25 January 2011

What's In My Bag - ?uestlove from The Roots

Questlove, best known as the drummer for Hip-Hop band The Roots, is one of the busiest men in music today. Ahmir Khalib Thompson was born into a musical family in Philadelphia. As a child, he toured with his father's doo-wop group, Lee Andrews & the Hearts, learning how to play drums at age 7. He went to the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where he met Tariq Trotter (aka Black Thought), with whom he would later found The Roots.

The Roots are a critically acclaimed band who broke Hip-Hop stereotypes with their musicianship, lyrics, general lack of sampling, and incorporation of different styles of music, particularly jazz, rock, and soul. In 1993, they recorded and independently released their first album, Organix. Their next two albums, Do You Want More?!!!??! (DGC, 1995) and Illadelph Halflife (DGC, 1996), were critically acclaimed records that did not find immediate popularity among Hip-Hop fans, in part due to their differentness from the rest of the genre. That all changed with their 1999 release, Things Fall Apart (MCA), and its single "You Got Me" featuring Erykah Badu, for which they won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 2000. After four more studio albums, in March 2009, The Roots became the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where they nightly exhibit their craftsmanship, deep musical knowledge, and ability to spontaneously perform nearly every style of music possible. In June 2010, they released their ninth studio album, How I Got Over, on Def Jam.

Questlove has also produced, arranged and/or drummed for Common, Erykah Badu, Joss Stone, D'Angelo, John Mayer, Slum Village, Blackalicious, Christina Aguilera, Duffy, Dilated Peoples, Fiona Apple, NERD, and many others. He has also released two albums in his own compilation series, Questlove Presents: Babies Making Babies; is an associate producer for the Broadway musical, Fela!, which won three Tony Awards in 2010; is a character in the basketball video games NBA 2K7, NBA 2K8, and NBA 2K9; has his own Nike sneaker and will be releasing his second Nike shoe in February 2011 - all while maintaining his day job with the legendary Roots crew every evening on Jimmy Fallon.

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