The former POTUS may have temporarily derailed Questlove's confidence as a DJ.
Barack Obama's influence on the hip-hop community goes without saying. Evidently, the allure of working with the former President proved to be at once a blessing and a curse for the legendary Questlove. During an interview with his current employer Jimmy Fallon, Quest opened up about landing the coveted responsibility of DJing an Obama-hosted event back in 2016; admittedly, he can't disclose Obama's involvement due to an NDA, though allusions from Jimmy all but confirm it.
While great on paper, Quest proceeds to reveal how quickly the gig impacted his process, and not necessarily for the better. "I'm very meticulous about my DJ gig preparation," says Quest, prefacing what promises to be an entertaining anecdote. "I'm like John Nash from A Beautiful Mind putting up math formulas and all that stuff." He proceeds to reveal how he spent four months preparing for the six-hour gig, matching up BPMs and racking his brain to create the ultimate playlist. Unfortunately, it all proved futile.
"First hour into it, I think I'm killing it," says Quest. "My host taps me on the shoulder, and I'm trying to ignore him...He's like 'Hey, you're doing a good job but, uh, you know I love the disco and the calypso and all that stuff, but look at them.' And, like, his kids are sitting there. He's like 'They want to have fun too so, you know, pep it up.'"
Once Jimmy pieces together that it's indeed the Obama gig, he's shocked to learn that it did not, in fact, go well. "It forced me into retirement," jokes Quest. "Suddenly, I became the DJ I hated the most. I'm googling songs that teenagers like, like 'What is 'Swag Surfin.' I'm about to have a panic attack because, you know, this is the one thing I can do in life."
Check out the story below, and be sure to support the legendary DJ; in fact, Quest recently dropped off his new book Creative Quest, which should prove essential reading for any creatives out there.