Quest Love, Drummer, DJ, Music Journalist and Record Producer   Leave a comment

Quest Love

Ahmir Khalib Thompson (born on January 20, 1971) known professionally as ?uestlove or Questlove (also known as BROther ?uestion, Questo or Brother Question), is an American drummer, DJ, music journalist and record producer. He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman (with Black Thought) for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, which is now the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He has produced for artists such as Common, D’Angelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Jay-Z, Nikka Costa and more recently, Al Green, Amy Winehouse and John Legend. He is a member of the production teams the Soulquarians, The Randy Watson Experience, and The Grand Wizzards.

[edit] Biography[edit] Early yearsThompson was born in Philadelphia on January 20, 1971. His father was Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the Hearts, one of the great 50s doo-wop groups.[citation needed] His parents did not want to leave him with babysitters, so they took him on tour with them. He grew up in backstages of doo-wop shows. By the age of seven, Thompson began drumming on stage at shows, and by 13, had become a musical director.

Questlove’s parents then enrolled him at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. By the time he graduated, he had founded a band called The Square Roots (later dropping the word “square”) with his friend Tariq Trotter (Black Thought). Questlove’s classmates at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts included Boyz II Men, jazz bassist Christian McBride, jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, and singer Amel Larrieux.

Questlove began performing on South Street in Philadelphia using drums, while Tariq rhymed over his beats and rhythms.

Questlove also attended the senior prom with R&B singer Amel Larrieux.

[edit] Professional music careerThe Roots’ roster was soon completed, with Questlove on percussion, Tariq Trotter and Malik B on vocals, Josh Abrams (Rubber Band) on bass (who was replaced by Leonard Hubbard in 1994), and Scott Storch on keyboards. While the group was performing a show in Germany, they recorded an album entitled Organix, released by Relativity Records in 1993.

The group continued recording, releasing two critically acclaimed records in 1995 and 1996, Do You Want More?!!!??! and Illadelph Halflife, respectively. In 1999, The Roots entered mainstream pop consciousness with “You Got Me” (featuring Erykah Badu); a song which would earn the band the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for 2000. Questlove shines in the final minute of this song as he unleashes a massive drum n’ bass groove over the last chorus. The song helped fuel the success of their Things Fall Apart album, which has since been hailed as a classic, eventually selling platinum. The group went the experimental route and returned in 2002 with the rock-influenced Phrenology, which went gold. Two years later, The Roots released The Tipping Point, which contained a more mainstream sound, allegedly due to demands from Interscope Records. The album sold well (400,000 copies), and Questlove shines in the bonus track remake of George Kranz’s “Din Da Da.”

Questlove at the Black Lily Film & Music Festival 2007 by Simba MadzivaBesides being the drummer for The Roots, Questlove has also lent his talents to other artists, projects, and productions.

He was the drummer for The Philadelphia Experiment, a collaborative instrumental jazz album featuring Christian McBride and Uri Caine, released on Ropeadope Records in 2001 and the DJ of the compilation Questlove Presents: Babies Making Babies, released on Urban Theory Records in 2002. He also served as executive producer for D’Angelo’s 2000 album Voodoo, Slum Village’s album Fantastic, Vol. 2 and Common’s albums Like Water for Chocolate and Electric Circus. Besides the aforementioned albums, he has also contributed as a drummer or producer to Erykah Badu’s Baduizm and Mama’s Gun, Dilated Peoples’ Expansion Team, Blackalicious’s Blazing Arrow, Bilal’s 1st Born Second, N*E*R*D’s Fly or Die, Joshua Redman’s Momentum, and Zap Mama’s Axel Norman Ancestry In Progress, Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine, and Zack De La Rocha’s currently unreleased solo material.

He played drums on Christina Aguilera’s song “Loving Me 4 Me” for her 2002 album Stripped. In 2003, he played drums on John Mayer’s song “Clarity” from his second album Heavier Things. He also arranged and drummed on Joss Stone’s cover of the White Stripes’ “Fell in Love with a Girl”.

In 2004, Questlove appeared in Jay-Z’s Fade to Black. In addition to appearing in the documentary portion of the film, Questlove was the drummer/musical director for all portions of the show with a live band.

In 2005, Questlove appeared along with such luminaries as Madonna, Iggy Pop, Bootsy Collins, and Little Richard in a television commercial for the Motorola ROKR phone. Questlove also appears for a short clip in the 2005 film, The Longest Yard.

In 2006, Questlove appeared in the film Dave Chappelle’s Block Party as well as a couple of skits on Chappelle’s Show, including the Tupac “The Lost Episodes” skit and a skit featuring John Mayer wherein Questlove performs in a barber shop, inducing the occupants to dance and rap. With the exception of The Fugees and Jill Scott, Questlove served as the drummer for nearly every performer at the 2004 Brooklyn street concert and was the musical director for the entire show.

Questlove was given an Esky for Best Scribe in Esquire magazine’s 2006 Esky Music Awards in the April issue.

