Quotes by Questlove

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To be hip-hop is much more than just rapping in the production. It is more in the attitude. more...

And even though people like to furrow their brow like they suspect you're not being honest about yourself, the truth is that they worry that you're not serving their idea of you. more...

How do you plan a rebirth? I'm not sure you do. You just stand in the darkness until you can't endure it any long, and then you move forward until you're standing in the light. more...

Every time a new record started, people exhaled with pleasure, or their bodies moved automatically. I really started getting high off of the euphoric exclamations. Every record I put on was like a baptism. more...

When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life. more...

It's a funny word, persistence. It means not giving up, but it also means just passing on through time. more...

Switching off perfection switched on the human quality more...

Part of me would just like to relax and have one job that pays me the amount I need to survive. And another part of me wants the creativity that comes out of struggle and frustration and fear. It's a never-ending cycle, which must be how I want it, on some level. more...

I keep moving through time and time keeps moving through me. And through that process, life takes shape. The question is what shape it is. I'm not the first person to ask that question, or to see how absurd it is to think there's a real answer. Maybe life's a circle... more...

Resistance here doesn't mean revolution. It doesn't mean storming the barricades. Resistance means using art for the things that it does best, which is to create human portraits and communicate ideas and forge a climate where people of different races or classes are known to you because they make themselves known. In the simplest terms, art humanizes. It opens the circuit of empathy. And once that process happens, it's that much harder to think of people as part of a policy or a statistic. Art reverses the alienation that can creep into society. more...

Meaninglessness takes hold because meaninglessness is addictive, more...

Time will tell. Time is always telling. Time never stops telling, more...

The only mofos in my circle are people that I can learn from. more...

All we sell is the Greatest feeling on Earth more...

Music has the power to stop time. But music also keeps time, more...

I think all of this-The Roots and DJing included-was meant to prepare me for The Tonight Show. more...

Funk never dies. It is eternal. It just smells a little different from time to time. more...

My theory is that nine times out of ten, if there's a depression, more a social depression than anything, it brings out the best art in black people. The best example is, Reagan and Bush gave us the best years of hiphop. more...

Reagan's neglect of the inner city is responsible for hiphop. Hiphop is created thanks to the conditions that crack set: easy money but a lot of work, the violence involved, the stories it produced. Crack helped birth hiphop. more...

I don't think crack happened by accident. I'm part conspiracy theorist, because you can't develop something that dangerous and have it not be planned. more...

Crack offered a lot of money to the inner-city youth who didn't go to college. Which enabled them to become businessmen. I know about maybe five people in the entertainment industry who did their peak work as a result of crack usage. more...

I don't believe in good music and bad music anymore. I'm through with that phase of my life. Sometimes I just wanna feel good, so I put on a good record. But mostly I'm more of a businessman than a music fan, so I'm listening to music in terms of, is this effective or not effective? more...

My life's goal is to find a happy medium for sampling to be not only legal but for the right parties to benefit from it. There have to be sampling laws. The survival of hiphop is based on that. more...

I grew up in somewhat of a war zone in West Philadelphia in 1985, '86. It wasn't as extreme as someone coming in the classroom and just unloading on a class, but I knew to take the scenic route to go to the grocery store to avoid certain elements. more...

I cannot keep a girlfriend longer than seven months. I have 12 jobs. I don't have time for my personal life. I'm fully aware that this is the sacrifice. more...

I hate holidays because it's the quietest; it's the most deafening sound in my apartment. more...

I don't have friends, and it's hard for me to make new friends. Right now, the people that are in my life are the people that I work with. more...

Hip-hop is such a disposable art form from a business standpoint. It never treats its artists as art; it never treats its product as art. more...

Highlight reels are about that one person. After a barrage of highlight reels, you get the sense that you can do it without a team. But music thrived the most when groups were involved. People lose sight of that - that community makes the world run. more...

I prefer to unwind by DJing. I learned that from Mike D from the Beastie Boys. After a show, he would DJ. Once I saw that, I wanted to do that. And now DJing is like my lifeline. I love the power it represents. more...

I think the music comes first, then comes the fashion, and thus, the lifestyle. I believe it starts with music, and then the person delivering it delivers the lifestyle, the fashion. Madonna is a great example of that. more...

During the 2008 election, I made clear to the Obama campaign that I don't think it's wise for me to force my personal political agenda on anyone. more...

The president is just the coach of a football team. You need the right support, the right stadium, the right players, the right staff. An excellent coach is not going to win games. more...

Classical music requires an immense amount of concentration, and I don't know if I would've been that committed to that particular life. more...

I've come to the conclusion that the average person can do about four things a day, like four real things a day. more...

In the 2000s, I became an artist. I started preserving and educating. I became more obsessed with making iPod playlists for people. more...

My first gig was at Radio City Music Hall when I was 13. more...

According to my parents, I just started drumming when I was two. I traveled with them from five to seven on the road, playing percussion. Between 8 and 12, my dad sort of prepared me by teaching me every aspect of road life. more...

I believe that the only people who really, truly benefit from any of the policies of Republicans are the wealthy. I'm in that 1 percent tax bracket, but I'm not a man of wealth. more...

I would love to have some sort of 'Back To The Future' Delorean time machine travel device so I could go back to 1981 to see that very first Jackson 5 concert I went to, back when I was a kid. more...

I'm a 24-hour tweet machine, I'm a 24-hour blogger. When there's no pressure on me, I can talk and write and lecture with the best of them. But put a deadline on me and I start getting writer's block. more...

I'm not one of those people who's so blinded by my own work and my sweat. It's kind of risky writing a memoir when you're really part of a larger universe. more...

