The group discussed generational differences in an interview with Hot 97.
Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show welcomed The Roots this morning to discuss their AMC series Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America. Host Ebro Darden introduced the topic of documenting hip-hop culture, asking the crew about their motivations for producing the show. Questlove cited an MTV feature where staff members played their intern’s classic albums from multiple genres. He equated the premise to his parents introducing him to Stevie Wonder’s music.
“Without context, you’re playing these 16-year olds music that’s 10 years older than they are. For a lot of us, hip-hop was contraband. I had to sneak into the basement to listen to Straight Outta Compton. That’s the type of household I had. A lot of people’s hip-hop experience is this secret that you don’t get until you’re a teen. As a result, they were panning it! They were like, ‘Public Enemy? This isn’t as good as Drake.”
Subsequently, Questlove went on to eschew the anti-millennial sentiment in the comment sections. “People were doing their usual ‘fuck millennials’ and whatever,” he said, “I just felt like ‘well, that’s our fault.’ We can’t take for granted what we see as greatness.”
Black Thought concurred, adding “We can’t let someone else tell these stories. We can’t assume they’re going to get it right. With this opportunity to take the reins and tell our own stories as hip-hop elder statesmen, it was a no-brainer.”