The Roots drummers memoir Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove is full of great stories, like when he completely embarrassed himself in front of Prince.
1. Questlove was a sputtering, nervous mess when he first met his idol, Prince.
Q-Tip introduced Quest to Prince at a nightclub in downtown NYC, but the drummer was more than a bit stunned when he realized his idol knew who he was:
Words, finally, appeared in the gurgling. Yeah, I said. Just that you are knowing who I be.
Q-Tip translated. Hes amazed that you know hes alive.
Right, I said. That you be knowing me. That, I, I mean you, I mean. You know. That the thing is. At this point, Q-Tip shot me a glance. It was the look you give a guy in a plane when its going down. Time to hit the silk. Im going to go, I said, and I went.
2. After his parents threw away (and even broke!) his records from artists they thought were inappropriate Prince, The Time, Vanity 6 Questlove recorded them onto cassettes and hid them inside his drums.
3. Hearing DAngelo for the first time changed Questloves life.
He was frustrated with what R&B had turned into, lacking authentic passion and soulless. But then he heard DAngelos Brown Sugar:
It changed my life. Here was a singer who connected with me as deeply as the best hip-hop. It was the first album, of course, the sensibility that powered the songs, the ability to locate the heart of the best soul music. It was out of step with the times but in a way that made it seem like he was stepping into uncharted territory.
But he had actually passed up the chance to work with him! After being offered to play on the song Shit, Damn, Motherfucker, Quest passed, having sized up DAngelo previously when hed come by the studio, thinking eh, another corny R&B guy.
I had no clue that he was going to be the second coming, he writes.
4. The Roots residency on Jimmy Fallon is the direct result of a human pyramid.
The drummer had initially been set on declining Jimmy Fallons invitation to have The Roots become his house band. But after he invited Fallon to one of their shows, that all changed. Fallon had been hanging backstage, and after just ten minutes, Questlove came back from an interview and saw something he never thought hed see: Jimmy with almost the whole band Tariq, Tuba, Owen, Frank, Kamal, and others making a huge human pyramid.
The group was laughing; in general, the band had been enjoying themselves and having more fun those days. Jimmy brought all of that to a boil, in the best sense, Questlove writes, and I couldnt help but laugh at how silly they all looked. Oh, shit, I thought to myself. Were stuck with this guy, arent we?
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