In a new book, Questlove digs into the roots of hip-hop and its impact on culture

Six-time Grammy Award-winning drummer and producer Questlove digs deep into the roots of hip-hop and discovers how the genre has influenced the culture. He explains it all in his new book 'Hip-Hop is History'.

“The early years of hip-hop are the result of a generation wanting to be heard,” Questlove said Monday on CBS Mornings. “Before hip-hop, people my age were to be seen and not heard; don't speak unless spoken to; you have no valid opinions or feelings… this gives you a voice. It doesn't matter what a teenager thinks or what a young person thinks.”

Questlove, the co-frontman of The Roots, said his connection to hip-hop runs deep as he sees the parallel between the genre's rise and his own life.

“I'm two years older than when the first hip-hop moment happened, you know, 1973,” he said. “So I kind of see it as a good friend of mine and eventually a girlfriend, maybe a fiancée, we went to couples therapy, we break up, you know.”

In the book, out Tuesday, the musician argues that the early days of hip-hop were actually a kind of journalism in urban American communities.

“Chuck D once said in the late 1980s that hip-hop is like CNN rap,” he said. “It's still as important and important as it is today, but… oftentimes opinions about hip-hop are based on people on the outside looking in and you really have to be immersed in the culture to understand it.”

He added: “People will often use hip-hop as a tool to get to know people and you have to get to know people first and then learn what our culture is and our art form.”

Questlove, whose name is Ahmir K. Thompson, said that when he set out to write the book, he wanted to make sure it didn't come across as a “Hip-Hop for Dummies” or reference book and emphasized that everything in the book reflects his own opinion about hip hop.

“This isn't quite a memoir, but I think it's a unique look at the culture from someone who actually has to walk the halls and take note of what's happening,” he said.

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