Hip hop legend Nas and jazz icon Amy Winehouse seamlessly fuse on “Cherry Wine.”
Coming off his Grammy-nominated 2012 album Life Is Good, “Cherry Wine” combines Nas’ strong vocals and determined flow with Amy’s smooth and delicate voice.
The drums in the very beginning give the listener the chills and lets them know they are about to blown away. Amy’s dazzling vocals come in as they set up for Nas’ verse.
The rapper gets two verses on the track, telling a different story in each. On the first one, he describes the ideal soulmate. While emphasizing the importance of her supporting him at his lowest times, as well her loyalty and love for him, Nas talks about what she would do and how she’d act like. One of the most important things to him is for her to look past the riches and other material wealth.
Someone to talk me off the bridge any day or night
She teach me how to live, she ain’t afraid of life
Not easily impressed with the rich and famous life
She loves art, she ride out with me on my music tour
She like the herb’s natural medicine, she cookin’ good
She tell me everything is cool when it ain’t lookin’ good
On the second verse, Nas’ changes the subject matter to talking about his haters and the difficulties that come with fame (a recurrent topic on his tracks). This was disappointing because the topic is too repetitive and the previous one was very well-put together and interesting to listen to. Regardless, the rhymes were not too bad even if they diverged from the song’s topic of soulmates.
Although Nas claims the song is not about a relationship between him and Winehouse, the listener can feel the attraction between the two. The fusion between Amy’s voice with Nas’ is a gem. The same applied to the instrumentals, which seamlessly blended 90’s hip hop with a soothing touch of jazz.
Overall, the late Amy Winehouse added a smooth flavor to “Cherry Wine.” She matched the hip hop-oriented beat perfectly and Nas’ captivating verse about the ideal woman made everything sound impeccable altogether. “Cherry Wine” is the ideal song if you’re in love, looking for love, or hurt because of love.