“Where’s the drum break in this one?”
In a new interview with Forbes, The Roots bandleader talked about the first time he heard the group’s seminal Pet Sounds album, as well as getting clowned by J Dilla for wanting to purchase the 30th anniversary box set of the album.
“Pet Sounds has always been my dirty little secret. In all our minds, especially black teenagers coming of age in the ’80s, our knowledge of The Beach Boys was that they did a song with The Fat Boys and “Kokomo.” I was dismissing it as pop music of its day,” Questlove began.
“But the day I moved to London in 1993, side one of Pet Sounds was playing at a record store. I had never heard this music in my life, but I felt like I had known those songs forever. I never had music really penetrate a layer of my soul like this. By the time I got to side two and I was hearing ‘Caroline, No’ I was like, ‘Yo, you about to cry motherf***?'”
“So the day that the Pet Sounds 30th anniversary box set came out, we were all in a store a store called Melodies & Memories — me, J Dilla, Common, Proof, and a whole bunch of east-side Detroit cats,” Quest continued. “I said, ‘Yo! I gotta have this.’ They were like, ‘Word? The Beach Boys?’ All these cats were clowning me, ‘Where’s the drum break in this one?’ But a year later I heard something on a track — it was the breakdown from ‘I know There’s An Answer.’ Dilla was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right man, they had some shit on there.'”
Elsewhere in the interview, Quest talks about how the early Black Lilly showcases in Philadelphia took place in his living room, with artists like Eve, Beanie Sigel, Mos Def, India.Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Floetry, Musiq Soulchild, and others making appearances.
He also talks about current artists he likes including Kali Uchis, Miink, Osunlade, Sunni Colon and Ravyn Lenae.