Hip-hop is an instant gratification, winners and losers circle, and often those who are losing give up after three or four, five years. more...

Hip-hop is so much about character and caricature that people just see you as a character. Very rarely are you flesh and bone to people. more...

I do secret stand-up shows around New York. I announce and tweet this to nobody - I get onstage and I do a quick five minutes. more...

I have a lot of those 'Forrest Gump,' I-was-there moments. more...

I want the 'Roots' biopic to be animated - I see Charles Schulz drawing us. I think it would be more hilarious with the voices of children. more...

My parents were really strict about me not watching cartoons. more...

You know the greatest thing about working on 'Fallon?' I get so many anonymous gifts. more...

In terms of being a 'sneakerhead,' there was one point where I was obsessively following every sneaker blog. That's the beauty of Twitter: To get the heads up on what's coming out. more...

I've always been a lover of hoodies. I'm a guy that travels a lot. I'm a guy that spends a lot of time on a cold air-conditioned tour bus. I'm a guy that likes to watch movies in peace. I'm a guy that likes to travel in the airport in peace. more...

I really appreciate when people use their fame and their voice for more than just self-promotion, starting a dialogue about a topic or an issue much bigger than themselves. more...

We have to get back to "we." It's important to get back to "we" not just "I." more...

I feel like the downfall of any person is the second an artist starts celebrating their work themselves, that becomes problematic. more...

I don't bask in the awards I've won, read my bank statements, I refuse. To me, that's how you start losing the hunger. more...

You can't live off of just greasy fatty foods and stayin' up till six in the mornin' just partyin'. You gotta take care of yourself. more...

At the end of the day, I don't release any records that I'm not proud to put my name on. I never got to that point. more...

I do count on a changing of tides. All too often, what could be a critics' darling today becomes tomorrow's target. I don't want to be too blase about it. more...

I love traveling the States no matter what. I love traveling abroad, going to Japan and Australia. I love it. I never get tired of it. more...

I never want to get to that level of poverty where taking a bath has to be a hot-pot experience. more...

When you first start off, you see what other people have and quietly say, "I want that." more...

At 25, my idea of success may have been more vain, like, "I'll be good the day that there's $20 million in my account and I have this particular house and the wife and 2.5 kids." But at 40 - and I know it's kind of silly telling you guys this - but as long as my Metacritic rating stays above 80, that's all I care about. more...

For anyone that's ever had a musical breakthrough in their career, it's always followed by the departure period right after. more...

It's funny, I can see the science in how music is made with other artists, but it's hard for me to dissect my own thing. more...

It's easy for me to say, "Oh yeah, that's the self-saboteur move that most artists pull whenever they're afraid." more...

The Chronic represented everything that I hated about hip-hop as a fan, but then later represented everything that I stood for as a musician and engineer. more...

Working with the artist elite can be like banging your head against the wall. more...

Half the time, my job is basically to talk people off the ledge. It's more psychological than just me picking up some sticks and counting, "1, 2, 3, 4." more...

Jay-Z is a dude that can give you a hundred 'Simpsons' quotes, like, 'What you know about the monorail?' more...

I hate videos. I'm meticulous on everything from cover art, fonts, productions, mixing. But when it comes to videos, I just feel so defeated. more...

Kurt Cobain represents a very legit, realistic outlook. Before that, in my head, to be a white artist was to be privileged. more...

After 2001, everyone in the Soulquarians blew up, which wasn't expected. We all got the success, and then everybody froze. more...

There's no such thing as success on an isolated level. more...

What I'm slowly realizing is that I believe that most of us felt that we could relax a little bit after November 2, 2008, because of the progress and the spirit that it took to get Barack Obama in The White House. And what we didn't realize, is that was really the beginning. That was really the beginning of the struggle and not the end of a struggle, to come from colonial times through slavery, through the Jim Crowe Laws, through the civil rights period to The White House as, like a point A/point B journey. Point B of course being the end. more...

I was born at a very crucial time. I consider 1968 to be the Mason Dixon line between pre- and post-civil rights generation ideas, whereas a lot of people born before '68 they kind of went into that Moses mentality. Like, I'm not going to make it, you know, I don't have any hope. more...

Just because the laws were changed doesn't mean that the attitudes have changed. more...

I hear a lot of cries of socialism and certainly real disguises of "Why should I share my money with these people?" We have to get back to "we." It's important to get back to "we" not just "I." more...

I feel like the downfall of any person is the second an artist starts celebrating their work themselves, that becomes problematic. And you know, I don't sit there, I don't bask in the awards I've won, you know, read my bank statements, I refuse. To me, that's how you start losing the hunger. So for me personally, I just don't celebrate it. I'm happy, right now. more...

It was absolutely killing me that I've spent the first 25 years of my life tryin' to avoid bullets. That was always the main concern. Don't go out late. Don't go to any shady neighborhoods. Don't hang in bars alone. Why? Because you wanna avoid bullets. So once I get to 35 then I was like "Woo, okay. Made it." And now there's a new warning. Now it's like strokes; I gotta watch my health. more...

I want to be as healthy as I can be so I can make it past 50; make it past 60 and make it past 70. more...

I was one of those skeptics that thought that yoga was for kooks. Now I'm on a very strict regimen. You know, I work out. That's another thing I've learned relaxin', sleep, yoga. I didn't know that that's as crucial as going hard, as workin' hard, as exercising hard. I never knew. I thought that, "Okay, I gotta be at the gym like five hours everyday going balls to the wall." And what my yoga instructor, what my trainer, what they're trying to teach me is that, "No, it's sleep." That's important. That's just as important as workin' out. more...


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