Questlove joined Jemele Hill is Unbothered to talk his musical journey, the music industry, and more.
In the latest episode of Spotify’s Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, Questlove joined the show to talk about his musical upbringing, his experiences in the music industry so far, and a lot more. Stream the full episode below.
Just over 40 minutes into the conversation, Questlove revealed the closest The Roots have come to breaking up. After 14 studio albums, the group has endured many peaks and valleys.
“The inside joke is this album, Endgame, will probably the first album where I didn’t threaten to leave the group,” he said, holding back his laughter. “The rest of The Roots will say that I hold the record for the longest [holdout]…after three records, it’s like ‘The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf,’ like yeah, he’ll be back next month, don’t worry about him.”
According to Quest the closest moment occurred in the process of recording their third album.
“During Illadelph Halflife, we didn’t exactly have a conversation about evolving. Longtime Roots fans will know like, ‘this album sounds this way, and this album different than the album before.’…I think at the beginning of Illadelph Halflife, I was the last to know that Tariq and Malik desired to rhyme over a more traditional hip-hop backdrop. And after a while, it was like ‘wait a minute? Am I the bad guy here? Did I kill my own group? Are you saying the live music angle is what’s killing us right now? It’s my fault? I took it mad personal.”
Luckily for us, the misunderstanding was resolved shortly thereafter. Illadelph Halflife was a success, peaking at number four on the United States Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Billboard charts. The album is widely considered one of the best rap releases of its time.
Listen to the full conversation below.