

"Music is the way to convey to you what I'm facing -
Placing my life in front of your eye for your observation.
Now if you can't relate then maybe you're too complacent.

Wasup with tomorrow?  Will you lead, will you follow?

Improve your values - education is real power!

There's a mission we gotta finish before we leave.
This generation is destined to do historic deeds." 
- Nas

"They thinkin' that my generation gotta die young.
If we all come together, then they can't divide one.

Don't worry bout it, just be about it.

Hey young world, you never looked better.
And I heard change starts with the man in the mirror.

This generation, I'ma represent - a generation led by a black president.
Now how is that for change?  Who knew that could change? I don't even look at the flag the same!
So when you finish reading Revelations, thank God for my generation." 
- Lil' Wayne

Nas & Damian Marley discuss Distant Relatives:

Nas & Damian Marley discuss the state of music and Hip Hop: