Questlove & Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter on Songs That Shook America (Extended Interview)

-Please help me welcome
Questlove and Tariq
“Black Thought” Trotter. [ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Laughs ] ♪♪ Hi.
-Hey! [ Cheers and applause ] More than enough.
More than enough. Thank you very much. -How’s it going?
-Yeah. It was a great one. It’s going good.
It’s going good. We’re having good. We’re having fun.
-We’re having fun. We’re having good.
[ Laughter ] -Tariq, good to see you.
Quest, good to see you. -Good to see you. -Let’s start off
with this first. Does it feel weird
me interviewing you? -Uh, it’s Jimmy right?
-Yeah, you can call me Jimmy. [ Laughter ]
Mr. Fallon. Let’s talk about “Mixtape
Potluck” first of all, Quest. -Okay.
-What is this? What is this? It’s a cookbook?
-In short, it’s a cookbook, but really, it’s a guide for
people that throw parties that sort of want ideas. So, it’s like
how to throw a party. I throw these food salons.
Both of you have been… -I’ve been there.
-…at them. So, pretty much,
it’s just a gathering of — -Explain what a food salon is, ’cause I’ve never heard of it
before your party. -Well, I mean, a food salon’s
a high-brow potluck, where I usually have three high-end chefs
come over to cook. -Yeah.
-Dominique Ansel or, you know, Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison. -It’s a real bougie dinner.
[ Laughter ] -You should call it
bougie dinner. That’s what you should do
next — bougie dinner. But that’s what basically all
these — I’m in the book. I gave you my Air-Fried
Chicken Burger recipe. -Yeah.
[ Cheers and applause ] -Yeah,
’cause what happened was — -What’s the story of —
yeah, why air-fried? -Well,
because I was talked into — Like a lot of people in America, I was talked into
getting an air fryer. [ Laughter ]
-Better for the environment. -It’s the worst investment
I ever made. [ Laughter ]
It’s terrible. I don’t — It’s awful. I really —
I would not recommend it. My worst enemy, and I wouldn’t
tell them to get an air fryer. But anyways — Oh, you know
what they’re great for? Tater tots.
-Okay. -French fries —
things that are frozen in a bag. -So, they should call it
a tater tot maker. -Yes, that’s it. That’s exactly
what it should be. But anyways, I was like,
“What can I do with this thing? I don’t know
what to do with it.” So I made chicken burgers. But my secret
of the chicken burger is… -What?
-…the potato buns. You take the potato buns, and you put them
in the food processor and make them into bread crumbs. That’s the move, and it’s
actually a better bread crumb than buying bread crumbs
in a thing. -Oh, whoa.
-These make them more crunchier. -Well, I can attest
that it was great, ’cause we had to try
all 50 meals. -Oh, you did?
-Yeah. -Oh, good.
I’m glad you made it. And then, Tariq,
you have a recipe in here. -Yeah, you know.
-South Philly Seafood Stew. -Yeah.
-Now, why is it South Philly? -I mean, that’s where I’m from. That’s where my boy
branzino’s from. [ Laughter ] [ Air horn blows ] -Branzino!
[ Cheers and applause ] -I mean, it’s a take on,
you know, a classic cioppino. -Yeah.
-You know? -You said, Quest,
you always told me that the secret that no one knows
about you Tariq is that he’s actually
an amazing cook. -Tariq is probably
one of the best chefs every. -Really?
-Like, I feel like this whole food space I’m in is
more like imposter syndrome, ’cause he’s really, like… I’m sure now
he’s slow-roasting — [ Laughter ] I’m sure that he got up at 3:00
in the morning to, like, put a roast in the oven.
-Oh, man. -What do you like better?
Emceeing or cooking? -Um, you know,
I actually like — I mean, I enjoy cooking probably
more than I do emceeing. -Really?
-Yeah, yeah. -Why?
-I mean, it’s just a different medium, you know what I mean? It’s something that, you know, I haven’t been doing
for quite as long, and it’s just more,
you know, therapeutic. It’s like — I don’t know.
It’s just something — -Your whole life cooking?
Was your parents into it? -My parents weren’t into cooking
that much. My grandmother a little bit. But I started working in
restaurants, like, you know,
before I should’ve. -Really?
-Since I was about 13. -Yeah, that’s when I started
working, too, yeah. [ Indistinct ]
Yeah, I know. You’re not legally allowed
to work there, but, yeah. -And I was getting paid
under the table. -Exactly. Right. Yeah. And is this your jam,
the seafood stew? -Yeah, you know, one of many. It was what I was vibing on
that day. -I think this is cool, man.
This is fun. A lot of cool — A lot of good
names in here, too, if you want to pick up this
book, “Mixtape Potluck.” I also want to talk about
your show, “Hip Hop.” This is on AMC — “Hip Hop:
The Songs That Shook America.” -Yep.
-What made you want to do a docuseries on hip hop? -You know —
-What makes it different? -For such a long time,
you know, we travel around, and you do interviews, you do,
you know, promotion runs. And, you know, you find people
telling these stories sort of documenting the culture, and it really feels like,
you know, they’re on the outside
looking in. -Sure.
-So when we got the opportunity to sort of, you know,
to tell a story from first-hand,
you know, knowledge, we jumped at it. Like, this is what it looks like when the gatekeepers of the
culture or the elder statesmen, you know, sort of
take back the keys. -Yeah. You guys have been around
for a long time. -[ Laughs ]
-I mean, you have. -Yeah.
-I mean, longer than most hip hop groups. -Yeah, but…
-Yeah. -What you getting at? -What I’m just saying
is you guys are legit. I mean, people love you, man. People come on our show,
and they’re nervous to perform ’cause you’re looking at them
and they’re looking at you. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh. Black Thought is looking at me,
and Quest.” Like, even the drummer’s just
like, “Oh, my God. It’s Questlove looking at me.”
Exactly. But, so, for you to actually
talk about songs and, you know,
songs that shook America, it means something to people
because you know your stuff, you know
what you’re talking about. -I’ll always put it in terms of,
like, I’m not a sports head, but I love ESPN’s “30 for 30.”
-Yeah, yeah. -And so this show
is also not only for, like,
connoisseurs of hip hop, but even if you’re not into it,
like, it’s still engaging and educational and you learn
something from it. -How’d you pick the songs? -Mm…
-So, based on this book called “Rap Year Book”
by Shea Serrano… -Yeah.
-…we’d optioned that book. He gives his opinion.
It’s more subjective. He gives his opinion
what he thinks the song of the year represents. It is not the best song
or that thing, but it’s just — for us, it was like the song that causes
the biggest ripple effect. -Wow.
-And so our pilot episode is Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks,” which really has a deep story just beyond the four minutes
that you get to listen to. -That’s crazy.
-And we had very many knock-down, drag-out, you know,
arguments about… -What song is what?
-…what song was the most impactful and made, you know, sort of the biggest impression
when. -Yeah, and you narrowed it down. You’ve got a good list.
This is good stuff. You guys have known each other
since high school. -Yeah.
-That’s a long time to know each other
and be friends. I have never before seen photos. Here’s —
-Oh! -This is Questlove.
[ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] Remember this dude?
-Yeah. -Remember him?
-Yep. -And then here’s Tariq.
-Oh! -Oh!
[ Cheers and applause ] -Nah, you’re in style, dude.
-Oh, no! [ Laughs ] -What is the secret to being
a successful group for so long? -I joke that
it’s two tour buses. [ Laughter ]
-Yeah, yeah. -But really it’s just that,
you know, we have a dream, and we can do other —
like, pursue other things, but always come back
to home base. -Yeah.
-And that’s — -I think it’s, you know,
the fact that we’ve, you know, never had to sort of compromise our integrity
or, like, what the brand, you know,
sort of has grown to represent. You know what I mean?
-You never have — like, I know what you’re saying. Like, now
and then you hear a band. They put out a new album,
they kind of sold out, they changed
to try to get something. -Yeah, I mean, often, people are
just, you know, in pursuit of whatever said prize is, and they
do something that, you know, feels less than organic or, you know,
just more contrived when, you know, I feel like
slow and steady wins the race. -Yeah. Smart. [ Cheers and applause ]

