Questlove is writing a memoir. Of course Questlove is writing a memoir. It’s almost like all of Questlove’s life — from grinding out worldwide tours with the Roots to finding minor TV stardom via Jimmy Fallon, from coaxing brilliance out of the world’s most reclusive geniuses to backing Hov on the world’s glitziest stages — has been leading up to this, right here. But he’s not only led a theatrically, elaborately involved life he’s also got the chops to tell it. Through Twitter and his celebrity stories and a thousand magazine guest columns and opinion pieces, he’s proven himself as a sharp, no-B.S. writer that would have made one hell of a music journalist if he’d never picked up a pair of drumsticks. So yes to this memoir. A thousand times yes.
It’s called Mo’ Meta Blues, which is perfect, as it’s a riff off Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, from which the Roots snagged that bit of identity-defining dialogue that intro’d their classic, Things Fall Apart:
Bleek: “I mean, you’ve been out there, you’re on the bandstand, you look out into the audience, what do you see? You see Japanese, you see, you see West Germans, you see, you know, Slabobic, anything except our people — it makes no sense. It incenses me that our own people don’t realize our own heritage, our own culture, this is our music, man.”
Shadow: “That’s bullshit the people don’t come because you grandiose motherfuckers don’t play shit that they like. If you played the shit that they like, then people would come, simple as that.”
Anyway — the details, via press release:
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson announces the release of Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove. The collection is a punch-drunk memoir in which everyone’s favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life, and unearths some pivotal moments in Black music and pop culture. But more than just a series of remembrances Mo’ Meta Blues is a book that also questions the nature of memory and the idea of a post modern Black man saddled with some post-modern Blues. It’s the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind. It’s a rare gift that gives as well as takes in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences — from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950’s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way though the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with The Roots, aka, the last hip hop band on Earth. The book also has some musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D’Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!
Co-written with The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman, it’ll be out June 18. So — is it too early to start talking about who’ll play Quest in the adaptation biopic?