Distant Relatives

Having spent his last album pondering American racism, Nas takes his new one to the motherland with buddy (and Bob's son) Damian Marley. Though they decry Africa's ills, they also offer hopeful visions on the Lil Wayne-assisted "My Generation." The live-band reggae sometimes feels sleepy, but Nas is there to slap the track awake — as on "Land of Promise," where he imagines an affluent Africa: "I picture Porsches, Basquiat portraits, pinky rings/Realistic princesses, heiresses, bunch of kings and queens."