22 thoughts on “Questlove & Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter on Songs That Shook America (Extended Interview)

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I better not see any comments bullying Quest love

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Hello I love you

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:32 am


  • October 11, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I hope everyone is having an amazing day

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Imagine one day Jimmy Fallon invite me 😭😭😭 Dear God are u listening to me?

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Wonderful ! Thank you from France ! 🇨🇵🇨🇵🇨🇵🇨🇵

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:41 am

    I don't think it's humanly possible to be cooler than Tariq

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Questlove is the best.

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:48 am

    This is one thing that The Tonight Show does right. The band is part of the show.. like, integrally, and not just a 'throw to commercial' camera target.

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Questlove and Tariiq mad respect!!

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Extended Interview is always the good stuff.

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I remember the day the roots came out. I bought their first CD.
    I thought that's it.
    That's real.
    That's music.

    Not catering to a broad audience but music that speaks to a broad audience. Music is emotion, something you feel.

    It is a time, place, smell, event or commentary.

    It can make you think.
    Get up and dance.
    Understand a deeper meaning.

    Like Public Enemy,
    Gil Scott Heron,
    Stevie Wonder,
    Jimi Hendrix,
    Marvin Gaye,
    Curtis Mayfield,
    George Michael
    And others
    It is music to invoke to thinking, to be better.
    To see the world in a way where we all must understand we are one race, the Human Race.

    Questlove, The Roots, or any version there of does this.

    Thank God for them not making music for money's sake.
    But making music for the sake of the human race.

  • October 11, 2019 at 9:59 am

    These guys look like they could perform music/play musical instruments they should start a band or something

  • October 11, 2019 at 10:00 am


  • October 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Quest! Nice Mala.

  • October 11, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Many casual fans may know The Roots only as the band from Jimmy's show, but true music/hip-hop fans would tell you they are one of the OG greatest hip-hop bands ever. Especially Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter is one of those MCs that even the more famous rappers pay mad respect to. He's probably the favourite rapper of your favourite rapper.

  • October 11, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Who’s a fan of ( JIMMY FALLON )❤️

    ⤵️On my road to 1k subscribers❤️any support will be amazing❤️

  • October 11, 2019 at 10:35 am

    had to do their own intro music lol

  • October 11, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I'm older than and just as "shockingly Caucasian" as Bill Burr. I'm very ignorant when it comes to rap and hip hop. It's not really my jam for the most part. But I just love The Roots and can't get enough of them.

  • October 11, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Hey nice vid

  • October 11, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Best entrance

  • October 11, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Tariq “pop-filter” Trotter


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