Questlove’s Next Book, ‘Hip-Hop Is History’ Will Drop Early Next Year To Commemorate 50 Years Of Hip-Hop

Back in 2021, Questlove wrote Music Is History, an encyclopedia of sorts of significant moments in music for every year since his birth. Now, with 50th anniversary celebrations for hip-hop going on, he is set to follow it up early next year with Hip-Hop Is History, which will use a similar format. In an interview with Variety about the new book, he said he’s writing and releasing the book (via his own AUWA Books publishing imprint) because “No one is else is writing it.”

His co-writer on the project will once again be Ben Greenman and will be the second book from AUWA following a memoir by Sly Stone due in October. (Quest is also directing a documentary about Stone and his legal fight to secure royalties for his work with The Family Stone.) “There was no nostalgia culture before the 1970s, so, my dad was the first generation of the oldies, doo-wop crowd,” Quest said. “I know everything about curating these types of events, working with everyone from Bowser from Sha Na Ha to Dick Clark.”

“I was 8 years old when ‘Rapper’s Delight came out,” he explained of his experience with the genre. “To be a living witness for every first in hip-hop and have an exact memory of it…” That near-photographic memory is what makes him the perfect person to write this 50-year retrospective. “No one asked me to, but I’m carrying that burden,” he said. “And for all those who are present and accounted for, there is something to celebrate with hip hop’s 50th.There may be a lot of water under that bridge. Our disdain for looking in the rearview mirror is entrenched in pain and trauma. But as a child of legacy and nostalgia culture, I want to be the GPS for people to celebrate that thing called hip-hop.”