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Quincy Jones vs. Kanye West Debate Revisited Online

Legends & Icons

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Kanye West a few months ago proclaimed that he was “the greatest artist of all-time” which is a bodacious claim considering all the greats that have come down the annals of history.

West declared that “It’s just not even a question anymore” and there have been articles in the past also agreeing with the rapper/producer.

However, in the world of producing does West have any argument that he is greater than the legendary Quincy Jones? Twitter got heated after someone mentioned that they thought Kanye West was a better producer than Quincy Jones. The iconic Chuck D of Public Enemy chimed in on the thought of Kanye being superior by some people by stating “People that don’t know Quincy Jones work obviously and clearly use their phones for a toy rather than a tool.”

Kanye grew up surrounded by the gold soul sounds of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Maze et al and it showed in his early production on the “Blueprint” album for Jay Z and his own debut of “College Dropout”.

In 2010, Quincy Jones upset a few hip hop producers such as Just Blaze when he told US Weekly that Kanye should not be compared to him. “No way,” Jones responded when an interviewed said West was similar to him being one of the most sought-after producers in the past 10 years. “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.” (US Magazine)

During the time, Just Blaze defended Kanye West and believed he could be compared to the music legend.

“Quincy may be right in a sense that Kanye may not necessarily know what to do with 20 trombones and violins, but Quincy wouldn’t know what to do if you sat him down in front of an MP, Pro Tools, Logic, either, and some turntables,” Just said in defense of Yeezy. “It’s a different time, different sound, different audience. But, there is a valid comparison there. That response, it just didn’t make any sense to me. I think that statement may have been made slightly in ignorance. I don’t mean ignorance in the sense of stupidity. I just mean ignorance to the fact that he actually does produce records. Maybe he thinks he is just a rapper.” (All Hip Hop)

At the time, Quincy Jones cleared up any idea that he was trying to diss Kanye West by calling him “just a rapper.” He made sure to make everyone know that his comments about West were taken “out of context” as reported by Billboard.

“I’d appreciate it if people didn’t take my comments about Kanye West ( @KanyeWest ) or anyone else for that matter out of context to contrive a story,” Jones writes in the statement. “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.”

It’s ironic the debate has returned in 2020 and with social media being more prevalent than ever, the memes are running wild online.