Musician, producer, author, filmmaker and founding member of The Legendary Roots Crew, Questlove, is set to gift the world with another book featuring his vast musical knowledge and unique insight. In honor of Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is following up the all-star tribute to Hip-Hop he led at the Grammys with a new book titled, Hip-Hop Is History.
“No one is else is writing it,” Questlove tells Variety from an unusually quiet NBC Studios in New York, where he and the Roots would normally busy themselves rehearsing for their nightly gig with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” but are currently on hiatus due to the strike.
Like his previous titles — most notable “Mo’ Meta Blues” and “Music Is History” — the book will benefit from his near-total recall of music history: things he heard, read about or witnessed first-hand. Co-written again with Ben Greenman, the book will be the second title from AUWA, Questlove’s book line through MCD (formerly called Farrar, Straus and Giroux), following the Sly Stone memoir “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” which is due in October.
Between Questlove’s growing book catalog, his Hip-Hop tribute and his Summer of Soul documentary, (not to mention The Root’s entire discography), it’s safe to say Questlove is an authority on music and Hip-Hop culture the masses could only benefit from hearing from. A real-life documentarian he is indeed. And as far as musical knowledge and expertise go, Questlove is an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree or its roots. (See what I did there?)
More from Variety:
“I’m in the legacy business,” he tells Variety, noting that he’s the son of (and former drummer for) doo-wop legend Lee Andrews. “There was no nostalgia culture before the 1970s, so, my dad was the first generation of the oldies-doo wop crowd. I know everything about curating these types of events, working with everyone from Bowser from Sha Na Ha to Dick Clark.”
Still, being in the legacy business is stressful for Questlove, a man who is consciously changing his life “from having 19 jobs a year” to “maybe” four.
“I’m doing all this because somewhere out there, in 2031 or 2041, there will be a new Ahmir Thompson, or Ahmira Thompson – maybe my kids when I start having them – and all of my hard work won’t be for naught. Perhaps, I will have reached somebody the same way that I was reached.”
And the world will be better for it. Hip-Hop, like all music created through Black culture, has a legacy that should be preserved and protected for future generations to learn from and be inspired by. Salute to Questlove for continuing to be one of the culture’s most prolific messengers.
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