Nas and Damian Marley by Jeremiah GarciaLast night, I had the privilege of attending an intimate live performance session hosted by KCRW with Hip-hop icon Nas and Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley.  The show was simply incredible featuring songs off their new album “Distant Relatives” as well as an on-stage discussion with Nas, Marley and DJ Garth Trinidad. Trinidad asked the two about the roots of their relationship, the connection between hip hop and reggae and growing up with fathers who have had such a strong influence on global music (Nas’ father is Olu Dara, a global multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and lyricist and Damian is the youngest son of Bob).

Seeing these two acclaimed artists on stage at the same time in such a small and intimate setting was a special treat. In an age of often over-produced music, their music was alive and organic from the core combining the best of hip hop and reggae. If you haven’t checked out this album, it’s one you shouldn’t miss.

Last night’s session was recorded at Apogee’s Berkeley Street Studio, the private studio of legendary producer Bob Clearmountain (if you don’t know him, he’s worked with the Stones, Springsteen, and Bowie. He even mixed “We Are Family!”) who engineered the session. It will air on Trinidad’s show next Thursday, June 3 at 9pm PST. It will also be available in the archives at

Related Links:

KCRW’s Music Blog:‘jr-gong’-marley-kcrw-live-session/  

Garth Trinidad on KCRW:

Distant Relatives Wiki: