In a recent interview with Vulture, music mogul Quincy Jones used his sharp tongue to reveal a few of the industry hidden secrets. Opening up with jaw-dropping statements regarding the late Michael Jackson, The Beatles, President Trump, and Marlon Brando, Quincy had his own way of breaking the internet.
The 85-year-old legend is not one to bite his tongue. In a previous interview with GQ, Quincy revealed his dismay for singer Taylor Swift.
Quincy was forthcoming this time around on Michael Jackson’s success, “Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs,” he voiced. “[Donna Summer’] ‘State of Independence’ and ‘Billie Jean.’ The notes don’t lie, man. He was a Machiavellian as they come. Greedy, man. Greedy.”
Quincy went on to share more of music’s elite gems. Check out a few excerpts below.
On Michael Jackson’s problems with fame: “He had a problem with his looks because his father told him he was ugly and abused him. What do you expect?”
On Michael’s drug abuse: Yes, but at the end Michael’s problem was Propofol, and that problem affects everyone — doesn’t matter if you’re famous. Big Pharma making OxyContin and all that shit is a serious thing.
On something he wishes he didn’t know: “Who killed Kennedy.”
On Rock music: “Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherfucker.”
On a problem, he’d like to fix: “Racism. I’ve been watching it a long time — the ’30s to now. We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go. The South has always been fucked up, but you know where you stand. The racism in the North is disguised. You never know where you stand. That’s why what’s happening now is good, because people are saying they are racists who didn’t used to say it. Now we know.”
On President Trump: “It’s Trump and uneducated rednecks. Trump is just telling them what they want to hear. I used to hang out with him. He’s a crazy motherfucker. Limited mentally — a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him.”
On The Beatles: “I remember once we were in the studio with George Martin, and Ringo had taken three hours for a four-bar thing he was trying to fix on a song. He couldn’t get it. We said, ‘Mate, why don’t you get some lager and lime, some shepherd’s pie, and take an hour-and-a-half and relax a little bit.’ So he did, and we called Ronnie Verrell, a jazz drummer. Ronnie came in for 15 minutes and tore it up. Ringo comes back and says, ‘George, can you play it back for me one more time?’ So George did, and Ringo says, ‘That didn’t sound so bad.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, motherfucker because it ain’t you.’ Great guy, though.”
On Marlon Brando: “He was the most charming motherfucker you ever met. He’d fuck anything. Anything! He’d fuck a mailbox. James Baldwin. Richard Pryor. Marvin Gaye.”
On music today: “It’s just loops, beats, rhymes, and hooks. What is there for me to learn from that? There ain’t no fucking songs. The song is the power; the singer is the messenger. The greatest singer in the world cannot save a bad song. I learned that 50 years ago, and it’s the single greatest lesson I ever learned as a producer. If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.”
Since Quincy Jones’ interview had the internet buzzing and got the attention of musical genius, T-Pain.
In his interview, Quincy reflected on the last mistake he learned from. “My last record [2010’s Q: Soul Bossa Nostra]. I was not in favor of doing it, but the rappers wanted to record something as a tribute to me, where they’d do versions of songs that I’d done over my career,” he said. “I said to them, ‘Look, you got to make the music better than we did on the originals.’ That didn’t happen. T-Pain, man, he didn’t pay attention to the details.”
T-Pain took to Twitter on Wednesday to clarify Quincy’s statement, “For the record, I told my managers (at the time) and I told @QuincyDJones in his face ‘I don’t want to remake any of your past records because I know I’m gonna f**k it up. I’ll never be able to reach the greatest of MJ’ it took them hours to pump me up to even go in the booth 1/2.”
He continued, “And I still hated it when I came out of the booth. Then the song came out and it was even worse than it sounded in the studio. This is legit one of the reasons I don’t work with the managers I had anymore because if I said I was uncomfortable doing something they didn’t care 2/2.”
T-Pain remade Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” for Quincy’s Q: Soul Bossa Nostra album.