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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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14 Cultural Events You Can't Miss this December in South Africa

OkayAfrica's guide to must-see events during South Africa's festive season.

South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it's an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it's about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you're looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.

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(Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage via Getty)

Listen to Wizkid's Surprise New EP 'Soundman Vol. 1'

Wizkid treats fans to new songs featuring Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more—just ahead of 2020.

Wizkid is back. The Nigerian pop star surprised listeners early this morning with the unannounced release of a new EP, Soundman Vol. 1.

Though Wizkid has released a couple of singles this year, fans had been awaiting a new drop and more extensive project from the artist. With it being so close to the end of the year, it didn't look like we'd get a new body of work from the artist till 2020, but he proved otherwise when he took to Twitter at the wee hours of the morning to quietly share streaming links for the new project.

He also announced that a second EP, Soundman Vol. 2, would drop sometime before his highly-anticipated upcoming album Made In Lagos (MIL).

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

CNN Names Ethiopian Innovator Freweini Mebrahtu This Year's 'Hero of the Year'

Freweini Mebrahtu designed a reusable sanitary pad to help keep girls in school and has fought to end the cultural stigma around menstruation.

Last night, Ethiopia's Freweini Mebrahtu was been named CNN's "Hero of the Year". The award was in recognition of her work on menstruation and keeping girls in school as well as fighting to end the cultural stigma still attached to menstruation. Mebrahtu was also awarded USD 100 000 to help in expanding her work.

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