On this date in 2010, Queensbridge king Nas and reggae royalty Damian Marley dropped their collaborative album Distant Relatives on the Universal Republic/Def Jam imprint.
This Hip Hop/reggae collabo album was the first of its kind, with its release coming after Nas’ controversial Untitled album and Marley’s landmark Welcome To Jamrock LP. The production was very organic and exempt of super producers except for Jr. Gong and Stephen Marley, having Marley explain , “We’re trying to have a sound that’s reminiscent of both of us, but not exactly like either… A lot of charity albums come off corny. We want this to be something you’d play in your car.”
The album did daily well commercially, entering the Billboard 200 at number five and selling over 125,000 in its premiere month. Distant Relatives also served as a refreshing alternative that was a vehicle of consciousness to younger listeners captivated by the more popular gangster-themed music. Features boasted the likes of Joss Stone, Junior Reid, Lil Wayne, and others.
Salute to Damian and Nas for this pivotal piece of Hip Hop history!