Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Read: Mo' Meta Blues by ?uestlove Book Review

Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove

by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, Ben Greenman
I'm a die hard fan of The Roots. I feel in love with their sound in 1994 when I moved to Philly to enter my freshman year in college at The Arts Institute of Philadelphia. A fellow student introduced me to Do You Want More? and it was like time and space stopped. I listened to the entire album in one sitting. It was like the first time I heard A Tribe Called Quest. I was open on the I Left My Wallet in El Segundo video while my friends were confused as to why. I just know dopeness when I hear/see it and The Roots were the truth. So of course, I couldn't pass up this autobiographical account from the group's co-founder and most famous member.  For years I crushed Tariq. You couldn't tell me he wasn't staring ay me the entire night in 2000 when I saw them perform from the front row at Tabernacle in ATL. In my humble opinion, he is by far the best emcee currently rhyming. But let's focus on the book...
?uestlove wrote from the viewpoint of a music connoisseur and I say that with no exaggeration.  To the extent that I almost felt annoyed with his tireless obsession with it. No one can REALLY know and love music to this extent that I can no longer understand what the heck they're rambling about, can they? I thought I appreciated music and had a broad palate. Nope, he put me to shame by the first chapter. But he grew up in his father's doo-wop band, attended a prestigious school of the arts for high school and, being a true introvert, he'd rather play his classic records than play with children in his neighborhood when he was growing up.
The book is a rich legacy of the neo-soul movement; he talks about the Jill Scotts, Music Soulchilds, and D'angelos of the world. The book is also a testament to determination despite what may appear to be the face of failure.  It's a funny account of fame (or lack thereof) with stories about Prince and Eddie Murphy and his other more famous homies. And it's a story of growth, development, struggle, success, following dreams, and staying true to your vision. If you loved Jay-Z's Decoded, you'll likely love this too.
Two thumbs up.

No comments:

Post a Comment