The man born Ahmir Thompson — better known to the world as Questlove from The Roots — is almost compulsively creative.
When he isn’t anchoring the drum kit each weeknight on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where Thompson and his Roots bandmates have been the house band since Fallon took over in 2014, he’s busy recording, producing, DJ’ing, writing best-selling books, working as a restaurateur, hosting podcasts and much, much more.
He will be in town Saturday to host “Questlove’s Hip-Hop Brunch,” billed as “a visual journey thru hip-hop with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra & DJ Questlove,” according to a statement from the DSO.
The DSO will be led by composer Sylvester Onyejiaka, while Dallas artists Jeremy Biggers and JM Rizzi will also be on hand to provide an event where “people will vividly experience artistic expression visually through stories and imagery of music,” according to a DSO statement.
Before Questlove takes attendees on a visual and aural journey through hip-hop history, here are some fun facts about the celebrated musician.
He has collaborated with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra before
Saturday’s gig is not the first time Questlove has played a gig with the DSO. In 2017, The Roots, along with special guests like Robert Glasper, Chaka Khan and Erykah Badu, performed at what is now the Factory in Deep Ellum for a “Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop,” an event that likely — along with the DSO’s active participation in the Soluna festivals — laid the groundwork for this weekend’s event.
He has a long, productive association with Erykah Badu
As mentioned above, Badu is no stranger to Questlove keeping time on her tracks. Their creative relationship stretches all the way back to Badu’s debut, the 25-year-old Baduizm. Questlove has a writing credit on key single “Otherside of the Game,” and The Roots are featured on multiple songs from the album. Questlove also helped produce 2000’s Mama’s Gun, 2008’s New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) and 2010’s New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh).
He just won his first Oscar
Although it was ever-so-slightly overshadowed by the physical assault Will Smith inflicted upon Chris Rock just beforehand, Questlove is just a few weeks removed from adding an Oscar to his trophy case, picking up the prize for his debut directing effort, the acclaimed documentary “Summer of Soul,” which chronicles 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival. The film also netted another Grammy for Questlove, for best music film.