Questlove to publish new book ‘Music Is History’

The book explores one song per year from 1971 onwards

Questlove will publish a new book Music Is History, which sees The Roots drummer exploring one song per year since 1971.

“Here we’ll look at the last 50 years of America through the prism of music, and the last 50 years of music through the prism of history,” Questlove said on Instagram, where he also revealed the book’s cover.

Although it’s not yet known which 50 songs Questlove will cover, a press release said it will include “how Black identity reshaped itself during the blaxploitation era, […] the assembly-line nature of disco and its hostility to Black genius, [and] his own youth as a pop fan and what it taught him about America.”


Music Is History is published on October 12 via Abrams Image. It’s the musician and DJ’s sixth book, and follows 2019’s cookbook Mixtape Potluck.

In February, Questlove announced he is already working on a follow-up feature, a documentary about musician and producer Sly Stone. He is reportedly bringing Common on board as executive producer.

The as-yet-untitled documentary film will capture the rise of Stone as a forerunner of funk as the vocalist of Sly and the Family Stone, to his legacy as a fashion icon.

The film was announced just a few weeks after his Sundance win for his directorial debut, Summer of Soul,


Announced in 2019, Questlove’s Summer of Soul (Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) documents the events of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which welcomed the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and The Staple Singers for a musical celebration of African-American culture.


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