Questlove Pens a History of Hip-Hop, Name-Dropping Bigwigs in Ye, Eminem, and More

Published 06/10/2024, 2:13 AM EDT

The world of hip-hop was not born overnight. Hence, any analysis of its intricate history comes with the requirement of inch-to-inch know-how. Although hip-hop officially turned 50 last year, in the decades of its existence, it has undergone several cycles of death and rebirth. Reflecting on the elongated history of mainstream hip-hop in words of his own, Ahmir Questlove Thompson assessed an overview of the changing landscape of the universe by referencing big-impact rappers like Kanye West, now Ye, Eminem, Tupac, Notorious BIG, and more.

In his eighth book, the Roots frontman name-dropped the flag-bearers of hip-hop’s success stories by integrating more than one perspective to document the history from multiple points of view.

Questlove mentions Ye, Eminem, and other hip-hop artists in his recent book

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Ahmir Questlove Thompson recently released his eighth book, Hip-Hop is History, with co-author Ben Greenman talking about hip-hop’s birth, its evolution into a cultural phenomenon, and the contributors from the perspective of a supreme music geek and chronicler of its history. The author name-dropped a blizzard of artists’ names from the initial days of hip-hop till now by referencing the rappers who have dominated the scene for decades like Ye and Eminem.

The book is infused with sharp observations, seen entirely from Questlove's perspective. He identifies the Atlanta rapper's critical flaw as a general "lack of self-awareness, " exacerbated by the mistaken belief in having complete awareness of his work. He further took a swipe at the 'Mockingbird' hitmaker, calling him a "wheel-spinning virtuoso" who might have run out of meaningful things to say, yet still possesses a remarkable talent for saying it.

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Questlove was not finished critiquing artists within the hip-hop community, as he had more names to call out for recent controversies. Unsurprisingly, he also referenced the ongoing feud between Kendrick Lamar and Drake, declaring "hip-hop is truly dead" in a post from May.

Questlove’s fiery take on the Kendrick Lamar-Drake beef

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When rap titans Kendrick Lamar and Drake entered their notorious rap battle, they not only grabbed the attention of their fan bases but also sparked widespread discussion among various artists. The debate over who ultimately triumphed continues, and Questlove, deeply rooted in the hip-hop world, could not resist declaring his verdict. In a scornful Instagram post on May 8, he broke his silence on the feud.

Questlove was unimpressed with the messy clash between the rappers and ridiculed both Drake and Lamar in his post. He declared that "nobody won the war", proclaiming “hip-hop is truly dead”. He also criticized fans for getting involved in the mudslinging between the heavyweights. Clearly, Questlove is deeply disturbed by the current state of mainstream hip-hop, and as a result, rappers like Ye, Eminem, K-Dot, and Drizzy are not getting a free pass this time.

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What do you think of Questlove's mention of Ye and Eminem in his recent book, Hip-Hop is History? Let us know in the comments below!

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Anushka Bhattacharya

859 articles

I'm Anushka Bhattacharya, an entertainment journalist at Netflix Junkie. Armed with a degree in literature, I once wielded my words to catalyze change within society through my work with NGOs. However, as I stumbled into the exuberant hole of crime thrillers and documentaries on Netflix, it was love at first sight and pushed me into entertainment journalism.

Edited By: Aliza Siddiqui

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