Amy Winehouse was a very unlikely candidate for the role of “hip hop muse”. Her soulful take on contemporary tunes and her tumultuous, tabloid-trailed existence endeared her to an audience that adored her “ratchet” behavior — before that word was attributed to anything outside of a toolbox.
But Amy loved rap, and rap loved Amy. Her rebellious and self destructive attitude was almost a direct reflection of the “f*ck the world” nihilism that streams through hip hop airwaves. Her passing even left a bit of a gap in the conduit between soul music and the urban populace, as Amy was one of the last soul singers who could tread, without backlash, into water usually reserved for traditional R&B. She could duet with Tony Bennet, then sing for a Nas track, without skipping a beat.
This week marked the 3rd anniversary of her death, and in memoriam we look back at some of Amy’s best hip hop moments.
Tears Dry On Their Own (Organized Noize Remix)
Not too long after her passing, Organized Noize – the production team behind all the hits coming from Outkast and the Dungeon family – released this spacey gem.
Love Is A Losing Game feat. Mos Def
A spontaneous cut delivered for am MTV special, Mos moseys into the cut for a poignant verse while Amy sways like a blade of grass in a strong breeze.
Nas “Cherry Wine” feat. Amy Winehouse
Nas and Amy became fast friends during her tenure at the top. Sharing a collaborator in Nas’s longtime producer Salaam Remi, the two combined for this cut which was released posthumously on Nas’s latest album Life Is Good.
Rehab (Remix) feat. Jay-Z
As strong as a debut as Amy’s “Rehab” single enjoyed, this remix took her ode to drug use to a new audience. Jay never misses an opportunity to be relevant and this move put more time on his clock.
Me and Mr. Jones
Rumored to be a tune about Amy’s infatuation with Mr. Nasir Bin Olu Dura Jones, aka Nas … any girl obsessed with Nas is down with us.