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29 November 2019, 11:55
Stormzy turned down Jay-Z amid their plans to collaborate.
Stormzy was working with Jay-Z as well as Ed Sheeran on ‘Take Me Back To London’, but the ‘Crown’ singer told the rapper legend and his ‘hero inspiration’ he didn’t think it was the right song to work together on.
Speaking about the song on The Jonathan Ross Show, Stormzy said he and Ed had been planning the collaboration just the two of them before Ed later invited Jay-Z to get involved.
He explained: "We were all in the studio writing; me, Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z.
"Before that I loved Take Me Back To London because I thought it was just going to be me and Ed and then Ed was like, 'Jay is getting on it.'
"It blew my mind. Jay-Z is my number one hero inspiration.
"We got into the studio and we were writing for this song and then he just stops the music and he said, 'Tell me about London, I need some inspiration’.”
Stormzy said he began talking about London, telling Jay-Z all about growing up in the city, calling it: “This powerful, beautiful, greatest conversation of my life”.
He said he and his manager talked about “everything from black culture, community, music, his journey, my journey,” before Jay-Z asked what he thought of the song.
Stormzy told him: “Take Me Back To London with me and Ed is one thing, but now that Jay-Z is on it... This is Jay-Z and Stormzy, what he means to culture, what I mean to culture... I said, 'Is this the song?' I didn't think it was the song..."
But Beyoncé’s husband was “proud” Stormzy told him how he felt.
He continued: “He was super proud and super shocked and taken aback by the fact that this kid told him".
However, the rapper felt “proper bad” to be turning down such an opportunity.
"I was like, 'If you didn't ask me this, I would have just written my verse and we would have done it and I would have never questioned it but now that you've asked me, no’.”
Telling Jay-Z he’s “the most brilliant, busiest man”, Stormzy admitted to him “hand on heart” it wasn’t the right song for them and the ’99 Problems’ hitmaker told him he “fully understood”, telling Stormzy he was courageous to make that decision.