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Quincy Jones: “Kanye West Is Just A Rapper” -by Alyson Camus

Quincy Jones, the legendary composer producer, really tells what he thinks. It is not the first time he speaks out his mind (he declared once to Details magazine he thought Michael Jackson did not want to be black), and in an interview he gave to US magazine published last Monday, he may be showing his relatively old age (77) by using sentences like ‘He’s just a rapper’. This is what he answered when the interviewer said Kanye West was similar to him:
‘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 judgment 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. […] 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.’
So is he showing his age, and does not understand what rap is? Or is it fair to say you cannot compare someone like him, a classically trained composer, with a guy who samples a lot of tunes?
In any case, Jones’ answer was pretty harsh, and self important, let’s hope Kanye will go over this ‘just a rapper’ thing without his usual tweet rampage.

But, Kanye seemed OK last night when playing a secret show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, which sold out in a flash despite the high price ($100). I read on twitter the place was fully chaotic and full of celebrities, and Kanye was still rehashing the old Matt Lauer story, but, to my knowledge, not a word on Quincy Jones.

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