By Zachary Swickey
Rap icon Nas is one of the only hip-hop stars who had the honor of collaborating with Amy Winehouse before her unexpected death earlier this year, and he now recalls the experience as “bittersweet.”
Amy Winehouse’s (first and likely only) posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, was released earlier this month and features their joint-track, “Like Smoke.” During a video interview with World Star Hip Hop, Nas states that he was pleased with how the song came out, but that it serves as a poignant reminder of her death.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling to do something with her now that she’s not here. I’m happy… the sweet part is that we have the music, fans have new music from her,” he explained. “It’s new because they’ve never heard it. The bitter part is that she’s no longer here to really give it to us and to really live her music and for us to see her smile and hear her voice,” he continued.
The rapper also recalls his fond memories of hanging with the songstress in the studio, saying, “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’m assuming that they wanted her to put out a new record.” Read More...
By James Dinh
It’s almost been five years since the release of the Amy Winehouse’s much loved, Grammy-winning album Back to Black. Winehouse dropped the album in late-October 2006 and we’re still learning tidbits about the 11-track collection that earned the late songstress worldwide superstardom. Songs like “Rehab,” “You Know I'm No Good” and “Back to Black” captivated fans across the world with Winehouse’s blend of retro soul, contemporary R&B and husky vocals, but it was another tune on the LP, “Me & Mr. Jones,” that allured a particular listener: Nas.
One of the many album standouts, “Me & Mr. Jones” follows the late British singer’s tale of a fallen relationship as she sways back in forth defending and disregarding her lover. “I could swear that we were through,” she sings, before irresistibly confessing, “Nobody stands in between me and my man 'cause it's me and Mr. Jones.” Even with subtle hints tossed throughout the Salaam Remi-produced song, there never was confirmation as to the identity of Winehouse’s mystery Mr. Jones until today. Read More...
By Adrienne Day
There's a lot going on in the world that doesn't necessarily get addressed in our Newsroom blog. Here's a look at some top stories making headlines today.
It's Grammy time, and here are our predictions for the winners! (Hint: We're betting heavily on Coldplay.) Also, could M.I.A., Leona Lewis, Rihanna and other female artists up for awards turn the Grammys into ladies' night?
Is Nas' message stronger than his music? We listen to the controversy surrounding the rapper's Untitled, up for a Best Rap Album Grammy.
Day26 clue us in to the mood of their new album — sexy! — and to their dream-team collaborators: "Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T.I., Jeezy, Luda, T-Pain ... we want to work with you."
John Carpenter is back in the director's seat: We hear that the "Halloween" mastermind is set to direct "The Ward," starring Amber Heard, who plays a woman trapped in a haunted mental institution.
Nas has joined some of his hip-hop peers such as Juelz Santana and Busta Rhymes who became first-time voters in the 2008 election. The Queens MC — who's on tour in Oslo, Norway — was so excited about the election that he got in the booth earlier today and recorded a new song called "Election Night," apparently in the wee hours of the morning. DJ Green Lantern produced and sent MTV News a copy of the record.
"I'm currently on tour in Europe with Nas and we were at dinner last night talking about how crazy it is that we're not in the states on Election Day," Lantern wrote in an e-mail. "Someone quoted his verse from 'Black President,' when he said 'What's the Black Prez thinkin' on Election Night?' And Nas said, 'Set up the mic — I'm gonna speak on that.' And the result is 'Election Night.' "
Continue reading the story behind Nas' new song "Election Night."
I've known Young Jeezy for a few years now, and he really speaks the truth. Last week in Houston, he told me and my partner in Mixtape Monday, Rahman Dukes, that he enhanced a song we previewed a while back called "My President." The record is on Jeezy's upcoming album The Recession.
The Snowman recruited Nas for the last verse to give the song a steroid-like boost. One of my favorite lines from Nas? "She ain't a politician/ Honey's a pole-itician." And I have to big-up his reference to Hulk Hogan. Jeezy told us that Nas "went in," and indeed Esco did.
Jeezy comes off as well. And while the record definitely addresses his hopes for Barack Obama, Mr. 17.5 expanded the subject matter, talking about his relationship with UGK and even the rims on his Lambo, among other topics. Bruce Wayne has nothing on him. [In Jeezy's raspy voice] Haaaaahaaaaa!
Read more about the hip-hop community's role in this year's presidential election here.
By Ocean MacAdams
Hey, Bill O'Reilly says you should watch our show!
Bill is no fan of MTV, and he's certainly no fan of hip-hop. In fact, it's safe to say that O'Reilly has been one of rap's highest-profile critics since the glory days of C. Delores Tucker. Just last night, he was knocking Nas again, calling his new album a flop (Bill, it's #1 on the charts). So we were uh, flattered (shocked? appalled?) when this item crossed the transom ...
Everything is peaceful and calm at Nas' rally. Between 100 and 150 people are standing outside of Fox News' Manhattan headquarters on 48th and 6th. Nas is running a little late for the 2 p.m. start time. There are protesters standing behind barricades with picket signs that give the network the new slogan "Your source for racist smears" and ask, "Fair and balanced? Fairly racist."
A random passerby yells "F--- Rupert Murdoch!"
Nas is on the way.
You don't have to be invited onto Nas' tour bus to know that the big screen in the back lounge isn't tuned to Fox News. Ever.
If the track "Sly Fox" ("Watch what you watchin', Fox keeps feeding us toxins/ Stop sleeping, start thinking") on Untitled didn't already tip you off that the MC isn't a fan, then his position at the front of the pack at a press conference held outside the "fair and balanced" news network's Manhattan headquarters should seal the deal.
At 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, Nas is joining the Web sites ColorOfChange.org and MoveOn.org to deliver a petition with more than 620,000 signatures demanding that the network end what the organizations call a "pattern of racist attacks against black Americans including presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle." Read More...
Posted 7/15/08 1:46 pm EST by MTV News in Disturbed, girl-talk, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, MTV News, Nas, Santogold, Slipknot, Spencer Krug, T-Pain, the-ting-tings
With the biggest names in baseball flying into town this week for what will be the last-ever
All-Star Game to be played at New York's legendary Yankee Stadium, we here at MTV News' New York offices have been stricken with baseball fever. It's hard to escape baseball this week. No matter where you turn, there's some sort of reminder that the fastest fielders, the strongest arms and the biggest bats in the game are all here, to ensure home-field advantage for their respective league in the fall classic.
All this baseball in the air got us thinking about music's all-stars — the artists who've shattered sales records this year, produced hit after hit and have been packing out arenas coast to coast. If music had an all-star game, who would we want to see in the dugout? After careful consideration, here are some of our picks — and feel free to let us know who'd go in your team in the comments section below. So, here goes.