Chris Rock & Questlove Talk 'Top Five,' Hip-Hop And Black Youth Culture In A Sprawling Interview w/ The New York Times
Next month will see the release of Chris Rock's latest cinematic brainchild, Top Five. Rock wrote and directed the feature film, in which he also plays the leading role of a successful actor who's lost touch with his neighborhood roots. Music selections for the film were handled by none other than The Roots' very own rhythm commander in chief Questlove, and both recently sat down with The New York Times for a (perhaps predictably) long and expansive new interview. Rock shared many many of opinions in the crisp, cutting language he's become famous for, while Quest's readily offered up anecdotes from his recent DJ gigs and trips back to his home neighborhood in Philadelphia.
One of the interview's most interesting passages centers upon black youth culture, which both Rock and Questlove agree is quite unattached from hip-hop. "It’s not central to who they are. I went to a block party in Bed-Stuy a couple years ago, I remember a bunch of black kids singing along to Miley Cyrus, “Party in the U.S.A.” In Bed-Stuy!" Rock said. Questlove agreed, quipping that the "hip-hop midlife crisis" is practically a Top Five character in and of itself, and both musician and comedian agreed that racial conversations in Hollywood still have a long way to go. It's a fascinating read that should prove for good Thanksgiving dinner conversation fodder. The Times also shot video of Rock dishing on his favorite hip-hop artists, which is included in the online interview. (Spoiler alert: Chris loves him some Rakim.) Top Five hits theaters nationwide on December 5th.
Read Chris Rock and Questlove in conversation with the NYT here.