Filed under: Features,Not Your Average,Shit I Don't Like
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
There’s always been something that’s irked me about Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson. Whether it’s his painful name-drop stunting antics on Twitter, endlessly banging on about watching Prince roller skate or recording increasingly self-indulgent albums with The Roots, I’ve long suspected that the internets most beloved “music nerd” isn’t all that he’s cracked up to be. Sure, he can recreate the beat for Big Daddy Kane’s “Raw” well enough on stage, but let us not forget he is likely responsible for introducing Common to Erykah Badu and was involved in the Electric Circus album.
According to a recent, gushing profile courtesy of The Fader, ?uestlove, “knows all the records, all the tracks, who played on what, what the sleeves looks like. He thinks like a critic and loves reflecting on songs and albums as a listener, ranking records and making lists. He’s a student of music and pop culture.” Ever the music press darling, Rolling Stone have taken to even reprinting his Facebook posts and “Best Of” lists on a regular basis. Riddle me this, dear reader, then why did this self-proclaimed musical encyclopedia refer to the Sex Pistols’ debut as ‘Never Mind The Bullocks’ and the former Roxy Music keyboardist as “Brian Emo” in a 2012 puff piece in that very publication, based around the fabled follow-up to D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ album?
As bandleader for Jimmy Fallon, ?uestlove has endured his share of controversy, such as the time The Roots played Fishbone’s “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as the entrance music for Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann and then bragged about it on Twitter, an incident that almost got him fired after the conservative press got wind of it. After that blew over, he then took shots at America’s “Comedy Sweetheart” herself, Tina Fey, crying about the fact that she “never waves to us” when she’s a guest, which actually did get him forced until Jimmy Fallon begged show producer Lorne Michaels to reinstate him. What kind of a douche picks on the woman who gave us “30 Rock”?
It seems that this “take no shit” attitude doesn’t apply when it comes to his own attempts to woo music critics and fulfill his own fanboy dreams however, as the newly released collaborative album between The Roots and Elvis Costello demonstrates. For those of you who have forgotten, Costello had his music boycotted by U.S. radio stations after an ugly incident in March 1979, where he got “himself into a scrap with Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fame) and singer Bonnie Bramlett in a hotel bar in Ohio”. In the midst of a drunken rant, it was reported that Elvis called James Brown a “jive-ass nigger”, before declaring Ray Charles to be a “blind, ignorant nigger”.
He later explained that he’d made these outrageous remarks in an attempt to “shut down an argument”, and in the following years he attempted to wipe the slate clean with his involvement in the Rock Against Racism campaign back in the U.K., but for many the damage had been done. The mere idea of anyone trying to publicly disrespect the Godfather of Soul is a never-forgive action in my book. Is ?uestlove’s pursuit of the perfect Metacritic score so blind that he’s willing to turn a blind eye to such blatant disrespect towards the man who laid down the very foundations of hip-hop music and attitude? Guess he was too busy being the world’s “number one adorable music nerd” to bother with petty little details like getting the names of seminal albums correct or the checking the checkered pasts of British rockers he’s recording with, huh?
39 Comments so far
Leave a comment
Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>