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Drummer and producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is a Quincy Jones for our times: a living link between the digital science of modern hip hop and the flesh-and-blood textures of vintage r&b.

In this lecture at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy, Questlove returned to the couch for a deep dive into drumming, Dilla and D’Angelo.
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#Questlove #RedBullMusicAcademy #TheRoots

A Philadelphia native, Questlove co-founded The Roots in 1987. The band soon rejuvenated hip-hop with a flurry of instrumental and vocal energy. As the band gained global notoriety, Questlove became involved in the Soulquarians project, a production team featuring fellow Philly musician James Poyser, D’Angelo, members of A Tribe Called Quest and the late Jay Dee.
Having helped shape the sound of live hip-hop and neo-soul, Questlove continued to feed his creative hunger with collaborations, writing, and DJing. In 2009 The Roots became the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show, cementing their place in popular culture.

8:16 – Childhood and his musician parents
21:10 – Hip-Hop history and breakbeat drumming
33:32 – Drumming with Dilla and D’Angelo
45:59 – The Soulquarians
1:02:12 – Critical acclaim
1:25:17 – Black Messiah

18:20 – Jay-Z – “Show Me What You Got”
27:39 – The Emotions – “Blind Alley”
45:59 – Common – “Time Travelin’”
1:38:58 – Jay Dee / Roy Ayers – “Ain’t Got Time” reconstruction

The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We celebrate music, its culture, and the transformative minds behind it. Begun in 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to events, lectures, and city-wide festivals throughout the year.

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