Saturday, January 29, 2022

Questlove Recalls How Dr. Dre Helped ‘Save’ The Roots’ Music Career [WATCH]

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*Questlove is speaking out about how hip-hop icon Dr. Dre helped save The Roots’ professional careers.

During a conversation with Mark Ronson on THE FADER Uncovered, Questlove recalled when MCA Records crashed and burned, leaving The Roots’ in limbo. Dr. Dre was tasked with deciding which acts would be transferred to Geffen-Interscope and he decided to keep eight acts including The Roots, as reported by Complex. 

“We were without an island. The way that I heard the story went down was Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine had a breakfast meeting. Jimmy basically let Dre control the MCA guillotine. Okay, who do we save? Who don’t we save? I remember, eight of us got saved: Mary, Common. I remember our name being last on that list,” Quest said. “The way that the email came to us is like that high school musical, you look to see if you made the part.”

Hear more from Questlove about it via the Twitter clip below.

READ MORE: Dr. Dre Raps About Divorce, Brain Aneurysm and Calls Wife ‘Greedy B*tch’ on New Track

Per Complex, after leaving Geffen-Interscope, Jay-Z signed the group to Def Jam while he was the label’s president. 

“It’s so weird. In 2001, there was still this hip-hop apartheid, church and state separation thing between artists. Backpackers didn’t take kindly to commercial rappers. Commercial rappers looked at us like broke haters,” Questlove explained.

“What’s weird is for a lot of people, September 11 is the day where a lot of us just self-soothed to The Blueprint by just listening to it over and over and over again, just to get our minds off of what was happening. I hit up dream hampton. I was like, ‘Yo, don’t tell nobody, but I think this Blueprint record… but don’t tell no one.’ She’s like, ‘Ahmir, you got to let me tell Jay this.’ I said, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ Because to my mind, he’s like, ‘Oh, he’s the devil, commercial rapper.’ It’s like, ‘No, no, no, no, don’t do that.’ She’s like, “Ahmir, I got to get you out your own way. I’m telling Jay this, and you’re going to accept it,” he recounted. 

After hampton told Jay-Z that Questlove was a huge fan of the album, the rapper requested to meet him. Quest was reluctant to because he assumed Jay-Z would live up to his “Big Pimpin’” persona. But once the two men finally connected, Quest was surprised to learn they had a lot in common. 

“Finally, I gave in and he disarmed me in two minutes. He doesn’t remember this. He made a Troy McClure Simpsons reference,” Questlove said. “It was either a monorail reference… it wasn’t Lisa needs braces, but it was a deep Conan-era Simpsons reference that he made. … I was like, ‘Yo, he’s a nerd. He’s like me.’ I was amazed.”

Take a listen to the full conversation via the YouTube video below.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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