Photo Credit: Questlove Supreme

Podcast Listening Challenge Week 15: Questlove Supreme Podcast

This week I really wanted to avoid interview based podcasts but I have realized that the interview format is the norm in the space because it is easier to draw an audience. I really need to find a podcast that interviews the most random people to make a huge difference to how I see interview based podcasts.

Whilst doing my search I came across the name Questlove and I decided I had to give his podcast a listen simply because I am a fan of The Roots. Probably one of the best bands of all time, fronted by one of the best MCs to ever touch a mic in Black Thought.

The podcast is hosted by hosted by Questlove and what more can I say about the brilliance of the man known as The Roots drummer and one of the stars of the band. What is crazy about The Roots is that the band consists of 11 members but only two actually call the shots. Two powerful heads and that would be Questlove and the wordsmith Black Thought. So it seems pretty fitting that as a group member Questlove could interview Little brother which is an acclaimed hip hop group made up of Phonte, Big Pooh and 9th Wonder. I’m a fan of Little Brothers music but unfortunately I don’t know enough about the group so this was a chance to get familiar with them and their art.


So Let’s Get into The Pod:

Lil brother started as a group with its 3 members namely Big Pooh, Phonte and then they added 9th Wonder. Their music is more soulful and underground than commercial and they are not on a major label making noise and with banners on Time Square.

Questlove asked them about how they make decisions and they responded that “it was easy to make decisions as a trio as opposed to being a Duo”. Quest was comparing this to the roots where it’s a group made up of 11 people but only two people call the shots and those are the most famous in Questlove and Black Thought. As a trio it was easy because the third person would be the tiebreaker in the event of a disagreement and once it came down to a duo it became harder to make decisions. Being a duo is almost like a married couple. Quest asks them about their career trajectory and how the group broke up and then how they came back together last year to release another album. They took an 8 year hiatus as a group to focus on their individual careers.

Quest peels away the layers of the group not just as a fellow musician but also as a fan. Little Brother recalls when he bought 30 copies of their CD and then gave them back to them. That’s fandom at its best!! Little Brother even thanked him on the episode because that money helped pay bills.

Quest asked Little Brother how they knew the group had to break up and their description is true of a lot of things in life. They state that “it became a tale of how passion became work.” Not wanting to wake up and go and perform everyday and tour and late nights. The work was no longer fulfilling and i’m sure this is relatable to anybody who works hard. Little Brother even recall that the music suffered and you could hear the joy in the early records and over time the joy was sapped away. The service with a smile experience was no longer present. Imagine how soul wrenching and exhausting of a process this must have been for them. Music is an art form and art needs passion and emotions to flourish. Without joy the quality of the music will be non-existent and hollow and real fans and feel that the authenticity is gone. These were beautiful insights that they shared.

What I love about this podcast is that Questlove is not overbearing at all and he plays his position like he does with The Roots. He is the most popular member of the group but he doesn’t sing and on this podcast he gives the guests all the room they require to articulate their points and add meat to their stories. Then Quest just occasionally chimes in with good points and great questions to keep the conversation interesting. He knows when to add input and when to stay in the background. The man is a podcast Savant, it comes so natural and it makes the show great. The total runtime of the episode is 100 minutes but it feels much shorter. I will revisit this podcast to see what interesting guests Quest brings along for this amazing ride of engagement and dialogue.

Till next week’s Pod, you can read about last week’s Pod:

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Start-up Enthusiast, Future VC and Proud African

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Simba Mswaka

Simba Mswaka

Start-up Enthusiast, Future VC and Proud African

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