During a recent interview with Jemele Hill, Questlove claims that he quit The Roots during the recording process of almost all their albums.
“This album, Endgame, will probably be the first album that I didn’t threaten to leave the group,” Quest said. “After three records, then it’s like the little boy who cried wolf. It’s like, ‘Yeah, he’ll be back next month. Don’t worry about him.’”
Although he’ll probably never officially leave The Roots, Questlove explained to Hill that this unofficial tradition of him “quitting” started during the recording of their third album, Illadelph Halflife. The Roots’ previous album, Do You Want More?!!!??!, didn’t meet the expectations that members had for the project leading Black Thought and the late Mailk B to suggest the group use more traditional hip-hop instrumentals on Illadelph Halflife instead of focusing on live instrumentation.
“After a while, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Am I the bad guy here?’” he said. “So, I took it mad personal because in the beginning, I was just like, ‘I’mma be out.’”
Fortunately for fans (and Jimmy Fallon), Questlove never left The Roots. Yet, being in a group has stopped his solo success. In fact, he was tapped to coordinate the music for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony.