Nas & Damian Marley/ Erykah Badu, Wembley Arena, London
Wednesday 06 April 2011
There's always been a natural synergy between hip-hop and reggae: the rebellious sentiment, the headstrong figureheads, all respectively communicating a struggle that seems to transcend their own tribes of followers and find its place on a bigger stage. So it wasn't a complete shock that when Nas and Damian Marley released their collaborative album, Distant Relatives, last year, it resonated with music lovers and critics alike – even though it unashamedly preached about social injustice, poverty and Africa. On stage, it's explosive.
They put on an effortlessly energetic and riotous display, which unfortunately for Erykah Badu, puts a shade on what was a creative and retrospective opening slot from the soulful stalwart. A genuine camaraderie is evident when the pair open with "As We Enter", respectfully sharing the stage as they exchange verses. When it's Nas's turn to shine – he does his own set of hits – Marley slips into the background, rooting for his "brother". There's a lot of back-patting, half-hugs and smiles.
When Marley takes centre stage he carries the air of a fiery evangelical, determined to inspire everyone to think about injustice that little bit more. "I want you to sing from your GUTS!" he commands, when he takes on his father's "War/No More Trouble" melody. Even when the show dips in places, there's other things going on that keep the show lively – like the two backing-vocalists-cum-Zumba-masters and the tireless flag waver, whose sole job is just that for the entire show.
"Africa Must Wake Up" is the pre-encore finale, and then there's a few more Nas songs before the pair wrap up with a tribute to Bob Marley, reminding this gleeful crowd of hip-hop, dancehall and reggae fans that his message for hope is still relevant, and further empowered by this very dynamic duo.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Red Dwarf returns: Craig Charles quits Coronation Street to return to comedy sci-fi series
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds