Questlove & Black Thought Talk About the Generational Divide in Hip-Hop on ‘Ebro in the Morning:’ “That’s Our Fault”

Source: Hot 97

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.

READ: Songs That Shook America Episode One: The Story of How it Took a Village to Create “Jesus Walks” — Not Just Kanye West [Recap]

“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.”

READ: Songs That Shook America Episode Two: How Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” Became the Rallying Call for the Black Lives Matter Movement [Recap]

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.”

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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