Tribal War

Damian Marley and Nas ft K’NAAN

Every man deserve to earn
And every child deserve to learn

Taken from the 2010 collaborative album Distant Relatives Damian Marley and Nas feature K’NAAN in Tribal War a song that dives to the core of whom “we”, having spent the better part of a Friday evening listening to the album the lyrics caught my attention and cut deep on the numerous situations that the lyrics fit in; while Nas explores the streets Damian gives an opinionated history lesson with K’NAAN breaking down five points as listed below;

Here’s the 5 steps
In hopes to explain it
Its me and my nation against the world
Then me and my clan against the nation
Then me and my fam’ against the clan
Then me and my brother we no hesitation
Go against the fam’ until they cave in
Now who’s left in this deadly equation?
That’s right, it’s me against my brother
Then we point a Kalashnikov
And kill one another

African tribal warfare occurs over so many reasons, from religion to territory as European countries that once colonised nations previously divided the continent poorly so at times rival tribes are within the same country, which causes civil war the tribal wars that the song explores.

Man a war tribal over colors
Over money, over land, and over oil, and over god
And over idols, and even lovers
Over breakfast, over dinner, over suppers
Over jungle, over rema, over buckers
Over Brooklyn, over Queens, and over Rutgers
Over red, and over blue, and over chuckers

2 thoughts on “Tribal War”

  1. Some of my favorite urban artists, am glad to read this and your opinion, so far my conclusion is that in Africa most of the wars even though labeled “tribal” are actually resource based conflicts that date back to colonizations and before, where certain groups of people “tribes” were displaced and their land given to other “tribes” and so it continued to this day where without having resolved this amicably then the unbalance always equals conflict that end up in blood shed, just as the 2007 post election violence that took place in Kenya that has now been said to date back to when Kikuyus were “damped” in rift-valley,and thus created an atmosphere for conflict


    1. Thanks for the comment, I agree that most of the problems that face Africans have to do with the lack of healing that did not take place, as nations we never reversed the damage but went forward to blame each other that fleas up and the example of Kenya in 2007 is a tragic point in history that took Kenya a few steps back. As always its valuable to have artists who speak of the issues that face us.


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