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Mo' Meta Blues
Cover of Mo' Meta Blues
Mo' Meta Blues
The World According to Questlove
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"You have to bear in mind that [Questlove] is one of the smartest motherf*****s on the planet. His musical knowledge, for all practical purposes, is limitless." —Robert Christgau
A punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences—from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo' Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D'Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to...you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?
But Mo' Meta Blues isn't just a memoir. It's a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It's a book that questions what a book like Mo' Meta Blues really is. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.
It's a rare gift that gives as well as takes.
It's a record that keeps going around and around.
"You have to bear in mind that [Questlove] is one of the smartest motherf*****s on the planet. His musical knowledge, for all practical purposes, is limitless." —Robert Christgau
A punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences—from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo' Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D'Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to...you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?
But Mo' Meta Blues isn't just a memoir. It's a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It's a book that questions what a book like Mo' Meta Blues really is. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.
It's a rare gift that gives as well as takes.
It's a record that keeps going around and around.
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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Ahmir Thompson, also known as Questlove, is the drummer and co-founder of the Grammy award-winning hip hop band The Roots. He is also a world-renowned producer, arranger, and songwriter. In 2009, The Roots became the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Questlove has over 2.4 million followers on Twitter and has been known to DJ damn near every night of his life.
    Ben Greenman is an editor at the New Yorker and the author of several acclaimed books of fiction, including Superbad, Please Step Back, and What He's Poised to Do. As a journalist and critic, he has written widely on music and pop culture. His most recent novel is The Slippage. He lives in Brooklyn and has never been known to DJ, ever.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 13, 2013
    First-time author “Questlove” Thompson is cofounder and drummer of the Roots, the popular hip-hop/neo-soul group that also serves as the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In this enjoyable memoir, Thompson tells of his work as a DJ and producer with some of the biggest names in the music business, such as Jay-Z and Common, and Dave Chappelle (Thompson was the Chappelle’s Show’s music director). His always fascinating and sometimes hilarious recollections touch on everything from drumming at age five in his father’s professional doo-wop and soul band to roller-skating as an adult with Eddie Murphy at a bizarre party hosted by Prince. Thompson’s eclectic “meta” mix of writing styles—punctuated by interviews with Rich Nichols, the group’s longtime comanager—appropriately captures the almost two-decade-long history of the Roots.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 15, 2013
    A thoughtful, incisive analysis of hip-hop--and pop music in general--from one of its foremost contemporary architects. It's no surprise that this isn't your standard musical memoir. As drummer and aural conceptualist for the Roots, producer for other artists, Jimmy Fallon bandleader and provocative cultural critic, Thompson, aka Questlove, has pushed the boundaries of convention wherever his creative energies have taken him. Here, he enlists New Yorker editor and novelist Greenman (The Slippage, 2013, etc.), not as a ghostwriter but as a collaborator and occasional interrogator, interweaving the subject/author's voice with that of Rich Nichols, the Roots' career strategist and co-manager from the start, in a book that mixes chronological memoir with critical issues not easily resolved--e.g., "What's black culture? What's hip-hop? What are the responsibilities of a society and the people in it?" It conjures the life of Questlove from boyhood prodigy to die-hard fan to seminal creative force, through midlife crisis and subsequent renewal, and it captures the revolutionary boyhood excitement of hearing "Rapper's Delight" shift the axis of the musical world and the giddy weirdness of being invited by Prince to a private, after-hours roller-skating party. The author also discusses being a huge KISS fan, a worshipper of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, "a serious music-press nerd, the kind of kid who collected back issues of Rolling Stone and memorized all the record ratings" and how he and the Roots have faced the charges of being "not black enough." The result is a book with as much warmth, heart and humor as introspective intelligence. Fanatics and newcomers to the music will both find plenty of revelation here.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Amy Poehler Attention White Girls: Stop reading about vampires and read what Questlove has to say instead. Mo' Meta Blues is a magical kaleidoscope about a high concept, low maintenance genius named Ahmir. Like him, it's smart, funny, sweet and in a thousand places at once. Read it or rot on your vine.
  • --Dr. Cornel West Questlove is an artistic giant and spiritual genius whose roots go back to Curtis Mayfield and so many others. This book is a gem to read and a joy to feel! Don't miss it!
  • What? No way! I truly love this book. I felt like I was having a conversation with Ahmir, and I may have even said aloud a few times,
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    Grand Central Publishing
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Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
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