Questlove was one of a handful of musicians hand-picked by Little Steve Van Zandt to back Hank Williams Jr. on a new version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” for the season premiere (and formal ESPN debut) of Monday Night Football. Along with his fellow Motorola ROKR commercial co-stars, Bootsy Collins and Little Richard, Questlove’s bandmates included Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Charlie Daniels, and Bernie Worrell.

He is a playable character in the basketball video games NBA 2K7, NBA 2K8, and NBA 2K9, capable of hitting the three-point shot with ease.

In 2007, Questlove co-produced with VH1’s The Score winning producer Antonio “DJ Satisfaction” Gonzalez, from The Maniac Agenda, the theme to VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2007.

Questlove joined Ben Harper and John Paul Jones for the Bonnaroo SuperJam on June 16, 2007, to play a 97 minute set.[1]

He currently performs with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, occasionally performing solos titled ‘re-mixing the clips’ where he draws on his production and DJ abilities to dub video clips, cue audio samples in rhythm, and play drum breaks simultaneously.

In 2007 he provided the foreword for the book Check the Technique.[2]

In late 2009, while serving as an associate producer of the hit Broadway play Fela!, he recruited Jay-Z to come on board as a producer. It was reported that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have also signed on as producers.[3]

In January 2010, he was writing material with British singer Duffy for her second album.[4]

He has been featured in a commercial for Microsoft’s short-lived mobile phone, the Kin.

In 2010, He was a cameo in Duck Sauce’s video for Barbra Streisand.

In 2010, In an act of great musicianship the legendary Roots-crew pay respect to the late and great J Dilla offering their renditions of the producer’s greatest hits. The featured mixtape belongs easily to the most sublime tributes to J Dilla we have seen to date. Enjoy in this highest form of appreciation, the album is called Dilla Joints.[neutrality is disputed]

He is contributing drums to the song “You’ve Got A Lot to Learn” on Evanescence’s new studio album, due for release in the Fall of 2011.

2011 – Guest DJ at LA Food & Wine’s Decadence after party

Questlove was planning to collaborate with Amy Winehouse and says “We’re Skype buddies, and she wants to do a project with Mos and me. Soon as she gets her visa thing together, that’s gonna happen.” [5]

Rolling Stone named Questlove #2 in the 50 Top Tweeters in Music.

In June 2011, Questlove played drums alongside The Roots bassist Owen Biddle for YouTube sensation Karmin’s cover of Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass.[6]

Questlove placed 8th in the Rolling Stone Readers Pick for Best Drummers of all Time.

[edit] Controversy Involving Presidential Candidate Michele BachmannOn November 21, 2011, The Roots played Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as Michele Bachmann (Republican candidate for President) appeared. Bachmann has served as U.S. Representative to Congress from Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District since 2007. Questlove tweeted prior to the show: “Aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake.”

Nita Lowey, a Democratic Party congressional representative for New York, issued a statement following the incident: “I do not share Michele Bachmann’s politics, but she deserves to be treated with respect. No female politician—and no woman—should be subjected to sexist and offensive innuendo like she was last night.” Neither NBC, Late Night or Fallon himself would comment officially on the controversy.[7]

On November 23, 2011, NBC sent a letter to Bachmann expressing regret, one NBC executive said, insisting that the show did not mean to offend her. The executive, who asked not to be identified because the network was trying to put the issue to rest as privately as possible, said the letter could not be categorized as a formal apology.[8]

[edit] Film appearancesIn 2000 Questlove appeared with The Roots in Bamboozled, directed by Spike Lee. In 2005, Questlove appeared with The Roots in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party [9] and the following year, he appeared in the popular music film, Before the Music Dies.[10] His latest appearances include Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest[11] and documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2010)[12] for which he won the Swedish Guldbagge award for best music together with Om´Mas Keith [13].

[edit] FashionIn July 2008, Questlove collaborated with Nike to design the Questlove x Nike 1World Air Force 1 shoe. The shoe’s color is a blend of burgundy leather and red canvas with neon green elephant print. It has red shoelaces, a lasered silhouette of Questlove on the back of the shoe which is also featured on the left tongue, and a gold colored Nike swoosh logo. Questlove states that these shoes are “an extension of [his] personality” as he strives to make “a very loud statement, a sneaker that sort of has 12 exclamation points behind it.”

Questlove’s 2nd Nike Questo sneaker will be released in mid February 2011. The shoe will be a combination of 4 popular Nike designs: the exterior body will be the Dunk (footwear), the interior cushion will be based on the Nike Delta Force, the sole will be the Air Force 1 (shoe), and the swoosh will come from the Nike Blazers. The shoe’s color will be a premium leather red with a white swoosh. The velcro front has 6 clear buttons to give the look of a dress shirt. A lasered silhouette of Questlove is also featured on the both tongues. There will also be limited edition versions sans velcro in all yellow and white sole and all black.


Posted February 24, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Record Producers

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