Damian Marley and Nas, a reggae star and a rap legend sharing a stage. Is the combination of these bedfellows too strange for success? The two artists answered that question with a resounding “No!”
The duo sandwiched a few solo numbers a piece between a slew of duets off their May 18th release “Distant Relatives.”
The single “As We Enter” is the cream of this album and of their performance. It’s an upbeat song announcing Nasty Nas and Jr. Gong’s presence with the authority of a pot smoking, gun toting, gangster-revolutionary. Like quick talking stock brokers these self proclaimed “Rhythm Piranhas” trade lines back and forth at a lightning fast pace. This song is rap and reggae at its finest, harmoniously fusing the two genres together, it is Jamrock.
NOTE: Jamrock is not a musical genre (although it should be), it is slang terminology for Jamaica. It also refers to a person’s joyous state of mind. “As We Enter” put me in joyous state of mind, thus, it is Jamrock.
“Nah Mean” was also a highlight of the performance, showcasing both artists ability to rap, but especially Nas’ fire spitting capabilities. A noticeably slower jam than “As We Enter,” the beat is still heavy and got the audience bouncing and swatting the air like a massive game of whack-a-mole.
Unlike many other reggae acts, Damian tends to rap over his beats rather than provide the soothing, syrupy, vocals of the his late great father. The revolutionary heat is still there, good will and love for one another is still being preached, the only difference is Nas at his right hand. The two are perfect for one another and I hope they combine to make more music.