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Damian Marley waves the Lion of Judah flag with Nas at Mile High Music Festival

Damian Marley (left) and Nas on the Kyocera main stage.
Damian Marley (left) and Nas on the Kyocera main stage.
Aaron Thackeray

My first set of the day was Nas and Damian Marley, mostly because I walked in and that was who was playing the main stage. Normally, straight-up reggae is a little boring to me, and to be sure: The reggae crowd was out.

A member of Marley's band waves the Ethiopian Lion of Judah flag on the Kyorcera main stage.
A member of Marley's band waves the Ethiopian Lion of Judah flag on the Kyorcera main stage.
Aaron Thackeray

There was much reggae-dancing (and you know how reggae people dance -- one girl I saw was twirling some kind of stick and wearing an expression of utmost concentration), the weed smoke was copious.

But the way the super-tight backing band segued from more traditional reggae grooves to straight-up hip-hop beats was fluid and flawless, and let's face it: Nas's flow is sick. The veteran Brooklyn emcee and one-time young rap prodigy has paid his dues and then some, and it shows: The man controls a stage like nobody's business.


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