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'Fresh Air' celebrates 50 years of hip-hop: Questlove; Chuck D; Diddy

In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.
Danny Clinch
Grand Central Publishing
In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.

Fresh Air continues our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of hip-hop by dipping into the archives.

Questlove reflects on the Roots and his lifetime in music: Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson — drummer and co-founder of The Roots — spoke to Terry Gross in 2013 and again in2021. Born in 1971, Questlove says he and hip-hop grew up together.

Public Enemy's Chuck D discusses politically conscious rap: Public Enemy's music offered an unvarnished look at the harsh realities many young urban Black men faced in the 1980s. In 1997, Chuck D talked about the group's anthem, "Fight the Power," which was featured Spike Lee's 1989 film, Do the Right Thing.

Hip-hop mogul Diddy says he's always been motivated to be 'the best': Sean "Diddy" Combs, aka Puff Daddy, made his name — or names — in the hip-hop world as a record producer and rapper. The Bad Boy Records founder spoke to Fresh Air in 2008 about his losing his father in a shooting when Combs was 3 years old, and about the influence his mother and grandmother have had on his life and career.

Copyright 2023 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.