Quincy Jones: Kanye West "Just a Rapper"

Quincy Jones doesn’t have much of an opinion of Kanye West. He’s just a rapper, he says.

In an interview with Us Weekly, Jones, who has amassed 27 Grammy awards during his career, had a pop at laughing boy.

Asked by the reporter if he and West should be mentioned in the same breath, he didn’t exactly pull any punches.

“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.

Ooh, blimey!

“I’m not putting him down or making a judgment or anything, but we come from two different sides of the planet,” Jones added.

“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.”

Jones, who produced Michael Jackson’s Thriller – the biggest selling record of all time – also shared his thoughts on the King of Pop’s upcoming posthumous release, Michael.

“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.”

Update: Jones would like your attention, dear readers. He’s not in the business of dissing West after all.

The music wunderkind posted this missive on his website to explain his comments about West:

“I’d appreciate it if people didn’t take my comments about Kanye West (@KanyeWest) or anyone else for that matter out of context to contrive a story.

“I have nothing but respect for my little brother Kanye and what he has achieved in his young career and I look forward to watching his evolution as an artist. There is a reason why we put him on the new We Are The World 25 for Haiti — he’s a great rapper. But having been in the music business for more than 60 years and having been fortunate to accomplish what I have over that time, it’s not unreasonable to put a comparison of Kanye at this time in his career and myself into the proper perspective. This is not dissing Kanye, this is simply trying to express that I’m not a rapper! I don’t need to take anyone else’s props away from them. Let’s all just try and keep the record straight.”

But surely calling anyone “just a…” is a tad disrespectful, no? But what do I know, I’m just a journalist :-)


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