Questlove memoir

Finished Margo Jefferson’s. Finished Questlove’s. Rick James’ in progress.

I really enjoyed Ahmir’s book. It was fun and funny enough, it gave me answers that I was wondering about when I was a teenager looking at The Roots as if they were my answer to a lot of things. Following their weird pace and label changes through early 2000s, the break out ‘You Got Me” single. Here’s his take on a Jay Dee’s track:


I wasn’t into hip-hop at that time BUT I tripped on that particular track after borrowing the album from a friend because those beats sounded real good. I wrote about it in my upcoming book:


Yes, I felt validated by the fact that I loved that track and that it fucked up Questlove too.

I share a lot of his opinions and I know why: we’re only six years apart. He’s my big brother, same generation. Questlove wonders how to get more fans while keeping the old fans and it turns out that it’s complex. But it’s in the end, simple: a creative endeavor, especially music, is generational. It attracts people from one generation more than others. The Roots being a Gen X band, and the Gen X population being the smallest generation alive… Millennials had Kanye, Boomers don’t care about hip-hop. That’s why it was hard and weird for them and why becoming a backup band for a TV show made a lot of sense.

Now, I’m super surprised that Quest doesn’t mention MC Lyte or Queen Latifah from the golden era or Missy Elliott from the very productive end of the 90s/start of the 00s. Those girls destroyed! It seems to me that if one of hip-hop’s strongest feeling is unity, then you have to talk about the divide and women rapping, because they have been since the beginning. You know, a chapter about it would have been cool. I guess I’ll read their books.

Five stars. I always rate everything good or good enough five stars.

Leave a Reply