Nas says goodbye to another doomed love of his life, Amy Winehouse, in the video for “Cherry Wine.” Playing bartender/eulogist as footage of Winehouse is projected on to the brick wall of a dark speakeasy, Nas raps, “Your smile put me at ease / You’re the woman I need but where is she?” By the clip’s end, Nas eventually leaves the bar with a woman who is at least a close Amy facsimile, dressed in a tight, cleavage-baring dress with red lips and dark eye makeup.
Reportedly titled after the late singer’s guitar — she called hers “cherry” — the serene Salaam Remi-produced track sits on Nas’ tenth studio LP Life Is Good. Winehouse turns in a masterful jazz vocal that evolves to scat by the song’s end, longing for the man “who is just like me.” That Nas and Winehouse shared a tragic-romantic relationship (the rapper confirmed he’s the Mr. Jones of Back to Black‘s “Me & Mr Jones”) came to light only after her death in July 2011. He’s since called her his “soul sister” in tributes and appeared on her posthumous Lioness: Hidden Treasures track “Like Smoke.”
“Cherry Wine” bares thematic similarity to Nas’ last video, “Bye Baby,” where he rehashed and recovered from the trauma of his failed marriage to Kelis, going so far as to hold up her green wedding dress to clear up any and all ambiguity.