Distant Relatives

  • Record Label: Republic
  • Release Date: May 18, 2010
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Distant Relatives is this African contradiction explored further with hip-hop, dancehall, and by way of samples, jazz, and African music showing the way. It's a royal and a striking reminder of why these two artists have reached legendary status.
  2. it's disappointing that collaborative projects featuring prominent artists from these fields haven't yet delivered a worthwhile album. Marley's 2005 release Welcome to Jamrock was a step forwards, but Distant Relatives represents an accomplished attempt to go further, fusing traits with few discernable flaws.
  3. Children's gospel choirs and Joss Stone make somewhat unnecessary appearances, but musically the project impressively meets its goal of cultural connection.
  4. Few best-of-both-worlds collaborations work as well as Distant Relatives, which pairs Nas' incendiary rhymes with the keening hooks and global rhythms that Bob Marley's youngest son favors.
  5. Nas and Marley have created an intermittently novel and vexing record, one that proves that the two genres need not be so distant, provided they can avoid didacticism.
  6. Mojo
    80
    [This album] finds a glorious similitude between the two disciplines. [Jul 2010, p.92]
  7. The result is an exceptionally melodic reggae album that's intensified by rapping devoid of dancehall patois and a hard edge unknown to roots revivalism. The result is also an exceptionally political hip-hop album that's most convincing when it doesn't multiply Afrocentric distortion by Rastafarian reasoning.
  8. They've made an album that is bold and commendable, and nothing like as preachy as it might have been.
  9. This is a solid, serious collection of songs--the product of two thoughtful and ambitious musicians--and an album that doesn't need a panel discussion to establish its importance.
  10. Too often on Distant Relatives, Nas and Marley fall into a sort of middlebrow funk, kicking overripe platitudes over sunny session-musician lopes and letting their self-importance suffocate their personalities.
  11. Distant Relatives will be ubiquitous in many people's summer soundtrack, nagging imperfections and all, and might even enlighten some folks in the process. Music geeks will find plenty to pick apart, but the general population has no reason to ignore this release.
  12. There is very little that doesn't work, with both Marley (obviously) and Nas (surprisingly) meshing flawlessly into practically everything.
  13. It feels almost vain to describe individual tracks, because every last note on Distant Relatives blends to form a seamless, cohesive whole.
  14. Nas and Damian Marley are a formidable pairing, seemingly on the same level throughout most of the album in thought and overall presence.
  15. Nas and Marley's less-than-transcendent but solid collaboration doesn't exactly offer the best of both worlds, but heaven knows it towers above Jay-Z and R. Kelly's similarly conceived, infinitely less ambitious and conscious The Best Of Both Worlds.
  16. It's thoughtful, sincere, weighty stuff, tackling subjects from African poverty to the diamond trade without sounding preachy or schmaltzy.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 3, 2012
    10
    I had to register and write a review for this CD because anyone who heard this and understood what they were trying to do on this one wouldn'tI had to register and write a review for this CD because anyone who heard this and understood what they were trying to do on this one wouldn't have gave this CD lower then a 9 out of 10. No filler tracks, the songs go well together, they keep the CD going. Bad Meets Evil,Jay-Z and Kanye West etc. No one is going to make this good of a mainstream Collabo CD. Full Review »
  2. Dec 17, 2010
    10
    This is defintely one of the best albums of the year. Nas and Damian Marley are one of the two greatest living artists I know. The lyrics areThis is defintely one of the best albums of the year. Nas and Damian Marley are one of the two greatest living artists I know. The lyrics are mind blowing and the production is great but not excellent. Full Review »
  3. Nov 27, 2010
    10
    It's better than I expected, and I had high hopes for Nas and Damian Marley. Great production and lyrics from both seemed to complement eachIt's better than I expected, and I had high hopes for Nas and Damian Marley. Great production and lyrics from both seemed to complement each other very well. Full Review »