What is there to say about Amy Winehouse? I can’t quite seem to find an appropriate entryway into this post. Should I speak on the sublime talent and emotive voice she possessed? Maybe I should take this chance to speak on the countless women of color making the kind of music Amy made (music which was certainly not born via a white English girl) who do not receive half the attention and resources Amy did? Should I focus on her destructive, self-sabotaging last years? Perhaps I should examine how the media at large and we (you and I) contributed to the public crucifixion of a troubled young woman that in turn led us to greet the news of her death as something to be expected? No one choice seems fair or justified.
In my opinion, Amy Winehouse was a true original. Not because the music she made was completely original, it is undoubtedly indebted to a long and recorded musical lineage. I deem her an original because of her, what I saw from her from my monitor, my car, my TV and my turntable. She possessed that intangible quality that drew eyes to her. In this age of over-development and extreme artist manufacturing, she was a star. Her vulnerability only helped mythologize her further. Most of us, especially the young ones, don’t have to venture far from our lives to find examples of addiction. She bore her wounds raw and now she’s gone.
Big Boi of Outkast tweeted this remix a few days after her passing. Organized Noize is a trail-blazing Southern rap production group. Enjoy.