Jay-Z: "We Are the World" Shouldn't Have Been Remade

Celebrity News Feb. 15, 2010 AT 12:34PM
Jay-Z: "We Are the World" Shouldn't Have Been Remade Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

Jay-Z wasn't a big fan of the "We Are the World" remake, which debuted at the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday to benefit Haiti earthquake relief.

"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 [Michael Jackson's] 'Thriller' to me. I don't ever wanna see it touched," Jay-Z told MTVNews.com Saturday night at the 2 Kings dinner in Dallas.

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Critics agree with the rapper. Sniped The Washington Post of the song, which featured Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, "The updated take was horribly oversung... save for the 21st-century rap verses added toward the end of the track." Wrote the New York Times, "Lil Wayne, you're no Bob Dylan.... as a piece of work, [the song] has all the pitfalls of a Hollywood remake."

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Continued Jay-Z, 40, "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. 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."

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His suggestion?

"I think it's time for us to make a new [song]," Jay-Z said. "I tried to do that with 'Stranded,' [the tune Jay Z, Rihanna and U2's Bono and The Edge premiered at the 'Hope for Haiti Now' telethon]. I didn't try to make 'We Are the World,' but I tried to make our take on how we felt."

Tell Us: Did you like the remake?

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