While Lupe Fiasco just released his joint EP House with Kaelin Ellis, it appears that he always has multiple irons in the fire–and one rumored project is a collaboration with Nas.
During a conversation with Apple Music’s Ebro Darden, the host asked Lupe point-blank if the Nas collab rumors were true.
“We talked about the Amy Winehouse record, right?” Lupe said, around the 10:50 mark. “It was like, go in the studio, Nas has a bunch of blunts there—he’s obviously ready. … It’s like, ‘Oh, what are we doing? What am I stepping into? What are we finna do right now?’ The conversation that we had was incredible—it was unbelievable. And then it went into, ‘Ok, so what are we doing? What do you want to do?’ And I told him about the Amy Winehouse piece. I was like, ‘This is what I’m engaged in right now, conceptually—maybe it tickles your fancy. … It just tapered from like, ‘Ok, let’s see, whatever.’ Then Nas goes on to be Nas, Lupe goes on to be Lupe. So that’s kinda where it ends.”
Lupe continued, “I have Nas’ phone number, so I’m feeling myself maybe a month ago and I was like listening to some beats, going through the concepts. … I was just like, ‘You know what, let’s do an EP. Life is short, COVID-19. Let’s do an EP.’ I’ve not heard back yet,” he said laughing.
It’s unclear when Lupe and Nas’ studio meeting took place. Last May, the two were spotted at Nas’ Mass Appeal studio in New York, just days after meeting at the 2019 City Harvest Gala in late April.
Lupe is a huge fan of Nas, even getting the second half of his stage name from the song “Firm Fiasco,” a song by the Nas-featuring 1990s rap supergroup, The Firm. In the past, Lupe has also conceded that his debut Food & Liquor was based on Nas’ 1996 LP It Was Written.
It's fitting that Lupe would ask Nas to jump onboard a Winehouse project, particularly since Nas and Winehouse shared a close bond, appearing on songs like "Cherry Wine." One of Nas and Winehouse's last collaborations was the song “Like Smoke.” However, Nas wasn’t really into the idea of recording the posthumous duet with the late singer, which was included on her compilation album Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
“Part of me didn’t want to do the song,” he said during a SXSW panel in 2012. “Amy and I share a birthday, so she was my sister. And she was just so much fun to be around. She would say things about well-known people in the industry that she didn’t like and it would just crack me up… We were all hoping she would pull through and come back.”
In February 2019, Salaam Remi shared an unreleased Nas and Winehouse posthumous collaboration called “Find My Love,” which was included on the producer’s Do it For The Culture 2 compilation project that dropped at the top of the year.