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Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove Hardcover – June 18, 2013
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"Questlove is an artistic giant and spiritual genius whose roots go back to Curtis Mayfield and so many others. This book is a gem to read and a joy to feel! Don't miss it!"
--Dr. Cornel West
"I truly love this book. I felt like I was having a conversation with Ahmir, and I may have even said aloud a few times, "What? No way!" It's everything I want to know about someone who is obsessed with music...his love for music (contemporary/revolutionary/cool) is tireless. I am forever a fan of Questlove's fanaticism."
"A busy thicket of musical geekery . . . likable . . . funny . . . MO' META BLUES has an open-mike, improv-night spirit . . . The end pages on my copy are crammed with song titles; they resemble the back of a popular girl's senior yearbook." --Dwight Garner, New York Times
"Smart, funny, insightful . . . [The] joy of this book is getting to live inside Questlove's jam-packed, restless brain for a while . . . Four stars." --Rolling Stone
"MO' META BLUES isn't just a memoir. It's a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a postmodern black man saddled with some postmodern blues. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind. It's a rare gift that gives as well as takes. It's a record that keeps going around and around.
"[MO' META BLUES] is incredible . . . [Questlove is] one of the more unabashed music geeks to ever walk the earth . . . a student of music and pop culture. But, as the book demonstrates, Thompson is also a wonderful storyteller." --Pitchfork.com
"A thoughtful, incisive analysis of hip hop-and pop music in general-from one of its foremost contemporary architects . . . a book with as much warmth, heart, and humor as introspective intelligence. Fanatics and newcomers to the music will both find plenty of revelation here." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A hip hop thinker with historical perspective . . . an excellent book." --Philadelphia Inquirer
"After reading it, you'll feel like you know Questlove. The book is intimate and funny. Plus, you'll come away with a crash course in hip-hop history." --NPR.org
About the Author
Ben Greenman is an editor at the New Yorker and the author of several acclaimed books of fiction, including Superbad, Please Step Back, and What He's Poised to Do. As a journalist and critic, he has written widely on music and pop culture. His most recent novel is The Slippage. He lives in Brooklyn and has never been known to DJ, ever.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was indecisive on rating this book three or four stars, but ultimately "rounded up" because I feel it's more difficult to write about a modern musician than one from decades ago, say, a Carole King (whose auto-biography is a "must-read" for any music fan: A Natural Woman: A Memoir). Also, rock star Marilyn Manson once said in an interview, "I try not to explain my music, I let my music explain me". I think that wisdom applies here as well -- while the writing is interesting, I believe Mr. Thompson's music is the true 'World According to Questlove".
What I like about this memoir is he covers a lot of ground by moving quickly. It's evident that if permitted, he could write an Epic about music that has inspired him over the years. Instead, it seems that he is forced to select one album per year of his life in a recurring segment called "Quest Loves Records". Additionally, he discusses in great depth both the artistry and political sides of the music industry (e.g. the art of reconciling an underground and commercial sound, the effect of bouncing around major labels, the process and goal of the band when crafting each of their albums).Read more ›
"The exceptions don't prove the rule. They shame it. They banish it." ~ Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, pg. 56
Mo' Meta Blues was a delightful musical journey. Sure Thompson shared the details of his life but it was more like the soundtrack of his life.
I appreciated the fact that this book was not structured like a chronological biography. There were memos from the publisher, footnotes from The Roots comanager, and extended playlists spread throughout the text.
"When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life."
There was not a time when music was not apart of Thompson's life. His parents had a band and Thompson likened them to Johnny Cash and June Carter. Thompson was tapping out patterns at eight months old which blossomed into a drumming career. He obsessed over album reviews and covers. The small details and obscure facts that he shared throughout the book about certain pieces of music, groups, and individuals kept the book interesting.
It is no secret that Thompson is a Prince fan and his affinity for the artist is as prominent in the book as is his presence in The Roots band. The Roots individually and as a band come together and take shape in the text but those experiences do not overshadow or dominate. It's quite obvious that Ahmir and Tariq "Black Thought" are total opposites but make for a great balance within the band. Only a few weeks prior to reading this book I found out that Scott Storch was an original member of The Roots. Thompson mentioned Storch but considering his rise and fall in hip-hop I expected and wanted more details in regards to their relationship.
This would not be a legit hip-hop memoir unless the Source Music Awards of 1995 were mentioned. Thompson referred to the show as hip-hop's funeral.Read more ›
Must-read for anyone who is a fan of music. The stories within the story make for such a fascinating read. Really worthwhile.
If I were to recommend a music memoir to a person who loves music and to a person who isn't too crazy for music, this would be the one hands down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Seeing things through a music geek's eyes (and ears). Excellent read for those that are dedicated Roots fans, music heads, pop culture purists, or just passing through.Published 2 months ago by Joe blow
I am a 63 year old blues, jazz and rock music lover who, with few exceptions, has had very limited exposure to rap/hip-hop. That said, I loved this book! Read morePublished 2 months ago by King Bee
Really enjoyed this book. I have been a fan of the Roots crew for a while, and this provided some fun, inside stories.Published 6 months ago by M. J. Edwards
Great book, great condition. More than a book for a roots fan, a great read for a music fan.Published 7 months ago by scott farnan
To all music lovers and to all with a live spirit. READ THIS! ACE material all the way. THANK YOUPublished 7 months ago by Andreas Stellatos