Rolling Stone just magazine released their list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots checked in at number 54 on the list.
Rolling Stone wrote that they compiled the expansive list to “give the drummer some” since they are most often the most overlooked member of the band.
In coming up with our list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time, we valued nuance and musicality over chops and flash, celebrating players who knew the value of aiding a great song more than hogging up a show with a silly solo.
The list also included older drummers who played behind names like Bruce Springsteen, Led Zepplin and Eric Clapton. Jazz drummers we excluded from the list. So seeing a drummer from a Hip-Hop group placed among them is somewhat of a feat. Questlove‘s frantic solo at the end of The Roots’ 1999 Grammy-winning single “You Got Me” featuring Erykah Badu was highlighted as a reason for his inclusion on the list. His ability to be a chameleon as the house band leader on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, playing different rhythms and sounds depending on the guest, was also a determining factor in his ranking. In a 2011 Rolling Stone “Greatest Drummers of All Time” list compiled by readers Questlove was ranked eighth.
Aside from co-founding The Roots in 1993, Questlove has also played on albums by Badu, Common, Slum Village, Bilal, Fiona Apple and N.E.R.D. Questlove also served as executive producer for D’Angelo’s classic 2000 album Voodoo. Questlove is set to release his third book, Something To Food About: Exploring Creativity With Innovative Chefs, on April 16.
Do you think Questlove’s ranking is too high, too low or just right?