An open letter to Quincy Jones

Dear Quincy Jones:

When I first heard Akon’s rendition of the Brothers Johnson classic “Strawberry Letter 23” several months ago, needless to say that I was highly disappointed that the song was utterly destroyed in the name of reinterpretation. Fast forward to the “We Are the World” remake featuring Wyclef, Justin Bieber, Lil’ Wayne, and a barely audible Janet Jackson and my reaction was one of shock and dismay. You can only imagine the pain and resentment to listen recently to T-Pain and Robin Thicke butcher Michael Jackson’s 1982 classic “P.Y.T.” and reduce it to an Auto-Tuned monstrosity of foolishness and betrayal. 

How could you allow this to happen, Mr. Jones?

I read your rebuttal on where you stated and I quote: “Today with Facebook and Twitter and everything, I have never seen so many haters in my life. But it’s people sitting in their basements with their pants on the ground, just being haters. I don’t get it, man. That means they don’t have a life.”

With all due respect to you and your legacy, Mr. Jones, I beg to differ that the negative feedback from the “P.Y.T.” track is a case of anyone being a hater. It’s simply a case of music consumers and admirers being very upset at the fact that some of the most timeless and classic songs of your illustrious career have been reduced to inferior production and vocalists who have no business covering this music. I truly believe that fans of your works deserve more from a man responsible for giving us such musical treasures as The Dude, Off the Wall, Thriller, “We Are the World,” and the amazing score to The Color Purple. Don’t you agree, sir?

And what kind of musical world do I live in where in one interview, you offer your disdain for Lady Gaga’s music but yet you executive produce an album that’s full of Auto-Tune? You want to label me a hater because I don’t like this work? Keep in mind that I represent the record buying consumer who gets up and goes to work on a daily basis and at the end of the day, all I want to do is come home and unwind with some good music. I don’t want my Quincy Jones to sound like everything else I hear on the radio these days that forces me to change the station as soon as I hear the latest cookie-cutter song of the moment! Forgive me if I demand much better music from one of the greatest – if not the greatest – music producer of the modern era.

I’m sorry sir, but I will not support this latest endeavor, Soul Bossa Nostra. In the meantime you can defend T-Pain and Akon all you want but it will not justify having them and anyone else making a mockery of what I and many others consider classic works. I guess until you decide to really put your weight behind a real project that features real musicians making real music, I will continue to sit in the basement with my pants on the ground while spinning “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” and praying to the spirit of Michael Jackson that you don’t allow Nicole Scherzinger to butcher that song to be damned!

And speaking of which, wasn’t it MJ who once sang “Enough is enough of this garbage?” 

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