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During the NBA All-Star Weekend MTV caught up with Jay-Z and got his take on why he decided against appearing on the “We Are The Word 25” remake:
I have a interesting take on that. 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. But I think “We Are the World” is like “Thriller” to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched. I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts. Like 1 out of 2 Americans donated through text to Haiti. That’s amazing. So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but “We are the World” is untouchable like “Thriller” is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.
Jay-Z also said the he felt an entirely new song should have been written:
I would have loved that idea better. I have tremendous respect for Quincy Jones. Of course, I think he’s genius, as everyone else does. But I think it’s time for us to make a new song, our take on it… I tried to do that with “Stranded” [the song Jay, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge premiered at the ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon.]