10 Things We Learned From QuestLove’s “My Youth In 27 Records” In New York Magazine

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  • quest_lead
    The Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is deeply embedded in hip-hop. With that said, Questo shared the stories behind the albums that defined him in the latest issue of <em>New York</em> <em>Magazine.</em> The excerpts were taking out of his upcoming book, <em>Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove</em>, which is set to release on June 18. Read some excerpts from the piece to find out why Ice Cube’s first album upped the ante for other artists, why it was diffcult to keep Prince records in his parent’s house, how Stevie Wonder speaks to him, and many more.
  • steve_1
    Stevie Wonder, <em>Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants</em> (1979)
    Whenever I hear "Seasons," I'm right there all over again, with my sister walking home from Broad Street in Philadelphia. There is snow on the ground, and poster for Steve Martin's <em>The Jerk</em>, which is coming in Christmas.
  • janet_1
    Janet Jackson, <em>Control</em> (1986)
    I D.J.-ed for Janet three times, and she just shit when I put on "He Doesn't Know I'm Alive," which is one of the few songs from that record that didn't become a hit. I wanted to show her that she was important to me, that I remember when she sang "The Magic Is Working" on <em>Different Strokes.</em>
  • public_1
    Public Enemy, <em>It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back</em> (1988)
    I bought this casette before I went to work. I wasn't allowed to have my Walkman on when I cooked fries, so I kept sneaking to the freezer to hear "Show 'Em Whatcha Got.'" It enlarged me. "I'm going on lunch break," I said, but I knew I was never going back.
  • paul_1
    Beastie Boys, <em>Paul's Bontique</em> (1989)
    Here was an album making art of my dad's soft rock and yacht rock and my sister's mainstream junior-high-school rock albums. It's when I realized I wanted to make records.
  • prince_2
    Prince, <em>1999</em> (1982)
    It was difficult to keep Prince records as my parents became more religious. One Saturday, the radio was on, and I realized they were about to play the sexy part in "Lady Cab Driver," so I ran to the kitchen and shattered a bowl. When we got back, Prince was on to the guitar solo.
  • ice_1
  • de_la_1
    De La Soul, <em>De La Soul Is Dead</em>
    I cut church to hear this in my boy's car. Every song knocked me out: "Pease Porridge," "Let, Let Me In," "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)." Sitting there, I told myself to cherish that magical moment, because there was no guarantee that I would ever know when it felt like that again.
  • phar_cyde
    The Pharcyde, <em>Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde</em> (1992)
    A highly unexpected sucker punch. When I heard the tremolo effect on "4 Better or 4 Worse," I knew that we needed a Fender Rhodes. That's kind of how Scott Storch got into the group.
  • a_tribe_1
    A Tribe Called Quest, <em>Midnight Marauders</em> (1991) / Wu-Tang Clan, <em>Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)</em> (1993)
    There have been plenty of classic records. But these were the end of the innocence, and they came at such a great moment for me. [My bassist] Hub and I were freezing in a van with a gospel group that we didn't particularly like. Our minds were back in Philly and New York, wondering if we were going to sign a record deal or not. When we got word that the record deal was coming through, we just quit. We left them high and dry, no drummer, no bass player. When the band picked me up in the van the next day to drive to New York and sign our contract, they had both cassettes. It was the greatest day ever.
  • wu_tang
    Wu-Tang Clan, <em>Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)</em> (1993)

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