Quincy Jones's remake of We Are the World debuted during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver this past weekend. The video that was showed was slightly edited but the longer version is now available on iTunes.
The video, which was directed by Academy award winner Paul Haggis, begins with Jamie Foxx speaking a few words about Haiti and the original We Are the World. Foxx encourages support from everyone, "Do more than just watch, whatever you have, no matter how big or how small, it all counts."
The song has basically the same format as the original but with a simple electronic beat and some verses of rapping, yes, you read it right. There's rapping.
The song opens with Justin Bieber singing Lionel Richie's verse and is then followed by a grocery list of artists, but the most creative moment was when original footage of Michael Jackson was superimposed with his sister Janet, to sing the first verse of the chorus.
The rest of the video then shows quick shots of various artists singing solo or in the star powered choir but none of it compares to the rapping segment. Which even Jay-Z didn't like. He commented about the We Are the World remake, "I think ‘We Are the World' is like [Michael Jackson's] ‘Thriller' to me. I don't ever wanna see it touched." He added, "Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it's gonna be untouchable."
Jay-Z was putting it nicely but how can he like it when Lil Wayne, Akon, and T-pain are singing auto-tune on a classic?
Only time will tell how this remake will stand up against the original but it's the thought that counts, right?