Who is the mystery man behind the song Me & Mr. Jones?
Amy Winehouse certainly had enough admirers. Her love affairs were fodder for the tabloids. But was this song about someone she actually dated?
We dug in to find out the truth behind the words.
Let’s take a look!
The Amy Winehouse Story
Amy Winehouse torpedoed into fame with just two albums under her belt. Unfortunately, no amount of awards or accolades could take away her deep internal struggles.
Amy Winehouse was born in the London suburbs in 1983. Music surrounded her from an early age, nourishing her love for jazz. In fact, she spent many nights listening to Sarah Vaughan and various family musicians. By age ten, she started a hip-hop band. It’s easy to see why record labels were fighting over her by age 18!
Winehouse’s 2003 debut album, Frank, sold over one million copies and introduced the world to her sultry, powerful voice. Winehouse fell into the limelight, which brought attention to her wreckless public behavior. She quickly became known as that beehived British bad girl.
Winehouse had a thirst for getting high. Her intermittent relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil didn’t help. They dove head first into crack, heroin, and dangerous co-dependency. Their turbulent love affair inspired her second album, Back to Black.
Back to Black is one of the best-selling albums in U.K History. Winehouse won five Grammys in 2008 for this 2006 release. But more fame only brought more paparazzi and more stress. Although Civil and Weinhouse married in 2007, two years of overdoses and arrests quickly brought it to an end.
In the End
As Winehouse’s music boomed in popularity, so did her bad-girl image. The gossip grew about her weight loss, fights with fans, and collapses during performances. After reportedly sobering up in 2009, she began to date publicly again. A new album was in the works. Unfortunately, Amy Winehouse was found dead from alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011.
So, Who Is Me & Mr. Jones About?
This 2006 song has attracted a lot of attention over the years. And it was never released as a single! No one knew who the song was about until 2011.
Me & Mr. Jones is a song about Winehouse’s crush on hip hop star Nasir Jones. Known publicly as Nas, this king of New York Hip Hop is one of the most influential rappers of all time.
He owns a record label and has ventured into several start-ups. But it’s his musical genius and way with words that has garnered ten certified top-selling albums.
What Is the Meaning of Me & Mr. Jones?
Like any great song, Me & Mr. Jones means many things. On the surface, the lyrics play out with a potty-mouthed babe wondering why she still loves her guy. The music swaggers with soul as Winehouse tries to talk herself out of loving him.
Interestingly, this crush turns out to be more on a fan-to-musician basis—a one-way street. The lyrics reference a 2005 Nas concert in Brixton. The gig made headlines when a concert-goer was shot, and the promoters shut down the event. Whether Amy Winehouse was there remains a secret. But, as it turned out, she and Mr. Jones were indeed destined to meet.
Did Amy Winehouse and Nas Date?
Although they only met once in person, Amy Winehouse and Nas found kinship quickly through the few Skypes and texts they shared. They were even planning a future joint birthday party in their chats just weeks before her death.
Nas described Winehouseas as being like a sister to him. Their friendship was effortless. In 2011, he confirmed that Me & Mr. Jones was about him.
So no, although the tabloids loved to dream about it, Nas and Winehouse never dated. But they did collaborate on several songs. Two of them, Cherry Wine and Like Smoke, were released after her passing.
Isn’t There Another Song About Mr. Jones?
Although there are probably several songs about the Joneses, we’re going to focus on the two most well-known ones. We think you’ve probably heard the first one.
Alternative rockers Counting Crows broke into the mainstream with their 1993 single Mr. Jones.
This was their first single and first album, August and Everything After. Frontman Adam Duritz never anticipated such a swift climb to fame. But this was the early 90s when record labels had money, and Alternative rock and grunge reigned supreme.
The lyrics describe a guy and his friend at a bar listening to music, dreaming of becoming rock stars. It’s a commentary on fame and the misguided ideas that it’ll solve all your problems.
Duritz, inspired by a night out with friend and bassist Marty Jones, wrote the lyrics later that night. Jones and Duritz were like many young dreamers. You know it’s all fantasy. But isn’t it nice to dream, Mr. Jones?
Me and Mrs. Jones
Being an avid lover of soul, Amy Winehouse took inspiration from the 1972 hit entitled Me and Mrs. Jones. Released and sung by soul artist Billy Paul, the single quickly shot to number one on the charts.
Me and Mrs. Jones is a song about infidelity. Writer Kenny Gamble and his team got the idea from two strangers they saw every day, meeting at a bar. The man would accompany the woman to the jukebox and choose the same songs every time. And then, they would leave separately. Gamble never knew if they were friends, lovers, or anything else. He just knew he could write a great song about it.
Are There Any Documentaries About Amy Winehouse?
The two documentaries released about Amy Winehouse tell her story in slightly different ways. According to Deadline magazine, A narrative biopic called Back to Black, sanctioned by her family, is in the works.
This 2015 documentary about the life, music, and struggles of Amy Winehouse won 30 awards that same year. Director Asif Kapadia and his team carefully crafted this complex tale using archival footage and voiceovers from over 100 interviews.
The film won awards not only because of the incredible force that was Amy Winehouse but because the film itself is remarkably well done. Cutting old footage shot by Amy’s friends with professionally shot recording sessions is powerful. And the pressure of fame and paparazzi is palpable.
Winehouse’s parents worked with the BBC to tell their daughter’s story through their eyes. Janis, Winehouse’s mom, narrates most of the film. And Winehouse’s father, Mitch, reveals he had a nervous breakdown after the Amy Documentary was released. He claimed the film went too far, portraying him as pressuring his daughter needlessly.
Janis Winehouse shares that she’s suffered from multiple sclerosis for decades, which limited her ability to help Amy. Friends discuss the heavy tole bulimia took on their dear friend. With love and compassion, they celebrate her life and what she gave to the world. And they ask the audience to do the same.
The Love Song That’s Not
Me & Mr. Jones is a sultry soul song Amy Winehouse could have written about anyone. Or Mr. Imaginary! But Mr. Jones was indeed real. It was a call out to Nas, a fellow musician she deeply admired.
It’s a love song, and yet it’s not. Although the two never dated, this kind of love was more about honor cloaked in a bratty bedtime story for adults only. But in a family, brother-to-sister kind of way.
What do you think of Me & Mr. Jones? Would Amy Winehouse and Nas have made a great couple after all? Let us know in the comments!