Creolization can be easily defined as a mixture of ethic cultures and customs to produce a diverse set of commodities and peoples. Lechner and Boli stated that creolization “allows the sense of complex culture as a network of perspectives, or as an ongoing debate.” They believe that though creolization is “open-ended; the tendencies towards maturation and saturation are understood as quite possibly going on side by side, or interweaving.” Though creolization can be opaque, unyielding a definite defined new culture, many admirable entities emerge from this mixture of cultures.
One example of this emergence is a new fusion of harmonized beats and lyrical melodies, present in the album Distant Relatives. This album was produced by hip hop artist Nas, along with singer song writer Damien Marley, the son of musician Bob Marley. Both musicians are extremely talented yet have very different song styles. Nas’ hip hop music is most often associated with rap, while Marley, along with his father, are most noted for their unique reggae style music. Though both artists come from different backgrounds and social status’, each one has something special to offer to the album.
Many fans of both artists were surprised, and anxious at the rise of this album. Many were impressed with the real life issues being represented in the album, along with it’s Zion-style of presentation. Listeners have indeed taken on a new concept of music after enjoying the collaboration. The artists had decided to put forth this album to prove that there are more important issues that race and culture inequalities that must be addressed. Both artists came together to mix their own unique qualities while noting the importance of poverty, equality and religious freedom.
Both Nas and Damien took a trip to Trenchtown to film some of the albums videos, while experiencing firsthand the Jamaican culture. This allowed Nas to write about an experience he had truly felt, rather than speaking of something he knew very little of. The albums success linked Jamaican cultures and Western cultures alike. Global success was not difficult for Distant Relatives due to the albums realizations of an array of cultural commodities, and practices.
Those who listen to hip hop music may like the beat and lyrics, as well as reggae fans like the melody and tone of their music, yet Distant Relatives was the first album to represent a concept through the voice of two musical icons. Creolization is most definitely present in the work of Nas and Damien Marley, as I very sure they are aware. The impact of the album has precisely proven that cultural relativism is present today amongst even the famous.
The Globalization Reader, Frank Lechner, John Boli, 2008