“I have a interesting take on that,” Jay-Z said Saturday at the annual “2 Kings” dinner, which was sponsored by Sprite and Bing and took place during NBA All-Star weekend. “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. 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.”
It's understandable, but the point of it was not to create a brand new song, they wanted to remake “We Are The World” to appeal to our generation and they achieved it, plus at the end of the day the song itself really doesn't matter but what it set out and that's to help Haiti.
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.]
Nipsey Hussle mentioned to XXL that he heard Jay-Z & Eminem had gone to the recording before he got there, so it seems like they gave it a chance before turning it down.