Nov 23, 2010

Here are excerpts from the Q&A Quincy Jones did with US Weekly magazine in which he spoke about the latest music from Michael Jackson, Kanye West and the state of the record industry:

Us: Kanye West is similar to you in that he's the producer everybody wants to work with in the last decade....

QJ: How man? No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on, man. He's just a rapper. There's no comparison. I'm not putting him down or making a judgement or anything, but we come from two different sides of the planet. I spent 28 years learning my first skill. I don't rap. It's not the same thing. A producer has to have some sort of skills that enable him to be a producer. It's totally different to know what to do with 16 woodwinds you know from piccolos down to bass clarinet. It's a whole different mindset. No comparison. None

Us: What do you think of him?

QJ: I don't think about him much. He's a great rapper, but there are a lot of good rappers. I just did The View with Ludacris, who's one of my favorites. He's a beautiful human being and college educated. I joke with him and say, 'How did 'Move Bitch Get Out The Way' come out of you?' But I was raised around the Mafia when I was a kid in Chicago in the 30s. Chicago's rough. I'm from the streets, I know what's up!

Now I respect and get everything that Quincy Jones was saying and I even agree he is definitely right, but what I don't understand is why he, as an elder statesman, would allow the media to use him to go after Kanye West? I'm pretty sure Kanye looks up to Mr. Jones, if he consider himself a real producer how could he not, but I just don't understand whyQuincy would allow himself to be used like this. Quincy Jones is entitled to his opinion just like everyone else, but this is one time I wished he would have handled the situation better. Instead of kicking a man when he is down (and everyone is piling on) he could have pulled Kanye under his wing and mentored him. I'm just saying...

Continue reading to see what Quincy Jones had to say about Michael Jackson's latest recordings, the state of the music industry and Lady Gaga.

Us: Speaking of Michael Jackson, some of his old stuff is being released now as a new album. Thoughts?
QJ: I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. Somebody called me up and asked me if it was Michael, and I said it sounds like Michael. But it's backed up by so many voices where I can't really dig down deep enough or I haven't really had time to dig deep enough to identify it. But no way it should be coming out. It should have all stayed in the vault.

Us: Why?
QJ: It seems like everybody is trying to put everything out that they can with him. I don't understand it. It's all to make money. He wouldn't have wanted it to come out this way. They must just be trying to make as much money as they can. I don't know know why else they are doing it.

Us: Why? Because he was such a perfectionist?
QJ: Right. He wouldn't have wanted anything out there he didn't put his final touches on. It's a crazy time right now. We're also looking at the descent of the record business. It's a very curious time right now. I've been in the business 60 years, and I've never seen anything like this.

Us: Is there anyone now that you think has the spark that Michael did?
QJ: Akon, Ludacris or Usher. A lot of them do, but the opportunities aren't there anymore. I'm worried about the young singers and songwriters in the business now. It really is a rough time. It doesn't mean a damn thing because they still steal everything. We're going to have to figure it out, man. I don't know what the answer is.

Us: What do you think of Lady Gaga?

QJ: She's great. Some guy misquoted me in some article and said I don't listen to everybody -- meaning her. I'm not listening to everybody, man. Everybody has their own thing, but it's show business. Gaga is like Madonna Jr. A lot of people follow Madonna. I don't, but I don't blame those that do. She's had a long career and done a lot. There are different strokes for different folks, man, and there is nothing right or wrong. It's what you like, you know. I'm against categories. If she can do it, do it. If she knows how to do it, just do it.


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