Quincy Jones, famed producer who has worked with various icons in music, television and film, including Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith, was recently asked about how today’s Pop acts stack up against artists he’s worked with.
“When you come from the era of Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, it gets hard to get used to Lil Wayne,” Jones says in an interview with The National. “I just can’t handle it. There are some good singers out there. Mary J Blige can sing, so can Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. I know who they are. I also know who they aren’t, too.”
Jones did not single Lil Wayne out, expressing his take on much of today’s music.
“Music has gone so far down lately because everyone is going after the money,” he says. “People are making songs to sell all sorts of things such as tires, clothes and alcohol. When you go after the money, God walks out of the room, trust me. I never went out after the fame and money. I was just doing what I loved and the money came. You gotta do what you love and really believe in it because that is your truth. I plan to stay like that.”
Asked to elaborate on music that is made to sell products, Jones elaborated on his displeasure with Techno.
“I don’t like techno at all,” he says. “That’s just noise. I can try it because there is nothing to it but I just don’t think there is anything to learn from it. Now all these DJs are making more money than rock groups. They don’t even need bands anymore. People such as Skrillex and those guys get half a million to a million dollars a show all over the world from Las Vegas to Brazil. As a musician it is extremely frustrating. Because that’s just music to sell products.”
Jones has been critical of several Rap acts in the past. In 2010, Jones dismissed any comparison between him and Kanye West.
“How man?” he said at the time. “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.”
Also in 2012, Quincy Jones III, one of Quincy Jones’ sons, was sued by Lil Wayne because Wayne’s songs were used in The Carter documentary. Wayne was lated asked to pay $2 million damages for this lawsuit. Wayne had been on board with the documentary, but later sued because he felt it was a “scandalous portrayal” of him. Wayne was later countersued.