8. Life Defining Albums
Throughout the first half of the book, chronologic chapters are broken by "Quest Loves Records," opening with the recurring quote, "When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life." Not much in the book defines Questlove better than that.
From an early age, Quest was invested in the art of crate digging. He would get money to pick up records by any means necessary—even if that meant pocketing dimes from his mom intended for the church collection plate. Recorded music, both by other artists and himself, have defined who he is. There has been a steady soundtrack to Questlove’s entire life, and the drummer remembers each song and each year with a photographic memory that tracks sound. These chapters are the liner notes to his life: an explanation and exploration of the music that has created, defined, and propelled Questlove to, as the insider cover boldly claims, "our most ubiquitous cultural tastemaker."
He remembers his vivid moments in his childhood, adolescence through music. His musical memory and the intricate details that specific albums evoke are remarkable to uncover. It starts in the 70s with Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, up through Prince in ’82, The Beastie Boys in ’89, until Tribe in the early 90s. These albums are literal playlists to his life, with meaning, inspiration, and stories attached. It’s fascinating to see how emotionally and physically connected Questlove is to the music around him.
And if nobody has made a master Spotify playlist of all the albums referenced in these pages, please do it now.