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Stormzy Says He Turned Down a Collaboration With Jay-Z on 'Take Me Back to London'

The British-Ghanaian rapper says although Jay-Z is brilliant, it wasn't the right song for the two to work on together.

In a recent interview with ITV's The Jonathan Ross Show, Stormzy revealed how he had turned down an opportunity to work with Jay-Z. At the time, the British-Ghanaian rapper was collaborating with Ed Sheeran on "Take Me Back to London"—the eighth single on Sheeran's 2019 album No. 6 Collaborations Project which subsequently topped the UK charts for five straight weeks. According to the BBC, when Sheeran mentioned that Jay-Z would be jumping onto the track with them, Stormzy told Jay-Z that he didn't feel that it was the right song for the two of them to work on for the first time.


Very few people are able to say no to Jay-Z. Most musicians would jump at the opportunity to collaborate with the billionaire rapper and without thinking twice about it—unless they're Stormzy, of course. "I felt proper bad because I was like, 'You're saying no to Jay-Z!'" he said emphatically. He added that Jay-Z was, however, "super proud and super shocked and taken aback by the fact that this kid told him [no]."

READ: Stormzy Will Headline South Africa's 'Rocking the Daisies' Festival 2020

For Stormzy, it wasn't a matter of not wanting to collaborate with Jay-Z but feeling that it was neither the right time nor the right song for them to do so.

He relayed his conversation with Jay-Z saying, "I was like, 'I love this song but you being on the song changes everything." Stormzy added that, "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." He then ended off by saying, "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. I don't know why I'm saying this to you but this is not the song."

"Take Me Back to London" was just one of the songs Stormzy worked on with Sheeran. Two weeks back, he dropped a new single entitled "Own It" where he featured both Sheeran and Burna Boy. The playful accompanying visuals show the trio dancing on the rainy rooftops of London in what appears to be tremendous fun.

Stormzy's much-anticipated second album Heavy is the Head is set to drop on December 13th.

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Stormzy performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage) via Getty Images.

Watch Stormzy's Powerful BRIT Awards Performance Featuring Burna Boy

The night saw the British-Ghanaian star run through a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head.

The BRIT Awards 2020, which went down earlier this week, saw the likes of Stormzy take home the Best Male trophy home and Dave win Best Album.

The night also saw Stormzy deliver a stunning performance that featured a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head. The British-Ghanaian star started things out slow with "Don't Forget to Breathe," before popping things off with "Do Better" then turning up the heat with "Wiley Flow."

Stormzy nodded to J Hus, playing a short bit of "Fortune Teller," before being joined onstage by Nigeria's Burna Boy to perform their hit "Own It." Burna Boy got his own moment and performed an energetic rendition of his African Giant favorite "Anybody."

The night was closed off with a powerful message that read: "A lot of time they tell us 'Black people, we too loud.' Know what I'm sayin'? We need to turn it down a little bit. We seem too arrogant. We a little too much for them to handle. Black is beautiful man." The message flashed on a black screen before a moving performance of "Rainfall" backed by his posse.

Watch the full performance below.

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Listen to Stormzy's New Album 'Heavy is the Head'

The British-Ghanaian grime star has dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album featuring YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy has finally dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album Heavy is the Head. The album comes two years after he released his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer.

The 16-track project features the likes of American singer-songwriter YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

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The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

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Watch Samba Yonga's Kick-Ass TED Talk on an 'African Superhero Curriculum'

The co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum speaks about the importance of indigenous knowledge in creating Africa's own superheroes.

Co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum, Samba Yonga, is on a mission to reclaim Africa's history and indigenous knowledge in a way that allows Africans to centre themselves in their own narratives and become their own superheroes.

She recently spoke at TEDxLusaka about developing a "blueprint for the African superhero curriculum". It's the TED talk that you definitely need to watch this year.

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