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

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. 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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