October 17, 2012


Questlove to Teach Classic Albums Course At NYU

Johnny Nunez
Johnny Nunez

One of the coolest dudes on the planet is about to get another feather in his Afro. Questlove will teach a course on what it means for an album to become "classic" for NYU's spring semester. (In other words, those lucky NYU SOBs just got more bragging rights.) The idea stemmed from Quest's thoughtful online K.O. of an NPR intern's cavalier dismissal of Public Enemy's 1988 classic It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

Questo's authoritative explanation of what factors transpire to make a classic album prompted associate professor of recorded music Jason King to reach out to the hip hop drummer. King also enlisted Grammy-winning reissue producer Harry Weinger, who crafted the definitive James Brown box set Star Time, with the idea of teaching a university class on the subject.

The result? A two-credit course that will cover two albums from Sly & the Family Stone (Stand!, There's a Riot Goin' On), Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul, Led Zeppelin's fourth album, Prince's Dirty Mind, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall and the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique.

"[Questlove] really understands the history of music in a way that you would previously only expect from music journalists," King told Billboard. "So it's exciting to have him in this position doing something that in many ways comes naturally to him."

This sounds a lot more fulfilling than that NYU course James Franco taught to his students over Skype. Just sayin'.