Quincy Jones has had a long, contentious history with hip-hop dating back to its very beginnings, when he was an early advocate for the genre that he says he saw coming "20 years away." He's even had a close family connection; his daughter, Kidada, was engaged to Tupac at the time of the West Coast legend's murder in 1996, a relationship he has said he'd had to come to terms with. But in recent years, Q has distanced himself from hip-hop, generally disparaging rappers and drawing a line in the sand between himself and producers and artists of today.

That distinction was made clearer again over the weekend, when the legendary producer and arranger was asked about Lil Wayne and the current state of music. "When you come from the era of Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, it gets hard to get used to Lil Wayne," he told The National. "I just can’t handle it."

Having taken shots at Kanye West, Diddy and the culture of hip-hop in general over the past decade, XXL compiled six instances of Quincy Jones voicing his displeasure at hip-hop as a genre. —XXL Staff


Over the weekend, Quincy Jones had some not-so-favorable things to say about Lil Wayne, expressing that it's hard for him to even endure the Young Money mogul's music. Along with a statement that the music industry has suffered a drastic decline content-wise, Quincy added, "Let’s get real, man. When you come from the era of Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, it gets hard to get used to Lil Wayne. I just can’t handle it. There are some good singers out there. Mary J Blige can sing, so can Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. I know who they are. I also know who they aren’t, too.”


Even though Diddy has reigned the industry for the past 20 years, Quincy still continues to question Mr. Combs' musical knowledge, or if he, in fact, has any melodic understanding at all. “P. Diddy wouldn’t know a B-flat if it hit him," said Quincy in a conversation with Bruno Mars in 2012. “P. Diddy has a doctorate in marketing... He’s got clothes companies and Ciroc vodka.”


When it comes to today's producers, Quincy thinks comparing him to Kanye West is a straight up insult. Voicing that Kanye does not uphold the musicality that he does, Quincy told Us Weekly in 2010 that Yeezy's skills are minimal. "Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra?" Jones said in the interview. "Come on, man. He's just a rapper. There's no comparison."


In 2012, The New York Times asked Jones about his relationship with Tupac, focusing on 'Pac's relationship with Jones' daughter Kidada. "I wasn’t happy at first. He’d attacked me for having all these white wives," Jones said about the relationship, before explaining that they'd smoothed things over. "I remember one night I was dropping Rashida [another daughter] at Jerry’s delicatessen, and Tupac was talking to Kidada... 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."

But that's not where the connections between 'Pac and Q end; after the rapper was killed, there were conspiracy theories aplenty, with one particular one claiming that Jones had ordered the hit on 'Pac because the rhymer had turned down sex from the veteran producer. "I know. The people who say I wanted to have sex with him," Jones said, addressing the conspiracy in the interview. "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?"


In November of 2005, Jones took aim at the lack of cultural research rappers conduct before jumping into the musical landscape, disparaging many for not knowing anything about the legends that came before them in urban music. "I bet most rappers you ask wouldn't know who Duke Ellington or Charlie Parker is," Jones said. "These guys really think they can continue this wonderful life and not know anything about delta blues music... You cannot afford to not know this music."

charlie parker

In 1997, PBS spoke to Jones in a wide-ranging discussion that touched on the effect of hip-hop's use of the N-word and gang culture to build brands, both of which went against what Jones would have liked to see. "...unfortunately, playing the gangster game is very profitable," Jones said during the interview. "It's a strange, strange animal. MTV Raps. You are making entertainment out of something that is just probably the most negative aspect of what we are all about." Later, when speaking about the effect of the N-word, Jones was unequivocal. "It's to be derogatory," he said. "It's too much subjectivity out there to be that careless with the word... I've had a lot of arguments with rappers about this. They think 'it's just a thang.' Just lay down like a lot of other things they say. I think that they'll grow out of that though."


Previously: Quincy Jones Is Not A Fan Of Lil Wayne
Quincy Jones Criticizes Diddy: “He Couldn’t Recognize a B-Flat If It Hit Him”