Giving a little insight on his decision to teach a music course at NYU, ?uestlove explains in a recent interview that being a professor is one job he was born to do. Deeming himself a “music snob”, The Roots drummer explains that his musical genius traces back to his early days and that it once even freaked out A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip .
“The first year we came out, I totally freaked out Q-Tip,” said ?uestlove. “Just questions that nobody should be asking. Like Okay, on the fourth bar of “Electric Relaxation” when the modulation happens, was that a mistake or did you purposely dudda-du-du-du?’ And he was like, “Leave me alone kid. You’re bothering me.” And actually this ties in to why I decided to teach music at NYU. Here I am, the self-professed musical nerd that is all-knowing, you know, what’s the sense in having 70,000 records or all this useless information about music if you don’t even teach it? My whole goal was just to teach them how to absorb music and how to listen.”
Continuing that his favorite class teaching was one inspired by Micheal Jackson’s Off The Wall.“They kinda saw this caricature figure marred in so much controversy,” said the musician about Michael Jackson. “In the last 15 minutes, I played them all six takes of “She’s Out Of My Life.” That’s the song where he starts sobbing at the end. So, I kinda explained the backstory, that this was his first heartbreak. By the time you get to take four, I just took all the music away and you just heard…you could hear him struggling and apologizing. It was such a heartbreaking moment and it made him human in their eyes. So, all of a sudden they didn’t see a caricature of Michael Jackson, they just saw a human being.”