The Roots’ Questlove explained why 90s Hip-Hop is so important to understanding Black music.
Quest was featured on a recent episode of Pitchfork’s Over/Under series. While there were no controversial moments like when Lil Yachty said Biggie Smalls was “overrated,” there were plenty of teachable ones. Especially when he spoke on 90’s Hip-Hop.
Now that we are officially 16 years removed from the era, we can really sit back and look at what the music of the time accomplished. Aside from being the era that gave us legendary rap acts with staying power, millionaire label CEOs and rappers becoming pop stars, Quest points out that it was an era that connected to it’s past like no other.
“No period of Hip-Hop really contextualized and kept alive the music of the past and what came before it more than ‘9o’s Hip-Hop. When I was growing up, Jazz was a punishment. Like, my dad was straight conservative right when it came to music, and he used Jazz to sort of wipe the demons of all [Prince] and Hip-Hop away from me. But, after a while, [I started] hearing that stuff in Hip-Hop music I was listening to.”
He names producers like Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and DJ Premier as the leaders of that movement. Not to mention we also got the birth of Guru’s Jazzmatazz series.
“They were using what I call the boring section of your parents’ record collection,” he says. “They’re making miracles of it. That, to me, brought it full circle.”
Where is the lie?
Check out the rest of Quest’s interview below where he makes suggestions about what Apple should be doing with their auto-correct function.