Music legend Quincy Jones had a lot to say in a candid interview with David Marchese, a contributing editor at Vulture magazine.
Jones made several jaw-dropping allegations, including that Michael Jackson “stole a lot of songs,” that he knows the identity of President John F. Kennedy’s real killer and even that he once dated Ivanka Trump 12 years ago. But amid his claims, the prolific producer shared a perspective on race relations in America.
As Jones approaches his 85th birthday in March with a Netflix documentary and a CBS special hosted by Oprah Winfrey in the works, he is speaking his mind on his experience as a Black man, and dropping a few f-bombs along the way.
Marchese asked him, “If you could snap your fingers and fix one problem in the country, what would it be?”
“Racism,” Jones responded. “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 f—ed 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.”
Jones is inferring that currently in the U.S., racists are feeling comfortable in coming forward. For example, in August, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists carried tiki torches and marched on the campus of the University of Virginia chanting, “Blood and soil.” The following day they held a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., where counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed. White supremacists are also increasingly recruiting on college campuses.
“What’s stirred everything up?” Marchese asked Jones. “Is it all about Trumpism?”
Jones responded: “It’s Trump and uneducated rednecks. Trump is just telling them what they want to hear.”
President Trump’s statements on Charlottesville were designed not to rile his most loyal base — white supremacists.
He said he knew Trump socially.
“I used to hang out with him,” Jones said. “He’s a crazy motherf—*er. Limited mentally — a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him.”
Born Quincy Delight Jr. on March 14, 1933, in Chicago, Ill., Jones grew up in Seattle, Wash. He became the most Grammy-nominated artist in history (79), winning 27 awards. The jazz legend has been composing for film and television since the 1960s, having worked with Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and numerous other superstars.
In the 1960s and ‘70s Jones was a social activist, supporting programs including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Operation Breadbasket in Chicago. He’s also a founder of the Institute for Black American Music.
Read the complete interview on Vulture.com.