Questlove halted his entire DJ schedule for six months due to the “dream gig of a lifetime”, the Roots drummer told Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night.
The Roots’ member couldn’t outright say who it was due to NDA parameters, but it is said to have been at a President Barack Obama–hosted event back in early 2016. Questlove took four months of preparation for his six-hour set, feeling ready to absolutely kill it. Then, he explained, the vibe changed.
“So, first hour into it, I think I’m killing it,” said Questlove, in promotion of his new Creative Quest book. “Our host taps me on the shoulder . . . I can’t say his name—NDA—[but] 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.'”
Ultimately, this resulted in Questlove pausing his DJ schedule completely. “It forced me into retirement,” he said. “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.”
From then onn Quest mentions that he stopped DJing, but came back six months later to DJ for kids.