Make The Kind Of Art A Kid Would Walk Out On Their Job Over

Questlove, before the fame, when he was just Ahmir, a teenager working in the kitchen at Big Al’s in Philly. One album and one lunch break helped change the trajectory of his life. 

It was the day he got his copy of It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back by Public Enemy on tape. He popped it in his Walkman and couldn’t stop listening. He was taking breaks all through the first part of his shift to listen to a little more and then a little more. 

Finally, he took his lunch break, put the tape on, and didn’t stop listening. There was no turning back. He was hearing what he wanted to do. He had no more time to give Big Al’s.

Ever since, he’s been chasing making the same feeling for others. Making the kind of art that would make a teenager walk out on their job because they just figured out what they wanted to do with their life. 

It’s how high the bar is. Get to reaching. 

ps. check out Questlove’s new book, “Music Is History” and his appearance on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

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