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Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,941 Ratings  ·  615 Reviews
"You have to bear in mind that [Questlove] is one of the smartest motherf*****s on the planet. His musical knowledge, for all practical purposes, is limitless." --Robert Christgau

The World According to Questlove

Mo' Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fa
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published June 2013)
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Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, autobiography
“Music has the power to stop time. When I listen to songs, I'm transported back to the moment of their birth, which is sometimes even before the moment of my birth. Old songs, rock or soul or blues, still connect with me because the human emotions in them, whether jealousy or rage or hope, are recognizably similar to the emotions that I'm feeling now. But I'm feeling all of them, all the time, and so the songs act like a chemical process that isolates certain feelings at certain times: maybe on ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confession. To my knowledge, I've never heard a Roots song. Everything I know about the Roots comes from hearing them as the house band on Jimmy Fallon and on the wonderful viral videos of the group playing Call Me Maybe and Blurred Lines on kids instruments.

Truthfully, I went into the book hoping to read a bunch of Jimmy Fallon and celebrity stories. What I got instead was the story of a man my age who pours his love of music onto every page. ?uestlove shatters all of my hip hop stereotypes by
David Dacosta
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mo’ Meta Blues substantiates all that I originally suspected about Questlove’s musical nerdom. As the child of a moderately successful former Do-Wop singer, coupled with an upbringing steeped in drumming, Quest seemed predestined for his current post as leader of the Grammy winning Hip Hop group The Roots. In the realm of percussion, his skill with the sticks is undeniable. Where things become doubtful, are in Questlove’s recollections of his childhood and music. To hear someone cite their grasp ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, memoir-bio
"when you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life."™

drummer, dj, producer, and co-founder of the legendary roots crew, ahmir "questlove" thompson is a one of the music world's most virtuosic individuals. possessing talent in spades, ?uestlove's accomplishments are many, but it is his encyclopedic knowledge and abiding passion for music past and present that set him in another realm. mo' meta blues is indeed a music memoir, but the story of a life shaped by song most
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars? And you gave David Byrne's book 4? What?!?! Yep. You aren't even a Roots fan, why?

Because Questlove made me head over heels in deep smit of him. Not just for his character as a human being, his intellectual mightiness, charm or even having the best stories about Prince was because he made me see music with a different lens and perspective than I had before. He renewed something in myself I lost. He made me fall in love with idea again that the records I love are testaments of
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rufus fans
Shelves: music, 2016
I remember when I first heard The Roots. My singer put this new group from his hometown on and our whole band all just sat in his apartment playing with his pet hedgehog, silently, listening to their entire first album. I remember a few quiet "holy shit"s during Dice Raw's breathless tightrope act of a freestyle. We all felt that something had changed. Finally, someone had made live hip-hop work.

Questlove talks about his own formative musical experiences in his memoir. He's around the same age
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
Anyone who has ever heard or read Questlove during an interview knows that he's probably the most unpretentiously scholarly musician on the scene today; he talks about music--his own and others'--in the way we're used to seeing filmmakers or novelists discuss their respective arts. The breadth and depth of his music knowledge would have to be unparalleled--it almost certainly is in the modern music industry--but what stands out the most about Questlove in interviews is his enthusiasm for music.

Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read non-fiction and I honestly can't think of the last memoir I read. In light of that, Mo Meta was my natural choice to deviate from the norm, because I love The Roots. I've been a fan for a while now, and I admire Quest and the entire band as musicians. Plus, I'm from Philadelphia. There's something about being where an artist is from that makes you almost feel connected to them. To add to that, I grew up specifically in South Philly, so there was also that.

Anyone who follows
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music lovers
I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed the musical journey that Questlove shares with the reader as he talks about the early years of his life. He provides awesome playlist that just make you want to dance. This book would be great as an enhance media document where you could listen and download music as you read. I would also like to see some the album covers that he describes so beautifully.

Questlove shares a lot of personal stories in the memoir. He talks about attending the prom with a beau
Cailin Deery
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
From a very young age, Questlove (Ahmir Thompson) is not only relatable, but shows real continuity of character. From his earliest memories, he’s thoughtful (and when it comes to the things that intrigue or move him: hopelessly absorbed), enthusiastic, stubborn, full of joy and easily embarrassed.

