Questlove Hot 97 Square
Questlove Hot 97 Square

Watch Questlove Reminisce On Life, Music & Meeting His Heroes With Hot 97

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

It takes more hard work than words can describe to get to the place Questlove, and the entire Roots Crew, is at. Still, words are what're on deck in a new video produced by Hot 97, in which we're treated to Questlove reminiscing on the places life has taken him, the effort it's demanded of him, his humble beginnings and his undying love for MJ.

The 10 minute clip begins with Quest running down the list of heroes he's gotten to play with. From Stevie Wonder to Prince and The Wu-Tang Clan to Tupac. "It's literally a career--not even a career but a life full of highs. And you really can't approximate which high was better than the other." These moments have become as quotidian as breaths, but the last thing he has become was jaded. Quest sounds confident and thankful as he recalls his earliest days as an artist, drawing on the walls and banging away on furniture to his parents' delight.

As the clip continues we watch the drummer/producer/dj smile as he recalls playing around with the recording stems of Michael Jackson's Off The Wall--digitized individual tracks that came to be (and also not to be) the LP we all know and love. "There's a gazillion tracks--there's everything but the kitchen sink, and what I found amazing was what Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson found not to use," he recalled.

From there, things turn to the subject of The Roots themselves, and how the band's earliest iteration was born out of jam sessions, spontaneity and on-stage freestyle improvisation. Quest thinks back to the summer of 1992 when the group had to make up songs on the spot about people passing by, parked bicycles and who knows what else. Hot 97 wisely splices in archival footage of a very young Black Thought and Quest working in tandem at this point, and we're later reminded that Jill Scott, Bilal, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, Mos Def, Kweli and Freeway all spent plenty of time coming through to eat at Questlove's house, where there was always a five-star chef on deck. With the food already prepared and the microphones set up, the musical cooking could begin straight away for these artists, and in a flash of record deals almost all of Quest's best cronies got signed. The entire clip is well worth the time of any fan, working musician or striving artist. Watch it in full below.