Ed Sheeran has made hits with some of music’s biggest superstars, but he has yet to work with Jay-Z, although they discussed a potential collab until Hov turned it down.
Despite scoring hits with the likes of Eminem, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and countless other huge names, the British artist is missing a Jay-Z feature. He’s even worked with Hov’s wife Beyoncé, and has two entire projects dedicated to the art of the collab.
In a new interview, Ed Sheeran reveals that he came close to getting Jay-Z on a track but couldn’t seal the deal. While speaking with Rolling Stone for his March cover story, he revealed the Hip-Hop legend didn’t think his 2017 global hit “Shape of You” needed a rap feature.
“We were in touch,” Ed Sheeran said of Jay-Z. “I sent him the song, and he said, ‘I don’t think the song needs a rap verse.’”
Ed Sheeran Says Jay-Z Has “A Very, Very Good Ear”
However, rather than being upset, the “Shivers” hitmaker believes Hov “was probably right.” Ed said trusts Hov musically, adding, “he’s got a very, very good ear.” According to Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z “usually gets things right.” Ultimately, he said, “It was a very natural, respectful pass.”
Nonetheless, despite lacking a Jay-Z feature, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” would become a massive hit, topping charts worldwide. As one of two lead singles from his third studio album Divide, it became his biggest hit yet.
The track spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and was their best-performing song of 2017. A year later, the song became the first to receive 2 billion Spotify stream. It was also named the U.K.’s best-selling song of the decade.
Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, Ed Sheeran admitted he quit drugs and alcohol following the death of his close friend Jamal Edwards. Last February, the 31-year-old U.K. music pioneer died from cardiac arrhythmia brought on by cocaine use.
“I would never, ever, ever touch anything again, because that’s how Jamal died,” he declared. “And that’s just disrespectful to his memory to even, like, go near.”