Like Smoke

Album: Lioness: Hidden Treasures (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • This song, which details the end of an affair, features Nas, who became good friends with Winehouse after she name-checked the New York rapper on Back to Black's "Me and Mr. Jones." The song was recorded in May 2008 and Nas's lyrics were added later. The track was included on Winehouse's first posthumous release Hidden Treasures.
  • Frequent Winehouse cohort Salaam Remi produced the song. He explained during a listening session for the album that Nas, "was one of Amy's favourite artists." "They had an affinity," he added. "Besides which, they were both born on 14 September."
  • Nas added his two verses to the recording after Winehouse's death and he makes reference to the tragic event when he spits: "I be out in London, Camden/ Huntin' for the answers/ Why did God take away the homie?/ I can't stand it/ I'm a firm believer that we all meet up in eternity."
  • During the listening session, Remi discussed the meaning of Nas's phrase "colder than a penguin's p--sy." He explained it was an expression that Winehouse taught the rapper. "If you think about it," the producer added, "a penguin drags its ass on the ground all day."
  • Remi told NME regarding this song: "She had written more lyrics, she just didn't get a chance to record the rest of them. I slipped it on its head and we had ideas of where we could go with it, but when we came to put together this record, this was what felt right to do with Nas."
  • The Lioness: Hidden Treasures album cover was shot by Winehouse's friend, Bryan Adams. The Canadian rocker previously photographed the late singer in 2007 for a nonprofit organization Hear The World. Adams has become a recognised photographer having also done sessions with Karen Elson, Joss Stone, Arcade Fire, Chickenfoot, and Tommy Lee amongst others. He was also a good friend of the troubled singer, having let Winehouse stay in his Caribbean home during a turbulent period of her life.

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