Questlove: TOP TEN BOOKS


Questlove photographed by Michael Baca

Four-time Grammy Award winning musician Questlove gained fame as part of Philadelphia hip hop group The Roots, who currently occupy a cushy residency as the in-house band for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. He is a DJ, producer (he co-produced the Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton,) and New York Times bestselling author with a third title, “Creative Quest,” his guide to living the best possible creative life, is out now.

Below are Questlove’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.


Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984

Duane Tudahl
A book I loved so much I begged to do the foreward when I received the manuscript.
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Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America

Sylviane A. Diouf
This book represents my chapter in American history—my great great great grandfather was on this ship. I'm his dream manifested.
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The Hungry Ear

Kevin Young
I like reading poetry, and I like eating and drinking. This book combines all of that with poetry about food and drink.
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They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

Hanif Abdurraqib
His ode to “Trap Queen” as the new “I Will Always Love You” first caught my attention. I was instantly hooked.
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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton
The chapter on Larry Levan alone transformed me into wanting to be your favorite DJ.
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The Potlikker Papers

John T. Edge
Although his 2004 book on chicken is the usual go to, it's his ode to soul food and race that grabbed me.
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Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists

Brian Coleman
My two favorite things in one setting: liner notes and hip hop classics!
Currently unavailable

Silver Screen Fiend

Patton Oswalt
Similar to my envy of Outkast's “Spottieottiedopaliscious,” this is the memoir I wish I could've written. This film is damn near my personal cinema bible.
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Beneath the Underdog

Charles Mingus
Lots of musicians have written memoirs. I did. This one, by the great jazz bassist and composer, is one of the funniest, smartest, and rawest.
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Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates
A clear and powerful thinker writing about how we got to where we got, and where we're going next. The voice of the times I live in.
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