Rating

8

Qualities

  • Analytical
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring

Recommendation

Four-time Grammy winner Questlove sees inspiration everywhere. His open mind, breadth and depth of experience, focused work ethic, and appreciation for creativity in all of its forms infuse his words with contagious energy. This autobiography and creative manual cites various celebrities, but it isn’t about name-dropping. Questlove, the musical director of The Tonight Show and co-founder of the hip-hop band the Roots, displays sincere reverence for the works and processes of other artists. Be sure to find time to listen to the music he refers to and to seek out the visual art. As a successful commercial artist, he shares his strategies for bridging creativity and marketability. How Questlove thinks about and presents his examples is every bit as inspiring as the stories he tells. Creativity doesn’t have hard-and-fast rules. By developing your creative impulses, he says, you might help save the world. This is a rich guide for people in any field who want a life filled with creative energy and inspiration.

Summary

Perspectives from a “Cultural Omnivore”

Questlove is a four-time Grammy winner and the co-founder and leader of the hip-hop band the Roots – the house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Whether he is seated at his drum kit or working away from it, he devours creativity in many forms, drawing inspiration from creative people in various fields. He’s a bandleader, culinary entrepreneur, designer, DJ, music producer, professor, and more. Questlove strives to remain receptive to learning from experiences of all kinds. He lives the self-defined life of a cultural omnivore.  

Creative success doesn’t end when you receive a Grammy Award or even four Grammys. Creativity is a lifelong pursuit that, according to Questlove, demands hard work, focus, goals, mentors, collaboration, inspiration and a healthy relationship with failure. Questlove says he’s lived it all; his experience helped make the Roots “the longest overnight success” in the recording industry.

Explore Your Creativity

Some days, Questlove creates. On other days, he derives satisfaction from the inspiration he finds in the...

About the Author

Questlove is musical director of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, co-founder of the Roots and a four-time Grammy winner. Ben Greenman writes fiction and nonfiction.


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