Quincy Jones is not pleased with reports suggesting that he dissed Kanye West by calling him "just a rapper." In a statement posted to his official website, the legendary producer says his comments about West were taken "out of context" and explains how he really feels about the "Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" creator.
"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."
The controversy began over Jones' interview with UsMagazine.com last week, in which the 77-year-old hitmaker appears to reject the idea that West's success as a producer is similar to his own. "No way," Jones is quoted as saying in the interview. "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 spent 28 years learning my first skill. I don't rap. It's not the same thing."
In his statement, Jones says he still thinks that comparing West's work to his is not that simple. "There is a reason why we put him on the new We Are the World 25 for Haiti - he's a great rapper. But having been in the music business for more than 60 years and having been fortunate to accomplish what I have over that time, it's not unreasonable to put a comparison of Kanye at this time in his career and myself into the proper perspective. This is not dissing Kanye, this is simply trying to express that I'm not a rapper!"
"I don't need to take anyone else's props away from them," Jones concludes. "Let's all just try and keep the record straight."