Rapper Nas turned to reggae star Damian Marley for support during his split from Kelis because their collaborative work helped to take his mind off his troubled home life.
The I Can hitmaker, real name Nasir Jones, teamed up with Marley last year (09) for their new album Distant Relatives and he admits the recording process proved to be therapeutic amid the chaos of his crumbling marriage.
He tells MTV News, "Personal life is what it is. Everybody goes through it. Working on this record got me through it. Rockin' with D (Marley) got me through it. His whole squad, his whole team, the way he rides, his whole culture. He didn't have to push anything on me. He didn't have to say anything particular. Just, I know this is my brother right here. Rockin' with him, I kept my head clear and focused on what we was doing (sic), so it was all good."
And spending time with Bob Marley's son and Damian's producer brothers inspired Nas to bring his own sibling, brother Jungle, into the studio to make it a real "family affair".
He adds, "It's mind-blowing, man. Anytime you see family, you're always taken aback and see the similarities between people. When you see Stephen, you see Julian - all the brothers. It's an amazing thing. Sometimes I think, 'What if their father was here to see all of them, how well they're doing now?' He's gotta be proud - even now. It's a beautiful thing.
"Jungle definitely came through. We made it a big family affair; the Marleys and Joneses: We chillin'."
Nas parted ways with Kelis last year (09), just months before she gave birth to their first son, Knight. The former couple has been locked in a bitter divorce battle over child and spousal support ever since, with the rapper pleading to a judge earlier this month (May10) to reduce his monthly payments to the Milkshake singer.