Questlove Talks New Roots Album, 'Tonight Show' and Self-Doubt

FUSE TV - Questlove Talks New Roots Album, 'Tonight Show' and Self-Doubt

A Questlove interview should always have the word “ostensibly” attached to it. We’re ostensibly on the phone to discuss Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove, his recently released meta-memoir detailing his career as co-founder of the Roots, but the avuncular drummer, DJ and tastemaker rarely is at a loss for other things on his mind.

The book is purposely not your standard music bio, including lists of Quest's favorite albums and passages on the history of music journalism, the nature of memory and post-modern race discussions. The “meta” part comes from published emails from co-writer Ben Greenman to editor Ben Greenberg about the book’s path, as well as conversations and footnotes by longtime Roots manager Rich Nichols that sometimes directly contradicts Questlove’s own memories. It accomplishes that rare feat of pleasing both music nerds and casual fans, never pandering to either but remaining compelling throughout.

What was supposed to be a 15-minute interview became a 55-minute discussion on music, release date timing, self-doubt, humblebrags, terrible interviews, mistaken identities, Coolio, Radiohead and Superhead’s Confessions of a Video Vixen. It gets weird like that.

So we should start with some disclosure: I'm only about 60% done with the book.

Don't worry. I wrote and proofread it chapter by chapter as I turned it in, but I haven't read it all the way through either.

Really? I feel better now.

Yeah. I started it yesterday. I'm kind of scared because I don't respect books that are really easy reads. Writing this was like being in college. This is nothing like serial tweeting. It was like turning in 18 Quest exams. There was one point, though, where I forgot I was reading my story and I was actually in third person reading this guy's story. But one of my biggest fears is that my story was boring and not exciting enough.

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