Jay-Z on 'We Are the World': 'I Don't Ever Want to See it Touched'

2010__02__jay_z_feb15news 203×225.jpg

Feb. 15 2010, Published 7:15 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Jay-Z chose not to take part in the 2010 remake of “We Are The World” for a reason: The Grammy-winning rapper feels the 1985 charity anthem should remain untouched; he says the remake takes away from its iconic stature and meaning.

“I know everybody is gonna take this wrong. 'We Are the World,' I love it, and I understand the point and think it’s great," Jay-Z told MTV on Saturday at a dinner during NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas. "But I think 'We Are the World’ is like Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.' I don’t ever wanna see it touched."

Article continues below advertisement

“I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: Millions have been raised through text donations to Haiti,” he continued. “So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We Are The World’ is musically untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.”


“We Are The World 25 For Haiti” was released Friday night during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The song was produced by Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, and a long list of famed members of the music industry came together for the recording. The group ranged from Barbra Streisand to Kanye West.

Jay-Z 's wife, Beyoncé, was also missing from the A-list lineup.

Article continues below advertisement

Jay said that he feels a brand-new song would’ve been a better approach for a charity jingle.

“I would have liked that idea better,” he told MTV. “As everyone knows, I have tremendous respect for Quincy Jones. Of course, I think he’s a genius, as everyone else does. But I think it’s time for us to make a new song.”

“I tried to do that with ‘Stranded,’ ” he said of the song he performed with Rihanna, Bono and The Edge from U2 during the Haiti telethon. “I didn’t try to make ‘We Are The World,’ but I tried to make our take on how we felt.”


Want OK! each day? Sign up here!

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 OK!. A DIVISION OF EMPIRE MEDIA GROUP HOLDINGS LLC. OK! is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.