Nas & Damian Marley Light Up New York for Distant Relatives Tour [Exclusive Coverage]
New York, NY- “We going back to the motherland” - that’s exactly where Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley took us. The poetic dynamic duo blessed NYC with their presence on Monday night at the Highline Ballroom for the second show of the Distant Relatives Tour. In the start of the night, Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern warmed the ever so anxious crowd up with throwbacks by Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dog, Jadakiss, and Jay-z.
Continuing to get the crowd hyped, the Evil Genius loudly declared “There would be NO Hip Hop without Reggae”, while seductively drawing in the crowd by playing Jamaica’s own Lady Saw, Serani, and the legendary Bob Marley. Putting the show into the hands of its very own headliners, Nas & Damian Marley performed such powerful tracks off their new collaborative album Distant Relatives, available now. Performing songs like As We Enter, Strong Will Continue, and Patience, Nas and Damian used their rhythmic sounds to relay messages of economic, political, and social change. Following was more food for thought with Ancient People and Nah Mean, which set forth questions for our new President Barack Obama.
The original Nastradamus performed his classic hits like Nas Like Me, the very crowd driven hits Represent, and Hip Hop is Dead. After saying how much he hates radio, Nas found the next enlightening words to be F*** Radio, leading Nas into his next selection If I Ruled The World. At the end of the track the angelic collection of background singers bridged off to “Walk right up to the Sun, Hand in Hand”, giving Nas the opportunity to pay respect to Gang Starr MC Guru, who passed away in mid April, stating, “My man Guru, he walks.”
Hip-hop legend Guru was not the only one who given respect; the show also featured a special appearance by no other than the DJ Kool Herc, the Jamaican born DJ who is best known as “The Hip Hop Originator” shared the stage with Nas. After coming back to the stage, Damian Marley gave the crowd more knowledge of his roots while the vibrant colors of the Jamaican waved behind him. Damian then engaged the crowd by jumping and pumping his arms to his hit single Welcome to Jamrock, which led to the crowd erupting when Nas started to perform his 1999 hit Hate Me Now.
The night then winded down with Nas & Damian Marley singing the heartfelt and intellectual features Count Your Blessings and Land of Promise, both focusing on the need for unity. Fittingly the night ended with Nas raising his fist while receiving a hug from Marley. If we're going to change the world, it might just start with hip-hop.
Written by Aasha Lewis on 05/19/10
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