May 31, 2010 12:00 PM

>• The rap star (right), 36, and Bob Marley’s youngest son (a.k.a. Jr. Gong), 31, discuss the kinship that led to Distant Relatives.

HOW DID YOU TEAM UP?

Damian: We met in 1996 on the Smokin’ Grooves tour and worked together on my [2005] song “The Road to Zion.” It built from there.

DID YOU BOND OVER HAVING FAMOUS FATHERS?

Nas: I was always surprised when someone knew my dad [jazz artist Olu Dara]. I can’t imagine being Damian. Bob being my dad would just be a whole other level for me.

Damian: But I would never say that being Bob Marley’s son has been a pressure. It has been a door opener.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG BY THE OTHER?

Nas: “Beautiful,” where Damian says, “She shampoos my locks/ Always have my back/ She standin’ true to dat.”

Damian: “One Love”—it’s a message to brothers in prison.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER IN THE STUDIO?

Nas: Damian is more of a perfectionist. He produced the tracks, so he knew what he wanted. I’m a perfectionist too, so it was a lot of back and forth.

Damian: Nas has better fashion style. He is schooling me on that.

Nas: Damian rocks the Clarks Wallabees [boots]. I had to go get a pair!

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