Ahmir Questlove is a drummer for The Roots, DJ, music journalist and record producer.
It’s awesome how much you can see that Questlove REALLY loves music. Just everything about it. The best part about all this is the hungriness in which he reads music reviews, including anywhere from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone to whoever. It’s great to me, cause Im thinking, “oh wait me too!”
Reading his book, there’s a lot of things we can learn.
(1) Listen To A Lot Of Music
You guys ever watch Tom Brady watch film. or Jon Jones watch MMA film. Stephen King says to read, read and then read some more. There’s stories of Kanye listening to at least 3 hours of music before he gets started doing work.
Questlove is a human IPOD. Anywhere from Kiss to Bad Brains to Son of Bazerk, this guy will school you in musical knowledge. He will college you damnit. Listening to a lot of music allows a lot of freedom and confidence. It is very easy to explain to another musician your ideas if you can reference it to a recording. It’s also very easy to get inspired when you have such an infinite amount of music to listen to.
It’s a lot of work listening to music. But a lot of fun work.
(2) Help People
I think it’s awesome how Questlove uses his musical knowledge to help the people around him. From helping set the musical mood for Chappelle skits to helping D’Angelo make Voodoo to coming up with the right music for celebrities when they go on the Jimmy Fallon show, it’s great seeing creativity help inspire other creativity.
(3) Little Moments
“When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life.”
This quote really got me thinking about what I was listening to when I was younger. Im a 90s kid. I can tell you how much Mellon Collie helped me through 5th grade. I can tell you how the Deftones helped me get through heartbreak. and how Tool and Incubus helped lead me to books about buddhism and spirituality.
Music is such an important part of our life. It help guides us. Helps us ask the right questions.
Reading Questlove’s books, it’s very easy to see how a life dedicated to listening, making and sharing music, even through the tough times, can be extremely fulfilling and very awesome.