Mutual admiration for each other’s music brought Nas and Damian Marley together to grind out “Distant Relatives” at an undisclosed location in LA. The album’s predominant theme is African ancestry. Nas explains the premise:
We tryin' to build some schools in Africa… and trying to build empowerment. The record's all about the 'hood and Africa.Marley is on the same page:
Africa is the backbone of the world and the foundation of everything and Africans are in a situation where they need help more than anywhere else.Proceeds from the album will fund the construction of schools in Africa.
Expect socio-political commentary, guest appearances from Stevie Wonder and Young Jeezy along with a variety of African inspired samples. The buzz has landed the reggae hip hop duo a headliner slot at this summer’s Rock the Bells festival. Despite the steady hype, quiet studio work and absence of leakages have spawned a secretive allure.