BY JOHN B. MOORE
Questlove (aka ?uestlove; born Ahmir Thompson) is liked by everybody and that is not an overstatement. Aside from maybe Dave Grohl, you’d be hard pressed to find any musician more universally loved than the drummer for The Roots– and I’m willing to bet many have no idea who The Roots are. Mo’ Meta Blues: the World According to Questlove, his memoir, will likely do nothing to change his standing in the eyes of the public. If anything, it will just make you love him more.
The book covers Thompson’s early childhood as a music nerd in Philadelphia and on the road with his mom, dad and aunt – all traveling musicians that played the resort and hotel lounge circuit – up to his current role as drummer and co –lead in The Roots, the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Surprisingly honest, especially about his strained relationship with his dad and current relationship with his childhood friend and band mate Tariq Trotter.
The book vacillates between vinyl-nerd obsessive lists about top records and choice cuts (“When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life”) and stories about The Roots struggling to remain relevant in a musical category that was quickly moving toward a more generic, gangster –obsessed genre. Hilarious, but still poignant, Thompson, alongside New Yorker Editor Ben Greenman, has managed to completely reinvent the music memoir
Come for the music talk, but stay for the stories about after clandestine roller skating dates with Prince.