In an interview with Us Magazine legendary producer Quincy Jones brushed off a Kanye West comparison they made. After the interviewer said “Kanye West is similar to you in that he’s the producer everybody wants to work with in the last decade….” before Quincy cut them off.
“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.”
When pressed what he thinks about West, he didn’t offer up much. “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!”
UPDATE: Quincy Jones posted a response on his website to ensure people he meant no disrespect to Kanye West.
“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.”