Big Mike didn’t think Jay-Z was a good fit for his vision.
Stormzy is readying the release of his forthcoming project, due out in two weeks. The project follows the release of his critically acclaimed debut album, Gang Signs & Prayers. The rapper released a few singles this year such as “Wiley’s Flow” and “Own It” ft. and Burna Boy. That’s the second collab from Ed and Storm this year. The two connected on “Take Me Back To London” which was apparently supposed to feature Jay-Z. That’s until Stormzy pulled the plug.
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“Take Me Back To London” could’ve been a collaboration with Jay-Z but much like the title suggests, the Brooklyn legend’s verse may have taken something away from the vision for the song. Now, don’t get it twisted. Stormzy is a big fan of Jay-Z but after they discussed the song, the Croyden MC decided it was better off with out it.
“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,'” Stormzy recounted to Jonathan Ross. Jay asked Stormzy and his manager to tell him about their experience in London which opened up a larger conversation.
“At the end he’s smiling, we were probably talking for an hour and he goes, ‘So what do you think of the song?’… I had verbal diarrhea,” he said. “I was like, ‘I love this song but you being on the song changes everything.’ ‘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.”
He added that Jay-Z was “super proud and super shocked and taken aback by the fact that this kid told him.” Despite this, the rapper still felt crazy saying no to Jay-Z.
“I felt proper bad because I was like, ‘You’re saying no to Jay-Z!’ He continued. “I was like, ‘I know how it goes, Mr Z. You are the most brilliant, busy man and I will probably never get this opportunity ever again but hand on my heart, I don’t think this is the right song for us.”