Damian Marley


On June 9th, under a star-lit sky, the masses of Austin, Texas gathered into Stubb’s unknown of the night lying ahead of them. We were all in for an awesome show as the hip-hop and reggae sounds of NAS and DAMIAN MARLEY were “in the house”. The anticipation grew with each passing second. We strolled onto the V.I.P. area, over-looking the crowd who was primed and ready to go! One couldn’t help but notice the sweet aroma of ganja pleasantly gathering under the pavilion, and I’m talking “the good shit”, man. C’mon man, this was Damian Marley, this was Austin, and this was The Austin420! Where else would you expect us to be?


NAS and DAMIAN MARLEY created a unique set that blended performances off their solo material, as well as songs from their joint-release Distant Relatives. With an awesome ensemble of two keyboardists, a solid drummer, a guy on bongos, a guy on the African drum, two female backup singers, and a guy who endlessly waved about an African flag the show throughout, the band was tight and right on cue. I couldn’t believe I was witnessing such a performance, for it was a show worthy of pinching yourself, at least a couple times. Together NAS and DAMIAN MARLEY performed numerous tracks such as “As We Enter”, “Despair”, “Tribes of War”, “Leaders”, and “Count Your Blessings.” After a while, we soon welcomed an awesome array of DAMIAN MARLEY favorites such as “Welcome To Jam-rock”, “Road to Zion”, “Move”, not to mention renditions of Bob Marley classics “Exodus”, “No More Trouble”, and “War”. A set from NAS doing a few of his favorites followed, right back into songs from Distant Relatives, songs such as “’Strong Will Continue”, and “Patience” a very moving song that was performed amid a number of cell phones and lighters illuminating throughout the “spiritually-moved” crowd. This was magic!


From “It Was Written” to closing out with “Africa Must Wake Up” (a song about how we are all distant relatives to each other, globally, and how we all stem as a species from the mother-land of Africa), with an arm on each shoulder, the brotherhood of NAS and DAMIAN MARLEY praised onto the crowd and like the end of any good show, we were all united as one! An encore followed as nothing could have capped off the night better than to hear what we heard, Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved”. It was perfect, as if we were hearing the man himself! Nothing but smiles filtered out from the club. This was a great night of hip-hop and reggae, a night we would never forget! ~