Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson

  • Aired:  06/25/13
  •  | Views: 25,160

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson reflects on the musical influence of "The Cosby Show," remembers roller-skating with Prince and discusses his book, "Mo' Meta Blues." (6:07)

>> WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THE

DRAMA AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE

BAND THE ROOST, HIS NEW

MEMOIR IS CALLED MO METER

BLUES.

PLEASE WELCOME THE FANTASTIC

QUEST LOVE THOMPSON.

>> HOW ARE YOU DOING.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> HOW ARE YOU DOING.

>> OKAY.

>> I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO

LONG TO START AN INTERVIEW

LIKE THIS.

[BLEEP] SWEET BOW TIE.

CAN WE GET A CLOSE UP OF

THAT.

LOOK AT THAT.

>> YEAH.

>> SCRABBLE TILES WONDER BOW

TIE.

>> I GOT IT IN BROOKLYN,

YEAH.

>> YES, YOU DID.

YOU DIDN'T NEED TO SAY THAT

BUT IT'S GOOD TO KNOW THAT

WAS THE CASE.

THE BOOK IS FANTASTIC.

>> THANK YOU.

>> AND I THINK WE'LL BOTH

AGREE THAT THAT IS OFTEN NOT

THE CASE WITH MUSS IG

BOOK-- MUSICIAN BOOKS.

MOST MUSICIAN BOOKS CAN

SHAKE YOU OFF IN ABOUT 30

PAGES.

>> YEAH.

>> BUT THIS IS LIKE, IT'S

PART MEMOIR, IT'S PART AN

INSIGHT NOT MUSIC THAT YOU

LOVE.

IT'S PART ANTHOLOGY OF

HIP-HOP AND PART YOUR

MANAGER SHOUTING AT YOU IN

FOOTNOTES.

>> YEAH.

(LAUGHTER)

>> I'VE BEEN, MY MANAGER

RICHARD NICKELS KIND OF

STEALS THE SHOW BECAUSE I

TOLD MY EDITOR THAT I THINK

THAT HE SHOULD PROVIDE THE

SORT OF FOOTNOTES FROM THE

VOICE OF GOD TO CONTRADICT

EVERY STORY THAT I HAVE EVER

TOLD ABOUT THE LIFE THAT I

LIVED.

>> YEAH.

>> YOU KNOW, AND PRETTY MUCH

IT SEEMS THAT CONTRADICTION

IS WHAT MAKES THE BOOK

ENTERTAINING.

>> IT IS GREAT, SO FUNNY.

BECAUSE EVERY STORY HAS A

FOOTNOTE WITH BASICALLY RICH

SAYING LISTEN, IT WASN'T

QUITE LIKE THAT.

BASICALLY EVERY FOOTNOTE IN

THE BOOK HE IS BASICALLY

CALLING BULL [BLEEP] ON YOUR

MEMORY 6 AN EVENT.

>> YEAH, YEAH.

IT'S REALLY GREAT.

AND THERE'S A MOMENT IN

THERE WHERE YOU TALK ABOUT

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MOMENTS

YOU THINK IN THE HISTORY OF

HIP-HOP BEING AN EPISODE OF

THE KOSBY SHOW OPINIONS

YEAH.

>> THERE IS THE EPISODE OF

THE KOSBY SHOW IN WHICH THEO

AND DENISE GET HIT BY STEVIE

WONDER.

>> YEAH.

>> AND STEVIE WONDERS WAY OF

APOLOGIZING FOR PUTTING

THEIR LIFE IN DANGER IS

SHOWING HIM THE NEW TOY

SAMPLER.

SO BASICALLY THE ENTIRE

KOSBY CLAN GOES TO THE

STUDIO AND SAYS ONE WORD IN

THE MICROPHONE AND IT GOES

AS STEVIE'S SAMPLER.

AND PRETTY MUCH EVERY

HIP-HOP LUMINARY THAT

DEVELOPED ACROSS THE '90s IN

THE 2,000, THEY SAW THIS

EPISODE AND IT CHANGED THEIR

LIVES BECAUSE WE NEVER SAW A

SAMPLER BEFORE.

YOU KNOW, THE TECHNOLOGY WAS

INVENTED BUT THAT'S THE

FIRST TIME WE SAW IT.

SO FOR CHRISTMAS I GOT A TOY

CASIO SK SAMPLER.

YOU KNOW, YOU ONLY HAD 3

SECONDS SO YOU COULD SAY

CURSE WORDS, YOU KNOW,

[BLEEP].

>> THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT

YOU DO.

>> BUT WHEN I MET MY PARTNER

AND THE GROUP BLACK THOUGHT

HE WAS THE ONE THAT, LIKE,

WOULD SAY LIKE YO, PUT

DRUMBEATS IN THAT.

AND SO I --

>> I JUST LOVE THE IDEA THAT

YOU CAN TRACE BACK A PIVOTAL

MOMENT IN HIP-HOP HISTORY TO

A CAR CRASH IN THE KOSBY

SHOW.

>> YEAH.

>> THAT IS THE BUTTERFLY

EFFECT.

>> THAT CHANGED EVERYONE'S

LIFE.

>> EXACTLY, THE BUTTERFLY

EFFECT.

>> ALSO, YOU ARE A HUGE

MUSIC ENTHUSIAST.

YOU TALK A LOT ABOUT HOW

MEMORIES OF SPECIFIC SONGS

CONJURE UP ALMOST

INEXPLICABLE THOUGHTS IN

YOUR HEAD.

YOU TALK ABOUT CURTIS

MAYFIELD'S FEDDIE'S DEAD AND

HOW WHEN YOU HEAR THAT SONG

NOW YOU JUST THINK ABOUT

BURNING YOURSELF ON A

RADIATOR.

>> YEAH, SPECIFICALLY, WHEN

I WAS-- PEOPLE, WELL, I WAS

ASKED WHAT WAS MY FIRST

MEMORY OF SOUL TRAIN.

>> RIGHT.

>> WHICH EVERYONE THAT KIND

OF KNOWS ME KNOWS THAT I AM

ABSOLUTELY ADDICTED TO.

AND SO I GUESS I WAS RUNNING

FROM THE BATHTUB AND I

SLIPPED AND BURNED MY ENTIRE

RIGHT LEG ON THE RADIATOR

LEAVING AN IMPRINT LIKE A

TRAIN MARK THERE BUT AT THAT

VERY MOMENT, THE MODULATED

BRIDGE OF FREDDIE'S DEAD IS

ON SOUL TRAIN.

AND SO WHENEVER I HEAR THAT

TO THIS DAY T JUST

TRAUMATIZES ME TO NO END.

(LAUGHTER)

>> IT'S AMAZING HOW MUSIC

CAN JUST HAVE UNINTENDED

EMOTIONAL CONSEQUENCES.

I REMEMBER ONCE I WAS

BREAKING UP WITH THIS GIRL.

AND WELL, LET ME CORRECT

THAT.

SHE WAS VERY MUCH BREAKING

UP WITH ME.

>> RIGHT, RIGHT.

>> I HAVE BEEN THERE.

>> I WAS REALLY UP SET.

AND AS SHE WAS EXPLAINING

WHY THIS WAS HAPPENING,

AIN'T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE'S

GONE BY BILL WIDTHERS CAME

ON AND I LAUGHED BECAUSE I

THOUGHT THAT IS JUST TOO

RIDICULOUSLY PERFECT.

SO I STARTED LAUGHING AS SHE

WAS BREAKING UP WITH ME.

AND SHE SAID SEE, THIS IS

EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING

ABOUT.

SO NOW IT'S THE SAME THING.

EVERY TIME I HEAR BILL

WITHERS I KIND OF LAUGH AT

ONE OF THE GREATEST BREAK UP

SONGS IN HISTORY.

>> THAT TENDS TO HAPPEN.

FOR ME JUST BECAUSE THERE

WASN'T A LOT OF TV WATCHING

IN MY HOUSEHOLD, BUT THERE

WAS CONSTANT MUSIC PLAYING.

>> RIGHT.

>> SO EVERYTHING HAPPENED TO

A SOUNDTRACK.

AND THAT'S JUST HOW I

REMEMBER EVERYTHING.

>> LOOK, THE BOOK IS, IT'S

AWESOME, FUNNY, INTERESTING,

INSPIRING.

AND THERE IS SOME AMAZING

STORIES THERE IS AN IN HERE

WHERE YOU GO ROLLER SKATING

WITH PRINCE.

I DONE KNOW IF THERE IS ANY

BETTER REASON TO BUY BOOKS

THAN TO FIND OUT THE CONTEXT

OF THAT ANECDOTE.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> THE CONTEXT WOULDN'T MAKE

ANY MORE SENSE BUT IT IS AN

[BLEEP] AMAZING STORY.

MO BETTER BLUE-- MO METER

BLUES IS ON THE BOOK SHELVES,

QUEST LOVE THOMPSON.

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