“We wanted to bring [?uestlove] in because we felt he should really be a professor.”
Remember that time Wesleyan snagged celebrated alum Dar Williams ’89 to return to campus to teach a course on Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy and then Williams went and got Peter Yarrow, co-writer of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” to show up on campus and lead a raucous protest singalong in Zelnick while holding hands with Adam Rotstein ’13?
NYU’s one-upped us. No, not another Lil B lecture. This time they got ?uestlove to co-teach a course at the Tisch School of the Arts this spring. Just call him Professor ?uesto:
— Questo of The Roots (@questlove) October 16, 2012
Essaywhuman?? According to Billboard, the course will be co-taught with producer Harry Weinger and will focus on classic albums—particularly illuminating some of ?uesto’s faves:
The two credit class will focus on the concept of what it means for something to be called classic or seminal, as well as take a close look at the music, lyrics, production, business aspects— such as promotion and marketing—that informed the release and reception of the album, and try to provide a context as to why these albums have stood the test of time, according to Jason King, associate professor of recorded music and head of history and criticism at the Institute, who confirmed the course.
The class is expected to look at albums by Sly & The Family Stone ( Stand!, There’s A Riot Goin’ On), Aretha Franklin ( Lady Soul), Led Zeppelin ( IV), Prince ( Dirty Mind), Michael Jackson ( Off The Wall), and the Beastie Boys ( Paul’s Boutique), among others.
The concept for the course emerged from a recent NPR post in which intern Austin Cooper reviewed a Public Enemy disc he’d never heard before. But the best argument for the course comes from NYU professor Jason King, who basically points out that—well, obviously ?uestlove should be a professor, you know?
“We wanted to bring [?uestlove] in because we felt he should really be a professor; in a lot of ways he already is an informal, unofficial professor, not just in hip hop but in music in general,” King told Billboard.biz. “He’s one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician. We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths.”
Besides being an all-around renaissance dude/drummer/producer/spokesperson/Twitter celebrity, ?uestlove has already appeared as a guest speaker at the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music. Here’s an Argus article from 1996, when the Roots were targeted as a Spring Fling act.
Here’s the video for “How I Got Over”: