Questlove is writing a book for hip-hop’s 50th anniversary
(Credit: Wikimedia/Joe Mabel)


Questlove is writing a book for hip-hop's 50th anniversary

Philadelphia rapper and former member of The Roots collective Questlove has revealed that he is in the process of writing a book to celebrate rap music’s 50th anniversary entitled, Hip-Hop Is History. The lyricist and producer has become somewhat of a music historian and, in recent years, has dedicated himself to documenting and emphasising African-American music’s essential and long-lasting legacy worldwide.

Earlier this year, the musician (real name Ahmir Thompson) was the frontman of the celebrations at the Grammy’s to celebrate this momentous year for the culture. The award ceremony saw performances from artists old and new, with the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, GloRilla and Lil Uzi Vert all hitting the stage to highlight hip-hop’s growth and evolution.

However, Thompson wants to memorialise hip-hop with more than just a string of rowdy performances and, as such, has taken it upon himself to scribe the context of the culture’s birth and its beautiful growth. The book is titled Hip-Hop Is History and will be published by his AUWA Books.

In an interview with Variety Magazine, Thompson disclosed, “No one else is writing it. I’m doing all this because somewhere out there, in 2031 or 2041, there will be a new Ahmir Thompson or Ahmira Thompson, maybe my kids when I start having them, and all of my hard work won’t be for nought. Perhaps, I will have reached somebody the same way that I was reached.”

Discussing what he refers to as legacy artists, meaning the cultural cornerstones of hip-hop, such as KRS-One, Melle Mel, LL Cool J and others, Thompson unveiled he wants future generations to know the profound impact they had, stating, I don’t know what legacy acts are going to look like in 2033.”

He continued, “If someone now getting a billion hits for their three songs on YouTube stays alive and healthy in 10 years, we’ll see. So many figureheads of hip-hop culture have dropped like flies in the last ten years.”

He then listed all of the most integral moments in the culture, including the release of ‘Rapper’s Delight’, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and more, revealing that it is these forgotten moments that have driven him to become a documentarian he unveiled that the written medium is the best way to captivate audiences and truly take them back.