Amy Winehouse's Top Ten Hip-Hop Collaborations
Rappers loved Amy Winehouse. The British warbler might not have collaborated with rap chaps to the extent that Mary J Blige has, but when she passed away earlier this year she did so leaving behind a discernible trail of hip-hop goodies. And the songs suggest there was a genuine bond and shared mentality between Winehouse and her rap suitors, unlike many a cobbled-together rapper-meets-singer tryst.
The posthumous project Lioness: Hidden Treasures, which has input from longtime Winehouse producer Salaam Remi and guest spots from Nas and ?uestlove, comes out this week. Here are Winehouse's ten most persuasive dalliances with the rap world.
"You Know I'm No Good" feat. Ghostface Killah
The Amy and Tony show in full effect, here big Ghost moseys onto a remix of Winehouse's precursory warning to a suitor. Producer Mark Ronson's gritty drums and perky horn stabs are a fine fit for the rap wail of the Wu's most emotional MC, and Ghost responds by winding himself up a treat as his answer verse unravels. Then comes the climax: "Say my name, that's right, I'm high post/ Get the champagne, love, word up, we gon' toast!"
"Rehab" feat. Jay-Z
"You are now rocking with the best, Amy baby!" So yelps Uncle Shawn on his remix of Winehouse's defiantly hedonistic statement. Jay explains how "Six pair of kicks is my definition of twelve steps" and then bigs up "Britney, Whitney, and Bobby." The kicker? The promise that "Betty Ford ain't ready for us!"
"Back To Black" (Kanye West Tribute)
Very important character-building things we now know about Kanye West: If you call him a "cunt," as Winehouse did on stage at Glastonbury, he will readily forgive you once you've passed away. He'll even use some of his stage show to pay tribute to you and stoke rumors that he's about to remix one of your songs, as he did with "Back To Black." (Cunts Like Kanye would, admittedly, have been a great album title.)
"Love Is A Losing Game" feat. Mos Def
Cut for an MTV special, Mos Def enters stage right halfway through Winehouse's musings on the inevitable futility of relationships and proceeds to drop a conceptually complimentary rap. Ultimately, Mos gets a dose of his own sour love potion, quipping, "At first it was awesome, now it's just torture/ Cleaning me out with the game that I taught ya." While Mos's melancholy guest spot goes on, Winehouse sort of grooves on the spot as if she were playing Wii Fit.
"Rehab" feat. Pharoahe Monch
More rap "Rehab" japes! This time it's one-time Organized Konfusion member Pharoahe Monch, who builds on Jay-Z's addicts' gallery by referencing Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, the Olsen twins and his other favorite "snobby white girls." Flagrantly, Monch also seems to associate the low point of substance abuse with the misplacing of underwear.