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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam - Quincy’s quarrels

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Anyone who spends time with us knows that we’re constantly on the lookout for celebrity beef. There are few things that we love more than watching two famous people talk trash about one another’s various shortcomings. And while it’s fun when the reasons for the fight make sense, it’s even more fun when they don’t.

What we’re saying is that while there’s enjoyment to be mined from a pair of peers going at it over Twitter, there’s even more joy inherent to unexpected beef. When shots are fired for seemingly no reason, out of the blue, well – we love it.

This brings us to the recent interview that music legend Quincy Jones gave to GQ.

There’s a LOT of crazy stuff going on in this story – you should really read it for yourself. There’s a whole thing about how many girlfriends he has (it’s a LOT, by the way – 22 by his count - and they apparently all know about one another) and the rules that he’s been asked to follow by his daughters – namely, that he not date women younger than they are.

There’s also a wonderful story about a James Brown gig back in 1983 when both Michael Jackson and Prince got onstage to participate, but Prince had some issues that embarrassed him and the Purple One wound up trying to run MJ over with his limo.

(Seriously – read the story.)

But what we’re really here for is the tremendous shade that Quincy throws at one Taylor Swift.

When the interviewer asked Jones about T-Swift’s music, Jones gave a look that was described as “somewhere between disapproval and disdain,” which is awesome. Quincy Jones is 84 years old – you KNOW that dude can express some disdain.

But he was just warming up. When asked what was wrong with the music, Jones basically scoffed, saying “We need more songs, man. F---ing songs, not hooks.”


When T-Swift’s reputation as an exceptional songwriter and lyricist was offered up, Jones grumbled “Whatever crumbles your cookie” (which, just as an aside, is such a grandpa way to be dismissive and we love it). So what’s missing from Tay Tay’s music, Quincy?

“Knowing what you’re doing.”

He went on to challenge her work ethic – and really, by extension the work ethics of all these young whippersnappers today – saying stuff like “The only place you find success before work is the dictionary, and that’s alphabetical.”

Just so, so good.

Look, this is relatively tame stuff as far as Celebrity Slam is concerned. We get that. And it’s not like this beef is particularly spicy.

But don’t you think that there’s something wonderful about Quincy Jones throwing some largely unprovoked shade? Does anyone really think that Quincy Jones has ever bothered to listen to a Taylor Swift song? Could he even pick her out of a lineup? What the hell does he care if people buy her records?

It's the beef equivalent of an old man shaking his fist at the sky. He’s yelling at a cloud. He’s demanding that these g-d young people get off his g-d lawn.

Look, we can all agree that Quincy Jones probably doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist anymore. The guy’s 84 years old; he’s probably not sitting at the cutting edge of the music industry these days (although it sounds like he’s quite busy in the romance department – 22 girlfriends?), but he’s still iconic enough to sit for an interview with GQ.

As for Taylor Swift, well … she probably doesn’t care. We wouldn’t, if we were her. It’s just Grampy yelling about something at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Quincy Jones is an integral figure in the history of pop music, but he’s not exactly a huge part of its future at this point. That’s where T-Swift sits, love her or hate her.

So yes – not a particularly biting Celebrity Slam this week, but that’s OK. Though if we’re honest, we would pay real money to listen to Quincy Jones complain about things and talk about how terrible they are. Music, television and movies would be great, but we’d love to hear his thoughts on restaurant service and air travel and the internet as well.

Call it “Quincy’s Quarrels.” Who says no? Keep shaking that fist with impotent rage, man. 


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