In soul music, sexuality should never be self-evident. Stank, a term which loosely defines the oomf a singer puts into a phrase, is at its purest when it comes from an outsider, who, for whatever reason, wants, nay, needs, to assert herself onto the audience. Pretty girls have a particularly tough time with stank — as much as Beyoncé snarls and groans and humps the stage, it's tough to believe that Queen B. has ever been anything but the Queen. The evidence of her hotness engulfs the timbre of her insistence. But because Amy Winehouse was odd-looking, because she dressed like a scarecrow at a Hot Topic sample sale, the assertion of her sexuality had to be grounded elsewhere.
That's Jay Caspian King remembering Amy Winehouse.
There was no doubting her street cred when it came to the hard living she sang about. Blowing up with a song titled Rehab before she went to rehab. The irony of the lastname Winehouse. The police reports and occasional meltdowns at concerts which had people fearing for her death before it even happened. It's tragic that the ultimate confirmation of the authenticity of her, everything about her, was a premature death.