Questlove added another line to his résumé earlier this year when he kicked off his Classic Albums course at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University. And to provide some insight into the syllabus and just how lucky the students in his class are, the Roots drummer/bandleader spoke with NYU Local about his teaching duties. In the interview, he and co-professor Harry Weineger break down what they’re discussing in class,
NYU Local: What kind of music did you put on the iPods you gave students?
Questlove: I kind of went overboard. I thought 16 gigs would be enough, and Harry was like you’re going to overwhelm them, but at the end of the day, if one person absorbs it then good. The seven records we’re focusing on are Lady Soul, My Life, Here My Dear, There’s A Riot Going On, Off The Wall, It Takes A NationOf Millions ToHold Us Back, 3 Feet High And Rising, Dirty Mind and Paul’s Boutique.
NYU Local: I also saw Zeppelin on the syllabus?
Questlove: Well here’s the thing. Not only do we have those records but I felt we should have the records that led to those albums, so we had to put License to Ill, we had to put early Prince stuff, then I wanted to show where we went after. We had to put 1999, Purple Rain. Then I wanted to put on albums that our chosen albums were particularly influenced by. So if they’re hip-hop albums, then I had to put all the albums that had the samples. It was way over 16 gigs. I wanted them to have the family tree that spawned our chosen albums.
Additionally, Questo revealed that he and the Roots are working on another album with Al Green while adding that their record with Elvis Costello is “brilliant.” Damn.
You can read the full interview at NYU Local.