?uestlove Talks To Vibe About Being An Audio Nerd

JLBarrow • June 22, 2010 • No Comments

Vibe.com caught up with ?uestlove to discuss the making of How I Got Over and he dropped some interesting nuggets:

Can the Roots be looked at as a hip-hop act in the era of Gucci Mane?

I know a lot of people are real confused about the evolution of the Roots. I just tell them my personal mission as one of the producers in the collective is I’m really overprotective of the perception of the group. You know that question of are we real hip-hop or not? So I was more or less obsessed with sonically trying to make sure we sounded just as aggressive as a RZA production or as a Ummah production or anybody that is basically killing the game today. As a result, I became more of an engineer than a producer.

An audio nerd, huh?

Well, to me it was more important using specific types of mics and how to make our stuff sound like it was a sample. I love that whole making people think, Ah man…y’all sampled this? Nah, motherfucker, we did this ourselves [laughs]! I played Jazzy Jeff the Joanna Newsome’s “Book of Right-On” his first question was, “Yo, how did you clear that sample???” And I was like, “No…that’s me! Don’t you hear all those drum fills?” That’s what I live for.


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