His anecdotes revolving around obsessions or inspirations of his are so endearing. For example, when he was about 8 and touring with his father’s doo-wop quintet (Lee Andrews & the Hearts) he ran i
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My bro posts me this book from To, C A /Unwrapped it, thought, uh, okay
?uestlove wrote an auto, dude seems thoughtful, and it's only short essays/
Now I never had much truck with the music group The Roots/
From which the author grows out most his leaves and shoots/
They always seemed like worthy rap/A palliative for people that/
Didn't like it when the rappers/The rappers, yeah, who seemed so dapper/
Rapped about distasteful shit/And spoke of bitches, gangsters; skits/
Which centered on their dangly b
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I'll start by saying that Robert Christgau reviewed this better than I ever could:

I don't have a ton to add except: I usually find reading about music and music biographies a bore. I'm the person who clicks onto Pitchfork every day, checks the scores of all the new reviews, and doesn't read a single word. So why did I devour every sentence Questlove used to describe his favorite albums and the making of each and every Roots record? For me, it's becaus
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I've never listened to a single Roots album, don't listen to hip-hop, neo-soul, never watched a single episode of the late night TV show hosted by Jimmy Fallon that features The Roots as the house band...yet I read and enjoyed this music stuffed memoir by Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. I love music and Questlove has dedicated himself to so many kinds of music that it makes me feel a bit lazy and narrow minded even though my combination of albums/CDs/cassettes number over 5,000 if I ad ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questlove is obviously a music junkie. This fact shines throughout the book. His passion for music and hip hop is infectious. As I was reading about the various studio sessions surrounding Roots albums, I started listening to the Roots. The memoir is pretty straight forward, notwithstanding the fact that he states in the introduction this is something he wanted to avoid. What makes the linear approach work in this particular case, is the soundtrack of his memory. Each period of his life he talks ...more
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this book. It took me down memory lane and I found myself swept away by the nostalgia of the music of my childhood. But the further I got into Questlove's memoir, the more I grew tired of him. He wrote much of the book as if he alone is The Roots. There is minimal recognition of the other band members and their contribution to their extensive discography. He repeatedly refers to Black Thought as a "virtuoso rhymer" but fails to put Tariq's skills in context ...more
Michael Feeney
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Music lovers
Recommended to Michael by: John Oliver, The Daily Show
What a brilliant read. Saw Quest talking to John Oliver on the Daily Show about the book and was spellbound, as was Oliver. He is such an amazing presence; a walking dictionary of music who is inspired by the sounds and can't wait to discuss it with you. The book engages, takes to you Quest's visual & vivid recollections of his moments frozen in time and inextricably linked to a particular song. Makes you think about the songs that define your timeline and life.
Libros Prohibidos
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Más de 250 páginas de una autobiografía nada convencional que aúna historia, sociología, confesión, crítica musical, cotilleo (reconozcámoslo, en una autobiografía todos queremos saber cómo conoció a X, con quién se lió Y y por qué se peleó con Z) y mucha reflexión sobre la música, la creación artística y la propia escritura. Reseña completa:
Niklas Pivic
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music freaks, fans of late 1990s hip-hop/R&B
How can a man in his early forties hope to really talk about his life as a whole? It’s like reviewing the first half of a song.

While this faux-memoir by Questlove, part founder, drummer, songwriter and tastemaker in The Roots, one of the most influential bands to come out of the USA in the R&B/hip-hop movements, is loose, conjoined and at its worst rushed and unhinged, that is also its main strength; early in the book, Questlove questions (pun not intended) the absence of comments from other
Stewart Mitchell
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's refreshing to read a memoir from a member of one of the greatest groups in hip-hop history and to not be let down by it. To actually, against all odds, relate to this huge black guy from Philly through your common nerd-level love of music. To be constantly entertained by his stories and footnotes, and the unconventional style of his writing (which includes emails between his cowriter and his editor, as well as footnotes from the longtime manager of the Roots, both of which give an interesti ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading books about music lately - Keith Richard's book, Greg Allman's, Neil Young's, books about women songwriters from the 60's and 70's, books about groupies, and even tried to slog through a Greil Marcus book, which was just too damn much like college to be any fun. Side note: his thoughts on how rock n' roll mirrors the loneliness, alienation, and simultaneous sense of hope, adventure, and connection that the American dream repeatedly promises and fails to deliver spoke to me.

Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books, owned
liked this one -- thompson is a bright guy - something i already knew about him - and this shows in his writing. he's also a reader, and i really enjoyed the few literary references he included in the book. this was almost a crash course in the history of hip-hop and that was very cool. and it was nice to get a bit more information on things going on in that world. also -- i have to say -- huge props to thompson for his vast musical knowledge, and appreciation for all types of music. go ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Questlove is an amazing drummer and a perceptive, thoroughly engaging critic and consumer of music. I give him five stars for that, as well as for the acknowledgements of this book, wherein he thanks more people than I've ever met in my life--and does it distinctively for each person. Everything about him seems centered and on the one.

But, alas, this book is kind of dull, and what's not dull is incomplete. It's less about his life and relations with people (he doesn't hurt anyone's feelings, but
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, memoir, 2013
From the start, Questlove (in an interview with himself) contends that he doesn't want this to be a straight forward memoir and wants to do something different in telling his story. This new format includes inserting letters from the co-writer to the editor (both named Ben) about the process & progress of the book which I found distracting. It also has footnotes throughout by Richard Nichols, the longtime co-manager of The Roots, as a counterpoint to Questlove's narrative, which I really enj ...more
Rhome Anderson
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahmir Thompson is one of the most important figures in black music from my generation, possibly the most important. He's been generous over his career with sharing tons of information, from expansive liner notes to his constant online interactions, but it all needed to be collected in one place. This memoir is everything I hoped it would be, and while some may find the fractured narrative style distracting, I think it fits his work, his personality and our modern age. I can only hope that he has ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
One of the more fun books I've read on music. I wish he would have just kept giving me lists of the music he loved, and why he loved it, because as a music geek I luxuriated in that analysis.

Love this guy...
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**Warning very biased review follows***
The Legendary Roots Crew has been my favorite band for over a decade so I must admit I am completely biased in writing this review. I remember being fascinated at Questlove's wide-ranging musical tastes when he had a feed of what was playing on his ipod on the old Okayplayer website back in the early-mid 2000s. This book is like an extended version of that and really explains quite a bit about his musical tastes. One thing I didn't know before reading the b
Adrienne Michetti
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-just-right
Wow - what an *education* I've just had. Getting into Questlove's brain is a trip, and one that I'd like to take again.

Sidebar: I almost feel weird giving this book a review, given all that I now know about how seriously he takes reviews. I'm hoping that with the release of his newest book imminent, he won't pay too much attention to this one.

Quest first had me hooked in the early part of this unconventional memoir when he discussed how he remembers events and times in his childhood based on a
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, bio
A mere three stars in a forest of four and five star reviews? Yep -- and I'm still debating with myself whether it really shouldn't be two stars.

Over the years ?uestlove has already shared much of his life with his fans through anecdotes told via blog posts, profiles in magazines etcetera, and thankfully this book is not just a retread of that ground. Yet at the same time this memoir disappoints because it is nothing but another part of the puzzle; a rather significant amount of pieces which fil
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t own any Roots music. I don’t even follow Questlove on Twitter. I do catch Jimmy Fallon once or twice a week. But I jumped at the opportunity to read this book, and I was not disappointed. Questlove has always struck me as thoughtful, deep and reflective, and his memoirs hit that mark.

The first two thirds of the book was a little stronger than the last part. The book even seems to acknowledge this by talking about how it is easier to put things into prospective the farther away they are.
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A customer came into the bookstore I work at and ordered a copy of this book. I am not a huge Questlove fan, I know very little about him or his hip-hop band The Roots (I am getting familiar with them now and I think they are real good) and I never watch Late Nite with Jimmy Fallon (they are the house band for Late Nite; I felt like mentioning that because maybe you didn't know that because you have been living under a rock for the last four years or are from another planet, welcome to Earth, th ...more
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Ahmir Khalib Thompson (born January 20, 1971), known professionally as ?uestlove or Questlove (also known as BROther ?uestion, Questo, Brother Question or Qlove), is an American drummer, DJ, music journalist and record producer.

He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman (with Black Thought) for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, serving since February 17, 2014 as the in-house band f
More about Ahmir Questlove Thompson...

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“How do you plan a rebirth? I'm not sure you do. You just stand in the darkness until you can't endure it any long, and then you move forward until you're standing in the light.” 11 likes
“And even though people like to furrow their brow like they suspect you're not being honest about yourself, the truth is that they worry that you're not serving their idea of you.” 11 likes
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