Can’t fault the man … for voicing his opinion!
The 25th anniversary remake of “We Are the World” that debuted at the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday already has its share of critics, and one of them is none other than the biggest name in hip-hop.
At the 2 Kings dinner held Saturday in Dallas as part of the NBA All-Star weekend, JAY told MTVnews.com that he appreciates what producers Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones were trying to do with the remake, but it never stood a chance at matching the original.
“I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: ‘We Are the World,’ I love it, and I understand the point and think it’s great. But I think ‘We Are the World’ is like [Michael Jackson’s] ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched,” he said. “I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: [Millions have been raised] through text [donations] to Haiti.
“So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We are the World’ is [musically] untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.”
Many of the biggest names in music contributed to the benefit single, and they invariably gave glowing quotes about the song’s recording process. But critics haven’t been so kind to the finished product. The New York Times gave a mostly negative review, noting that, “‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti’ has all the pitfalls of a Hollywood remake. It whipsaws between attempting a shot-for-shot homage to the original and giving it some new twists.”
Jay-Z’s take? They should have just written a new song.
“As everyone knows, I have tremendous respect for Quincy Jones. Of course, I think he’s genius, as everyone else does. [But] I think it’s time for us to make a new [song]. I tried to do that with ‘Stranded,’ the song Jay, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and the Edge premiered at the ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon]. I didn’t try to make ‘We Are the World,’ but I tried to make our take on how we felt.”