Last month, music legend/late-night television personality/drummer for the Roots Questlove donned his best tweed jacket and started teaching a class entitled Classic Albums at NYU. There are only a couple dozen insanely lucky students in the class, but NYULocal just published a lengthy interview with ?uesto and co-professor Harry Weinger for the rest of us.
Amongst his many insights, Professor Questlove discussed his idea of a masterpiece:
A masterpiece is like a 4 ½ star review. I like those way better – journalists who know me know I hate perfect reviews. 4 ½ is the best you can get because once you get a 5 or a perfect or a 10.0 you dissect it and it’s too scrutinized. A 4 ½ star review or a 9.2 is just close enough to perfection where it’s not going to get scrutinized or run into the ground.
The seven records on which his class will focus:
Lady Soul, My Life, Here My Dear, There’s A Riot Going On, Off The
Wall, It’ll Take A Whole Nation To Hold Us Back, 3 Feet High And
Rising, Dirty Mind and Paul’s Boutique.
Whether he asks his students to call him Questlove or Professor Thompson:
Questlove: I just have them call me Questlove – again, I don’t want
the hierarchy title like I’m the king and you’re my subjects because
we’re all learning together.
And then there’s this enticing exchange to close out the interview:
NYU Local: Any word on the D’Angelo album? I heard he may appear at a Brooklyn Bowl show.
Questlove: They announced that already?
NYU Local: It’s a rumor going around.
Questlove: Nice rumor! [Laughs] On that note, I have to go to class.
NYU Local: Any legitimacy to it?
Questlove: I don’t know…. It’s definitely not in February, but at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday nights I can do whatever I want. I’ve asked a lot of luminaries. I have someone – not D’Angelo – that I’m trying to pull a coup on to perform there. They’re of god status and they’re considering it.
NYU Local: Professor King just gave me a copy of the D’Angelo reissues and I’ve been playing it nonstop.
Questlove: Wait until you hear the new album.
Read the rest of the interview right here and start dreaming up ways to break into the Clive Davis Institute before the end of the semester.
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