Sunday, October 2, 2022

Questlove Explains Why DJing For Barack Obama Was Worst Gig of His Career

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*Questlove has revealed that one of the worst gigs of his career was DJing for Former President Barack Obama

“DJing is a social shield,” he revealed in an exclusive chat with Distractify. “Maybe it allows me to have the loudest voice in the room. It allows me to be present in the room and allows no personal interaction, so even as I speak I’m trying to analyze like, why is it that my presence is required.”

The Roots drummer added, “I’m sorry, [Barack Obama] hates when I tell this story. One of the worst gigs of my life was DJing Obama’s last week at the White House. It turned out to be a lesson that I didn’t know I needed to learn. I say it’s the worst DJ gig of my life, and he says, ‘That’s nonsense. We had the time of our lives.’ But what I wanted to do didn’t happen.”

Questlove previously talked about DJing for Obama’s White Hosue party while on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He noted at the time that he felt so bad after the gig that it “forced” him “into retirement” for six months.

READ MORE: Michelle Obama Announces New Book ‘The Light We Carry’ Due This Fall

Barack Obama (Getty)
Barack Obama (Getty)

“I’m very meticulous about my DJ-gig preparation. I’m like what John Nash, from ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ like putting up math formulas and all that. And I get the dream gig of a lifetime. Like, early 2016. and I have four months’ preparation. I prepared for it. Sixteen weeks of doing every combination of BPMs and the key to the song and all that stuff, and it’s a six-hour DJ gig,” he explained, as reported by The Jasmine Brand

“So, first hour into it, I think I’m killing it. And my host taps me on the shoulder, and I’m trying to ignore him. Like, I thought it was someone just like, ‘Hey, man! Play Rick Astley!’ So, basically, he taps me on the shoulder–and I can’t say his name, NDA. He’s like, ‘Hey, you’re doing a good job, but, you know, I love the disco, and the calypso and all that stuff, but look at them.’ His kids are sitting there [frowning]. He’s like, ‘They want to have fun, too, so, uhh, you know, pep it up!’”

Hear more from Questlove about DJing for Obama via the clip 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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