Three weeks and some days ago we posted a 15-minute clip of Questlove speaking on his personal experiences with stop & frisk policies, a timely conversation with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now released almost on the heels of the U.S. District Court’s ruling that such police tactics were unconstitutional. That however was only the tip of the ice-pick, so to speak, a fragment of the full 1 hour conversation between Questo and Goodman which covered topics as diverse as The Roots‘ beef with Biggie Smalls, hip-hop’s forefathers (it was also the official 40th anniversary of hip-hop around the time they spoke) and his early acquaintance with the drumkit. Many of these legendary exploits will be familiar to readers of of Questo’s new memoir Mo Meta Blues (not to mention haunters of the OKP boards) but there’s more than enough substance and new revelations to make this interview a must-watch. Possibly the most powerful and poignant passage might be hearing Questlove relay in his own words the experience of living 8 blocks away from the M.O.V.E. house on Osage Avenue in West Philly the day the mayor gave permission for the Philadelphia Police to bomb it and the radical Rasta-influenced activists inside–killing 11 people including 5 children. Somehow the personal experience of the 1985 incident snapping a young Ahmir Thompson out of self-pity over being dumped by his high school girlfriend–his scramble to collect his favorite records and vaunted Soul Train collection into a go-bag in case the fire spread to his block on 52nd street–brings the whole tragedy home in a way that’s more chilling than any newsreel footage. Watch the full 1-hour video interview below:
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