Questlove is best known as drummer and musical director of Grammy Award winning band the Roots. He has produced for countless artists including D’Angelo, Jay-Z and Amy Winehouse while acting as creative powerhouse for singers like Erykah Badu. Not only is he a leader of modern music, the Philadelphian is one of the most noted storytellers and enigmas in hip-hop.
Questlove is set to play a DJ set for Shoe Shine 8.5, a combined art show and concert, Oct. 5 at Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver. In advance of his performance, we’ve compiled a list of his best quotes that display both his genius and uproarious humor.
10) Questlove’s adoration of Prince as a musician and cultural icon is apparent through his music and interviews. It’s natural then, that the story of meeting his idol is hilarious:
“I was making noise, but it wasn’t exactly speech. It was a kind of gurgling noise, alternating with high-pitched squeals.”
9) Widely known for his “pie in the face” (as he calls them) moments with his favorite celebrities, the socially adept side of Questlove is never too far off. He talks the ‘not -guilty’ verdict in the George Zimmerman case with sobering reality:
“Remember how nice everyone was post–September 11? Eerie. Almost surreal. Like everyone is acting “too nice,” and I don’t know how to process that. Then there are people that are acting like nothing happened. (“Hey, Quest, where is Dave Chappelle at!?”) It was just one of those days that didn’t feel normal to me.”
8) Not only a music connoisseur, Questlove is a huge fan of sushi:
“I use Sushi spots as litmus tests for people. That’s right: a 90 min dinner can tell me a person’s entire life experience without them saying a thing.”
7) Even being such a notable figure in hip-hop and the music industry as a whole, Questlove is always one to show his humility to past and present greats. He does this through his many DJ sets:
“I prefer to unwind by deejaying. I learned that from Mike D from the Beastie Boys. After a show, he would DJ. Once I saw that, I wanted to do that. And now deejaying is like my lifeline. I love the power it represents.”
6) In his memoir, not only does Questlove talk about roller skating with Prince, having dinner with a roomful of people that included Scott Storch, Busta Rhymes and OJ Simpson, the drummer has been present for some of the most powerful moments in hip-hop. Particularly the famed 1995 Source Awards that ignited the east coast/west coast rivalry.
“I have a lot of those “Forrest Gump”-I was there moments.”