September 22, 2012


Top 4 Things We Learned From Quincy Jones’ 'New York Times' Q&A

Steve Granitz
Steve Granitz

New York Times writer Andrew Goldman interviewed legendary music producer Quincy Jones in a pretty brief Q&A piece, but, boy, did it have a good punch.

You’d perhaps think the questions would cover his immensely successful music career that spans more than half a century, or what he thinks of music today, but it touched on some prickly and significant subjects like racism, gay rumors, Tupac Shakur, and how Michael Jackson was probably not into rap music.

4.  Goldman asks Jones why he thinks Jackson stopped working with him after the two collaborated on successful albums that include Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad. Jones replies:

“He told his manager that I was losing it, that I didn’t understand the business because I didn’t understand in 1987 that rap was dead. Rap wasn’t dead. Rap hadn’t even started yet.”

3. Dating white women, like Sammy Davis did in the ‘60s, was part of the revolution:

“What you have to understand is that a lot of the jazz guys, that was part of their revolution. Nobody can tell me who I can socialize with. Charlie Parker’s wife Chan was white. All the cats was doing that, man. The richest white ladies in America, like Nica Rothschild, who lived at the Stanhope, took care of all the jazz guys, Arthur Taylor, Thelonious Monk, everybody. She had apartments where they could have jam sessions, she carried them around in her Rolls-Royce.”

2. Jones’ daughter Kidada was engaged to Tupac when he was killed. Of this relationship Jones says:

“I wasn’t happy at first. He’d attacked me for having all these white wives. And my daughter Rashida, who was at Harvard, wrote a letter to The Source taking him apart. I remember one night I was dropping Rashida at Jerry’s delicatessen, and Tupac was talking to Kidada because he was falling in love with her then. Like an idiot, I went over to him, put two arms on his shoulders and said, “Pac, we gotta sit down and talk, man.” If he had had a gun, I would’ve been done. But we talked. He apologized. We became very close after that.”

1. Jones addresses the haters and gay rumors:

“Man, this is the biggest age of haters I have ever seen in my life. I’ve been called a blonde-lover, a pedophile, gay, everything. I don’t care, man. Imagine my daughter being engaged to Tupac and me trying to make love to him? And I’m not into no men, man. I’m a hard-core lesbian. Are you kidding? All my life, all my life.”