Questlove is truly one of the most uniquely gifted personalities in hip-hop. He’s the brilliant drummer for The Roots, providing the backbeat and the bottom for one of the most consistently inspired acts in music; but he’s also an acclaimed producer and songwriter. Questo has collaborated with everyone from J. Dilla to Elvis Costello over the course of his career, and his songwriting contributions have elevated the work of luminaries like Erykah Badu and the late Amy Winehouse.
And with Questo’s new podcast Questlove Supreme on Pandora, we decided to salute the man born Ahmir Thompson with a look at some of his greatest songwriting moments.
“Geto Heaven, Pt. 2″
This pulsing groove is one of the highlights from Common’s acclaimed 2000 album Like Water For Chocolate. Anchored by Quest’s drums, with an assist from James Poyser, and carried by Macy Gray’s vocals and Common’s raps about finding higher being in oneself, it’s a standout track from the height of the Soulquarians era.
“Otherside of the Game”
This gorgeously moody ballad is one of the best songs in Erykah Badu’s amazing catalog and it features the acclaimed singer-songwriter collaborating with Quest and Poyser to deliver one of the 90s most indelible R&B singles.
“You Got Me”
A classic Roots song that was born of a collaborative effort from Jill Scott, Eve, Scott Storch and Questlove, it’s an achingly simple melody set against one of the most beautiful backdrops the band ever put together.
Voodoo, D’Angelo’s 2000 LP, was an obvious departure from the grooves of his 1995 debut, Brown Sugar, and a big reason for the album’s sonic adventurousness was Questlove’s addition. This is an off-kilter funk masterpiece, a loose jam that turns into one of the album’s greatest moments.
“Cinco Minutos Con Vos”
The Roots teamed up with Elvis Costello for the critically-acclaimed collaborative album Wise Up, Ghost in 2013; and the results were expectedly sublime. One of the album’s highlights is the slow grooving “Cinco Minutos Con Vos,” co-written Costello; which features a beautiful vocal from Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez.