Damien Marley/Nas Album… and a whole lot more, apparently!
Staying in the vein of collaborations between artists and across genres, here is some more information on the collaborative album between Damien Marley (son of the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley and Grammy-nominated artist in his own right, for those of you that don’t know) and Nas, legendary Queens MC. A recent interview with Marley appeared on HipHopDX.com, where he talked about everything from working with Nas, having hours-long conversations with him, keeping the album under wraps, collaborations with Ethiopian rapper K’Naan, and a slew of other things. Marley and Nas first collaborated on “Road to Zion” from his 2005 album Welcome to Jamrock, and they’ve even been on tour together on the Rock The Bells tour all around the U.S. and to different parts of the world, so they’re pretty familiar with each other and their work.
Personally, I think it’s great to see artists of this stature working together to bring what is about to be some amazing music to their legions of fans, and hopefully some new ones. Being that Hip Hop and Reggae are so intertwined anyway, this seems to be a natural progression. Think about it for a minute: both genres got extremely popular (at least in the U.S.) in the mid to late-70′s. Both were pretty much shunned by mainstream media as being passing fads and having no real value to the American consumer. Both were basically created by groups of people that were (and sometimes still are) considered the bottom rung of society who eventually made something out of nothing because they had had so much already taken away from them. And both went on to be international phenomenons in their own respects.
The truth of the matter is, we’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of these collabos in the not-too-distant future because of, from what I see at least, two big reasons: 1. the simultaneous state of the record industry and the music industry overall (ones doing awesome, the other, horri-awful); and 2. both artists and fans wanting more out of the music and entertainment experience. Whether it’s a live show, a festival, a CD, a download, a website, a social networking tool, or whatever, people want more! And who can blame them (or us, rather)? With that being said, kudos to these two giants of music for their efforts to be ahead of the curve and give the people what they want.