It’s Not Easy Being “The Man!” Questlove Talks About How His Public Life Has Affected His Personal Life & Relationships

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June 15, 2013 ‐ By Drenna Armstrong
"QuestVV"

Source: Village Voice

It is not easy being one of the most sought after men in the music business.

Questlove has been the drummer and musical director for The Roots for over 20 years, since he and band mate, Black Thought, first created the group. In the years since, his life has become a sort of whirlwind.  The Roots are the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Quest also djs private and public events almost every night of the week, works with other artists on their albums and recently opened a chicken spot called Hybird in New York City.

But it hasn’t come without a price.

In a recent interview with The Village Voice, the music aficionado discusses how his life as “Quest” has taken a toll on his private life as Ahmir Thompson (his real name):

“You know, after work, everyone hangs and they go to a bar and stuff?” says Thompson, sounding a bit like an anthropologist who has just pinpointed a key habit of a strange tribe. “I don’t socialize that way. I don’t have a posse. I don’t have friends. I got the people I work with. I got a mom and a sister.”

He takes it a step further and says that his most consistent relationship has actually been with Black Thought (although as many fans know, the two often go through their “tough” moments).

The article states that The Roots are contractually obligated to work on Late Night 200 days out of the year but Quest, in the past, has often said between his other gigs, he works 364 days a year. So while the show gives the other members of The Roots time to connect back with their families, clearly Quest doesn’t allow time to nurture romantic or platonic relationships.

Quest says that music is spiritual for him and not something to turn on when he wants to feel “street or cool.”  In understanding that, maybe it gives a better sense of why he’s always working: it seems he “frees” himself when dealing with anything related to music.

But you have to wonder if this life will allow him time to relax and slow down, if he even wants that for himself.

Are you a fan of Questlove? Do you have a passion as deep as his that often closes you off from more personal relationships?

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  • olivia

    If he wanted a relationship he would pursue one, he’s 40+ years old. From the tone of this article, it seems as if he purposely cuts himself off from people. I find it strange that he calls his band mates of 20+ years “the people I work with”.

    Working all the time and not having friends seems like a pretty miserable existence.

    • cb

      some people are introverts, this makes him happy

    • cb

      some people are introverts, this makes him happy

    • MLS2698

      I think his work is ” not work ” to him. He takes pleasure in the opportunities he has been given, but at the same time, they keep him quite occupied; even to the point of not being able to pursue relationships. Now, I’m not as busy as Mr. Questlove, but I have a basic plan that includes school, and that is my #1 priority, so much that I have been single for years and may not pursue any form of relationships until I finish. It would actually be unfair to Quest’s partner to have him gone for so long, and it could mean trouble from the start.

      • Pivyque

        That’s true, but when you want something, you make time for it. School was always my priority, but I met my husband and we wanted to keep in touch. It was long distance and we were both working and going to school, but we wanted each other, so we put the work in. It’s only unfair if the other person doesn’t understand what they are getting into. He just seems like he doesn’t want it. He seems quite content to do what he is doing.

        • MLS2698

          I’m sure he gets a ” piece ” here and there, and it’s the woman’s fault for allowing a man to be intimate without true commitment. So he is probably straight with what he is doing. He WANTS his career. I’m sure there are plenty of women Quest ” keeps in touch ” with, if you know what I mean…

          • Pivyque

            Exactly, he wants his career. A relationship isn’t something he seems to really want, so it’s not something that he is making time for. I do think he might be getting some every now and then, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was celibate.

            • MLS2698

              I’ve been celibate for seven years. But Quest looks kind of sneaky/not the celibate type. I could be wrong though….Lol!

        • MLS2698

          I’m sure he gets a ” piece ” here and there, and it’s the woman’s fault for allowing a man to be intimate without true commitment. So he is probably straight with what he is doing. He WANTS his career. I’m sure there are plenty of women Quest ” keeps in touch ” with, if you know what I mean…

  • Child_Puhleez

    Twenty yrs of hard work, talent, focus, & dedication definitely deserves to be sought after. Respect.