Questlove Remembers Being Held At Gunpoint By Police At Age 16
Never one to keep tales of his past bottled up for long, Questlove posted a deeply moving tale to his personal Instagram account Thursday, one in which he recalls being pulled over and held at police gunpoint at age 16.
Questlove wrote the post after witnessing U2 play Wednesday, and detailed how his first real memory of the band's music is indelibly tied to the terror of being black and at the mercy of the police. "Nothing more degrading in life than the helplessness you feel when you get pulled over," he wrote in the post. "I questioned everything in my head that night: why did we go out?"
In describing how he was pulled over and stopped for thirty minutes "frozen. emasculated.." Quest also explains that earlier that evening he had made his first real purchase of U2 music. Ecstatic and playing his new collection on the car's stereo, he and his friends were pulled over on Philadelphia's Washington Avenue; through the entire experience, U2 continued to play. Questlove admits to being too scared to even reach down and shut off the stereo.
In the wake of Sandra Bland's death in Texas police custody following an aggressive traffic stop, these new words from The Roots bandleader carry an especially moving weight. However, Questlove admitted that the timing appropriate. "U2 never sounded the same again... I felt robbed of alot that night." Read the full post below.