The old fashioned, smoky-voiced chanteuse Amy Winehouse died at 27 of alcohol intoxication in 2011. In her life Amy released two highly touted albums being 2003’s Frank and 2006’s Back To Black.
Monday the 14th would have been Winehouse’s 37th birthday. Her good friend Nas paid tribute to her via Instagram.
“Virgo twin,” he captioned a photo of Winehouse. “Miss ya.” The 14th of September also happens to be Nas’s birth date as well.
The two old souls, both legends in their genre, were first introduced through producer Salaam Remi. They met on first instance via Skype when Salaam insisted that they were so alike they should become acquaintances. “We heard about each other, of course, and we knew we shared the same birthday,” Nas recalled. “Salaam [Remi] would tell us we both reminded him of each other. So, it was cool to see my crazy twin. She was hilarious. She would make you laugh. To her, music came so easy. Everyone else around her, I don’t know but I’m assuming they wanted her to put out a new record, but to her, she can’t do it unless it’s really time.”
When the media started showing pictures of them together I always assumed they were ‘going out.’ This however, appears not to be the case. Although you have to argue it appeared Amy had a crush on the illmatic legend.
The only song the two performed while Amy was alive was ‘Cherry Wine,’ which appeared on the posthumous release Lioness: Hidden Treasures in 2011 & Nas’s comeback album Life is Good in 2012. Nas was adamant that the video clip be tasteful, to honor her legacy, “She’s a real artist ya know…had to make sure that we represent her right…it’s very important for us that we represent her in the right way.”
Winehouse’s song “Me & Mr Jones” was said to be about her friendship with Nas confirming the fact in the wake of her death. “Side from Sammy you’re my best black Jew,” Winehouse sings on the track. “Mr Destiny 9 and 14/ Nobody stands in between me and my man/ ‘Cause it’s Me and Mr. Jones.”
On the Lioness: Hidden Treasures album was ‘Like Smoke’ which contained Nas. Unlike ‘Cherry Wine,’ ‘Like smoke’ was compiled posthumously. It is said that apparently Seleem knew that Amy’s chorus was written about Nas and that he had didn’t tell Nas until after he wrote his verses.
I never wanted you to be my man
I just needed company
Don’t want to get dependent on
Your time or who you spend it on
Or lose it way you love me
Like smoke I hung around
And be your balance (Amy’s Chorus about Nas)
An underrated and lesser known track but one definitely worth a listen…
On Power FM’s radio show ‘Big Boy’s Neighbourhood’ Nas spoke about their friendship and her passing, ”She’s one of those people you see, and you have love for, that has so much potential, but then you see there is a cloudiness, there is things in her way, that are stopping her, like a friend of yours that you want to see overcome these things…. Once she left, damn, I really saw her overcome some of those things, you don’t want to accept it.”
Something I came accross recently is that Amy sampled Nas’s ‘Made you Look’ on her song ‘In my Bed,’ Check it out… (Probably not her best effort, an unusual choice for a jazz-soul artist to sample?)