Nas may have thrown fans for a loop with his 2010 collaborative album with Damian Marley, Distant Relatives. But God’s Son credits working with Marley on that project for getting his career and personal life back together again post divorce from ex-wife Kelis.

That was conveyed during a conversation with hip-hop marketing guru and Nas’ former manager, Steve Stoute, during a keynote Q&A session at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas last Friday (March 16).

“The reggae tour—what made you go there?” Stoute asked Nas during the session.

“’Cause I got divorced,” Nas retorted, referring to his break-up in 2009. “And I didn't know what to do with myself. I'm now by myself and in that home that's a quiet home by yourself and I realized I don't know how to do nothing.

“So I'm by myself, it's emotional, it's crazy right?” he continued. “So Damian and I, we were talking about doing this music and it happened at the right time. It took my mind off everything I was going through personally…Damian is a great dude. He's something so refreshing that's great to be around. We went to places I'd never been as a solo artist, like New Zealand and Australia. It gave me peace, you know what I mean? It gave me peace."

The Queensbridge lyricist’s controversial 2006 album, Hip Hop is Dead, and late singer Amy Winehouse were amongst the other topics that Nas discussed with Stoute during Friday’s conversation.

In addition to the SXSW festivities, last week was a big one for Nas, who also dropped “The Don,” a new single produced by frequent collaborator Salaam Remi and the late Heavy D.—Mark Lelinwalla