Tag Archives: Questlove

Performing arguments: The Roots . . . And then you shoot your cousin

Okayplayer has a slightly obtuse review of the live performance of The Roots new album.  The album is called . . . And then you shoot your cousin.  Here is a snippet from the review by Eddie “Stats” which highlights the use of performance to make some interesting arguments:

Questlove is at the decks now and as the lights strobe a massive avalanche of balloon animals suddenly falls on the stage, a Jeff Koons flood of meaningless forms, falling in the framedrop slo-mo created by the flash of the strobe. A doo-ragged character enters the stage, humming, holding a gigantic red balloon like a kite. There’s something clownish in his dancerly movements, he has his mouth absurdly open, recalling at once a mime, Flavor Flav in wop-mode, the broom-wielding enforcer of the Apollo as he sweeps balloons away in the wake of his feet. In silence his dance picks up in intensity and his movements resemble Flav less than legendary b-boy choreographer Pee Wee Danz. As he steps and swims through balloons, the pop of dying inflatables echo like gunshots. We are fully in Fluxus territory now, improvisation colliding with a wickeder kind of randomness to create an ‘anything could happen’ tension in the room.

via The Roots chop up their new LP into art live (photos + recap) Okayplayer.

The Roots performing live among some balloon animals.  Photo by Mel D. Cole taken with respect from Okayplayer.

The Roots performing live among some balloon animals. Photo by Mel D. Cole taken with respect from Okayplayer.

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Filed under art, communication, dance, hip hop, music, race, representation, resistance

Happy birthday prince


Questlove from the Roots was keeping a celebrity blog.   Despite it coming down (boo!) I found a copy of my favorite Prince/Questo story.

valentines 2005.

grammy weekend in la.

it was a great weekend for us. our grammy jam went BEYOND our expectations.

parties out the wazoo and my girl was with me and we were like two kids in a candy store.

that monday marked the end of the weekend and my manager was smart enough to make sure that jill’s show coincided with the festivities.

rapheal sadiq was the opener and his set smoked. jill came shortly thereafter and backstage was like a list central. midway through her set i got a text from P’s assistant (he never calls, he has assistant call first to tell you “he will call you”. this time the text said that there was a rollerskating valentines party and invite some “cool” people.

confused about that last line i asked for clarification. cool meant my crew: mos, kweli, jill, erykah, com etc…

so i made some calls and truly realized how conservative my crew was…half them mofos was talking about “im tired”. even after the show jill was like “im tired” and what the hell was kweli doing in bed before midnight?

don’t answer that.

so backstage i saw alan leeds and figured id extend an invite to team sadiq. leeds cracked the door open and there was chris rock, sadiq and eddie. alan laughed like “you’d soon as see me in the grave for you see me in skates. im going to sleep”

rock was like “sheeeeeit i aint rollerskating with these knees”

sadiq: “dog im too old for that shit….”

i mean none of them saw the light!…..all except.

murph: yo man…i think this is historical. i think i need to see if this cat can rollerskate. that is comic gold alone.

damn….he saw it the way i see it….i mean sure, my ex and i had an awesome valentines day and mr romance was in overdrive and what better way to end the night doing couples only rollerskating?—

but dog i went just so i could live to tell yall this story.

the rink was waaaaay out in glenside cali. and it was so empty i knew we had to wrong rink. until i saw dj rasheeda and her 3 girlfriends skating. they were so happy to see us like yay! more people!–i felt bad like i shoulda invited more people but rash told me this is how he rolls….like 12 is a crowd to him. im like “how can you dj with no energy….you know how hard it is to keep 12 people happy?–

the staff was even more hilarious cat napping in the back (it was 1am) i asked “how often does this happen?” the manager was like “he’s paying for us to stay open until 4 so….what is your skate size?”

my ex and i did a good round alone for an hour. i told her just pretend that i rented this out. but then the more i thought about it the more i pondered “is this what i wanna aim for?” like the fame that isolates you? i mean jay does this family night stuff too but at least with him his fam of 25-30 is festive this is….scary. i mean the pizza concession guy looks like he should be studying for finals instead of watching a pizza rotate in the heated lamp umpteenth times.

come 2am we decided that maybe P changed his mind and we went back to get our shoes when suddenly

eddie comes in.

he whispered ventriloquist style “umm you just might wanna put those back on” i *winked* back.

sure enough p his then wife mel, larry g and his wife tina g and some friends i didn’t recognize (im sure kids and grandkids…which struck me odd that i knew someone besides me that was allowed to be up after 2am on a school night and be under the age of 10…..but showbiz kids are like no other kids)

p had a large pulp fiction like briefcase in his hand and he hesitated to open it in front of me. so he walked over.

p: where is your phone?
?: my phone?
p: yeah i know you ahmir…where is it?
? (thinking he wanted to make a phone call) uh here?
p: (inspects the phone)….ok your coat is in coat check?
?: lol…..wait….you think imma record something? bwahahahahah
p: uh uh….coat check this phone….
?: awww man! what about HIS PHONE! (points at murph) that is Dr. True Hollywood Story)
EM: heeey man! don’t point over here! my phone is in the car! (at this moment i was like “OH SHIT! I AM REALLY TALKING TO EDDIE MURPHY!!!!!” inside)

i sarcastically put the phone in coat check and wonder what the deal is…..i mean this man wears high heels and he dont want me to record him in skates? as if i wanted that footage?—

then he opens the briefcase…..

pulls out the most unique skates i ever seen in my life. they were clear skates that not only lights up but when you skate the friction of the wheels to the ground causes sparks to come into your trail….

sorta like the billie jean video for the skating generation.

he did a lap around the rink leaving a rainbow trail of light and sparks in his trail. and the nigga could skate!!!!!

murph caught up with me like

“imma get your phone for you…..”


– From the Prince Message board, http://prince.org/msg/7/289607?pr

And here is Questlove’s top ten Prince tunes.  Thanks to Questo, Rolling Stone, and Soul88 for the repost.

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