Thanks to his bookish knowledge of pop culture and gift for storytelling, The Roots drummer Questlove has become one of music’s foremost historians — albeit, an informal one, in most cases. So, it’s fitting that his next book is titled Music Is History and will take on the task of examing the last 50 years of pop culture through the lens of the music that inspired it and was inspired it. The book is due in October through Abrams Image.
According to a press release, in the new book, Questlove will choose an “essential” track he believes defines each year, and “unpacks each song’s significance, revealing the pivotal role that American music plays around issues of race, gender, politics, and identity.”
Choosing the year 1971 as the book’s starting point, Quest gives it a link to his own personal history — he recently celebrated his own 50th birthday — and will also include personal anecdotes to highlight the way grand themes like race and politics can have a huge impact on the individual, as well. Topics will include the blaxploitation era, disco, and “the secret ingredient in all funk songs,” which will also be the theme of one of the playlists Questlove is curating to promote the new book. He’ll also be recording the audiobook version, releasing it through Recorded Books.