Questlove: Hip Hop is "Your Parents' Music, The Establishment"

The Roots drummer explains why crying "sellout" on Top 40 rap is a futile argument

When Fuse's Esteban Serrano asked sat down with Questlove at Bonnaroo 2012, he asked the Roots' drummer for his take on the whole Summer Jam debacle (caused by DJ Peter Rosenberg dissing Nicki MInaj's "Starships"). Questlove gave us an insightful, candid reply about why it's too late to get angry about pop-friendly rap songs.

"I was teasing Rosenberg, saying, 'That's awfully cute of you to try to reintroduce honor and integrity into hip hop.' I meant it sarcastically and kind of sincerely," Questo says. "It's a noble idea, but no subculture stays true to its rulebook for its whole duration or else it would still be a subculture. Every subculture starts under the ground and eventually sprouts forth, and then it becomes your parents' music that you hate.

"Hip hop in its 35th professional year as a culture. It's now your parents' music and it's turned into the very thing we were against. It's become the establishment," Questlove bluntly states. "Integrity is a noble idea, but hip hop is too far gone to stick to its subculture. Now I'd like to see a balance, I think there's room for… an underground and successful [artists]. Once we learn to embrace both sides, I think we'll be better off."

To hear Questlove compare Nicki Minaj's "Starships" favorably to the Black Eyed Peas, and to hear him compare the BEPs favorably to Thelma & Louise, watch the video above. And head over here to hear Questlove give the story behind the Roots jamming with Carly Rae Jepsen on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 

And head over here for our complete coverage of Bonnaroo 2012, including interviews with performers, photo highlights and news about the fest's biggest surprises (including an unexpected set from reclusive R&B singer D'Angelo!)

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