Some of the greatest Prince stories the world has ever heard have come out of Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, drummer for the Roots and general authority of all things hip-hop. He told mourning fans about Prince's epic roller skates and his love for Finding Nemo.
He added a new meditation on Prince's greatness Sunday, breaking down all the ways he was hip-hop to the core, inspired by the Source's Prince tribute edition.
"It's been a min since I saw The Source, but after I pondered — yeah it made sense," Questlove wrote before launching into a 40 point list of attributes and narratives from Prince's life that made him a hip-hop pioneer.
"1) came from troubled home 2) limited access to music forces him to create his own world of music," the list begins, hitting on Prince's ghostwriting, his multiple aliases and his diss record. Questlove ends with: "40) left us way too early."
Here is the list in full.
1) came from troubled home
2) limited access to music forces him to create his own world of music
3) overcame poverty
4) creates fictional background tales to keep the press guessing
5) lives by the DIY creed
6) takes fashion taboos & makes them mainstream and acceptable
7) cock blocks & steals yo lady on the low (ask Rick)
8) puts his crew on — get them deals & makes them stars
9) pretty much wrote the book on gettin some better than any of his contemporaries
10) had beef w his peers who hated on him
11) invented the remix (not disco edits, but reimagining the album version)
12) played mystery card — let us think what we wanted — gave the press middle finger
13) ghostwrote for everyone
14) used mad aliases
15) refused 2 b ordinary and eschewed the proper English language as a ways 2 communicate
16) knew the B side wins again and again
17) used the exotic honey to his advantage
18) used his music to give his views on the po po, politicians, gun control, war, god, squares and "the man"
19) turned a long music video into a revolution
20) best drum machine programmer ever
21) used synthesizers as a way of life
22) could make an entire album in less than a week
23) balled so hard in Paris & other parts of France — so he made a film about it
24) cut his crew off and got a new crew
25) went all hippie like it was nothing
26) made dis records
27) never wifed 'em, mostly replaced 'em
28) started his own label
29) Parental Advisory was invented because of him
30) made a Black Album w a chip on shoulder to prove to black people he was still bad
31) plays sports better than u
32) had mad songs in the stash
33) had an MTV mansion/compound long before anyone did
34) changed looks constantly
35) dropped music on the net in record time
36) looked out for his peeps on the low doing benefits and raising money like a modern day Robin Hood
37) tries taking on the man for his complete freedom
38) couldn't tell him NOTHING
39) always escaped into thin air
40) left us way too early