The Roots' Questlove has some powerful thoughts on the Trayvon Martin verdict:
I'm in scenarios all the time in which primitive, exotic-looking me -- six-foot-two, 300 pounds, uncivilized Afro, for starters -- finds himself in places where people who look like me aren't normally found. I mean, what can I do? I have to be somewhere on Earth, correct? In the beginning -- let's say 2002, when the gates of "Hey, Ahmir, would you like to come to [swanky elitist place]?" opened -- I'd say "no," mostly because it's been hammered in my DNA to not "rock the boat," which means not making "certain people" feel uncomfortable.
I mean, that is a crazy way to live. Seriously, imagine a life in which you think of other people's safety and comfort first, before your own. You're programmed and taught that from the gate. It's like the opposite of entitlement.
Reading about this case and the reaction to it has been a series of gut punches this week.
The Roots drummer, ?uestlove, will be schooling kids left and right this spring as he teaches a class on classic albums at NYU. It's too bad this isn't a high school class so my Young MC 'Principal's Office' reference would fit better.
The course will include lectures on albums such as Sly & The Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On, Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul, Led Zeppelin's IV, Prince's Dirty Mind, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, and the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique.
They'll also cover what constitutes a "classic" or "seminal" album, looking at the music, lyrics, production, and business behind great albums.
Billboard reports that the course was inspired by an NPR blog post over the summer where an intern reviewed Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, an album he'd never heard before. ?uestlove responded to the dismissive review in the comments, prompting NYU's Jason King to invite ?uestlove and Weinger to teach the course.
4 things I'm interested in: The Roots, David Chang, fried chicken, and Twitter feuds between chefs and musicians, which is why I was so excited to see Questlove of the Roots and David Chang of Momofuku go back and forth last Wednesday. In the past, Questlove has criticized Momofuku's fried chicken game, and now that Questo's in the game himself, Chang feels a competition on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is in order. The specifics and timing of the throwdown have not been defined, but one thing is clear, in a fried chicken battle between Questlove and David Chang there is at least one winner (wait for it): all of us.
I missed this last summer when it went around originally, but all of Questlove's celebrity stories are collected here. I had to post it at the end of the day because if this is relevant to your interests, and I think it may be, it's going to run roughshod over your productivity.
thing is...i know they brought me in for the freakish factor. but only dave bothered to ask me what do i do in real life....so when i told him he was shocked like "wait you are an established artist?" even funnier was the reference "so if this like us picking up george clintons bass player thinking we got a random freaky guy and we messed around and got an icon?"---i was flattered and said "lets hope you still feel that way when its time for my album to come out"
I'm pretty sure the Eddie Murphy story features Prince, but it's too long to even excerpt.
i "organixed" the shit outta phil in 97 at the grammies when i told him some geek shit like you and stevie wonder are the best ride cymbal crashers in modern rock after bonham. i told him "do you know do you care" shows that example in his cymbal work. man i made his day with that one.
Here's Quest talking about Will Smith's house. So you know Questlove isn't easily impressed, this is the same Will Smith whose house was recently featured on the cover of Architectural Digest.
I'm telling you, the whole site is gold. Read everything.
For more Questlove awesome, see his recent interview on Pitchfork. Read everything there, too. It's great.