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Quincy Jones said what?

Crusader Staff Report

If you think the violence in Chicago is bad today, Chicago native and entertainment mogul Quincy Jones says it was much worse when he grew up on the South Side, according to an interview with GQ magazine. Before he produced Michael Jackson’s record breaking “Thriller” album in 1983, as a child, Jones was nailed to a tree in Chicago with a switchblade and stabbed in the temple with an ice pick.

A world-famous record producer who has made millions and won 28 Grammy Awards, Jones spent his early years on the South Side of Chicago. At one point, he lived in Bronzeville’s Rosenwald apartments at 46th Street and Michigan. According to GQ, Jones’ mother was taken away when he was seven—”to a mental home,” for dementia praecox. Jones said his father, Quincy Jones Sr. worked as a carpenter for “the most notorious gangsters on the planet, the Jones boys.” Jones said he considered becoming a gangster himself.

But the most surprising statement Jones made was that Chicago was worse then, than now.

“The ’30s in Chicago, man. Whew. No joke. If you think today’s bad… As a young kid, after my mother was taken away, my brother and I, we saw dead bodies every day. Guys hanging off of telephone poles with ice picks in their necks, man. Tommy guns and stogies, stacks of wine and liquor, big piles of money in back rooms, that’s all I ever saw. Just wanted to be that.”

Jones, who was raised in Seattle, said he was seven or eight years old when he saw the carnage on a daily basis.

“F—— South Side of Chicago, they don’t play, man. Harlem and Compton don’t mean shit after Chicago in the ’30s—they look like Boys Town to me. Chicago is tough. There’s something in the water, man.”

When asked if he wanted to become a gangster, too, Jones said,

“Hell yeah. I wanted just to have a comfortable life, man. Because it was frightening, and every day you never knew what was happening. That’s what you wanted to do so you could protect yourself. Or that’s what you believed. It’s bullshit. It was a terrible way to live, you know. Seven years old, I went to the wrong neighborhood, I didn’t know the codes and stuff. Big gangs on every street.”

The writer, Chris Heath asked what happened.

“Oh, they grabbed me, and they took a switchblade knife and nailed my hand to the fence right there.” He points to a scar he’s had on his hand for 77 years. “And they stuck an ice pick”—he points to his left temple—”in here, the same time.”

Heath followed up and asked did it hurt?

“F—- right it did! A switchblade in your hand nailed to a fence. Shit, man. And an ice pick here. Fuck, man, I thought I was gonna die. I was terrified. Because you feel helpless. And then Daddy came out finally and hit ’em in a head with a hammer.”

Chicago’s notoriety as a violent city continues. Last year in Chicago, 3,561 people were shot; 678 died, statistics show. The number is lower than 2016 when 808 people died and 4,380 were shot. So far this year, 190 people have been shot and 36 have died.


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