have you ever flown to puerto rico

Posted: November 25th, 2012 | No Comments »

great article in the new yorker about questlove, and the roots, and the genesis of the band (though they don’t talk about malik b), which reminded me of that outkast article from back in the day. a couple great bits:

When he was a young boy, still known as Ahmir, his mother heard him talking to two kids from the neighborhood one day. “It was raining outside, and they were playing in the gutter with little twigs and sticks,” she told me. “I was watching them, and Ahmir said, ‘Have you ever flown to Puerto Rico? Have you ever done so-and-so?’ He’s talking about art and music and jazz, and those two boys, they just look at him and say, ‘What the M.F. are you talking about?'”

He’d made his musical debut almost by accident, two years earlier, when the band’s [his father’s] regular drummer cancelled at the last moment. As it happened, the show that night was an oldies review at Radio City Music Hall, but that wasn’t what worried him. “I’ll tell you why I freaked out,” he told me. “The keyboard player was dating Susan from ‘Sesame Street.’ When I saw her backstage, I was having a heart attack. My mom and dad said, ‘Just calm down. You know the show. Do it!'” He was twelve years old.

They [Ahmir and Tariq] met in the principal’s office in the first week of school. Ahmir had come in to get tokens for the city bus; Tariq was getting suspended–he’d been caught fooling around with a ballet student in the ladies’ room. … The first thing that caught his eye was Ahmir’s jacket: thrift-store denim with a hand-painted peace sign on the back.

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