Quincy Jones on Michael Jackson’s ‘Xscape’: ‘It’s About Money’

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  • Quincy Jones is not a fan of Michael Jackson’s “new stuff.”

    The producer who masterminded the King of Pop’s solo rise to superstardom, including such seminal albums as “Off the Wall” and “Thriller,” gave a blunt assessment of Jackson’s latest posthumous album release, “Xscape” during an interview Tuesday on Jian Ghomeshi’s “Q” talk show on Canada’s CBC Radio.

    “It’s about money,” Q said. “They’re trying to make money. And I understand it. Everybody’s after money, the estate, the lawyers. It’s about money.”

    The L.A. Reid-helmed “Xscape” is flying high in sales charts around the world, according to Billboard. “Xscape” opened at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums chart this week and it’s charging toward the top spot on the Billboard 200. The album’s lead producer was Timbaland, with additional work courtesy of Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain.

    When asked if he was bothered by the ongoing rollout of recordings featuring the late star, Jones had this to say: “Yeah, but it’s not my business anymore. They’re not our business (laughs).”

    Jones’ comments come on the heels of a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit he filed in connection with Jackson’s projects released after the singer’s 2009 death. In a complaint filed last October in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jones alleged that master recordings he worked on were wrongfully edited and remixed so as to deprive him of back-end profit participation. Jones also asserted that he’d been denied credit for his work on the late singer’s releases and that MJJ Productions and Sony Music have entered into side deals taking profits that should have been included in the calculation of royalties.

    In the new interview, Jones also goes deep into the sessions on “Thriller,” and he dispelled the oft-told tale of how he’d initially rejected “Billie Jean.” “And this whole fallacy of me not liking ‘Billie Jean’ is a lie. It is some lie that started somewhere. Anybody can hear that record’s a smash. And also I know where it came from.”

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