New York rap veteran Nas recently reflected on his relationship with the late Amy Winehouse and how her disinterest in rushing out new records reflected his own style.
Like himself, Nas said Winehouse felt motivated to put out music only when the time was right rather than force new hits.
“The first time I heard Amy, Salaam Remi produced some stuff for me and we were working again and he played me her stuff and I was like, instantly, the voice just caught me and that was like 2004,” Nas revealed in an interview. “Before I met her in-person, I met her at Salaam Remi’s studio again on Skype. He would talk to her on Skype. She would be in London and he’d be in the studio in the [United] States and be at the crib and that’s how we heard of each other of course and we knew we shared the same birthdays so Salaam would tell us how we both reminded him of each other. … She was hilarious, man. She would make you laugh. To her, music came so easy, to everyone else, I guess around her, I don’t know this but I assume this, they wanted her to put out a new record. And to her, she can’t really do it until it’s really time. And whenever that time is, only time will tell.” (SOHH)
He also reflected on recording posthumous collaborations with Winehouse including their new “Like Smoke” duet.
“She can’t just give you a record because her fans, she’s hot and it’s going to sell records. Nah, that wasn’t her style,” Nas added. “She was so nonchalant about it that it reminded me of myself. It’s a bittersweet feeling to do something with her now that she’s not here. The sweet part is that we do have new music, fans have new music from her that’s new because they never heard it and the bitter part is that she’s no longer here to really give it to us and deliver her music and for us to see her, see her smile and hear her voice.” (SOHH)
Producer Salaam Remi recently talked about his aim to hook Winehouse and Nas together.
“Amy sang on records that we never put out with Nas,” Remi said in an interview. “As far as them now getting on the same record, that was a conversation in play for the last couple of years but that just didn’t happen yet, and when I listened to that song, I was like, you know what? This makes sense, to actually make that happen as far as things that she wants to do that didn’t happen yet…As far as myself, I feel like I’m repping her musically because that’s what I know of her more than anyone else — and then as far as where [Nas is] at, he put that energy back into [the song], because she repped for him. I mean, who writes songs for people, unless you really respect them?” (MTV)
In October, Nas confirmed he was the subject of Winehouse’s “Me & Mr. Jones” 2007 record.
Nas confirms to XXL that Amy Winehouse’s classic song is about him… Rumor has it that Winehouse once had a crush on Nas, but interpretations on the song vary. “Mr. Destiny, 9 and 14,” Winehouse sings, referencing Nas’s daughter, Destiny, and the September 14 birth date she shared with the rapper. “Nobody stands between me and my man/’Cause it’s me and Mr. Jones.” Nas recalled to XXL about hearing about the Salaam Remi-produced song prior to its release. “I don’t really remember if Salaam, who was really close to her, who introduced us, if he told me about it or not,” Nas told XXL. “I don’t remember right now. But, I heard a lot about it before I even heard the song.” (XXL Mag)
Check out Nas speaking on Amy Winehouse below: