Questlove Set To Publish New Book, ‘Music Is History’

The book focuses on one song from each year between 1971 to 2021 and elucidate on how that track was informed by the politics and culture of that specific year.

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Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Questlove has announced a new book, titled Music Is History, which will look back at the past 50 years through the “prism” of popular music.

The Roots’ drummer’s latest book will focus on one song from each year between 1971 to 2021 and elucidate on how that track was informed by or captures the politics and culture of that specific year. Also within the book are Questlove-curated playlists that serve as a companion to the chapters.

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“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 of the book on Instagram, adding in a statement, “I think of the America we live in as a series of songs.”

Advance PR suggests “the book moves fluidly from the personal to the political, examining events closely and critically, unpeel and uncover previously unseen dimensions and encouraging readers to do the same. Whether he is exploring how Black identity reshaped itself during the blaxploitation era, analyzing the assembly-line nature of disco and its hostility to Black genius, or remembering his own youth as a pop fan and what it taught him about America, Questlove finds the hidden connections in the American tapestry.”

Music Is History, available to pre-order now, is due out October 12 via Abrams Image, with an audiobook featuring narration and storytelling by Questlove expected out that same month. Music Is History marks Questlove’s sixth book and first since his 2019 cookbook Mixtape Potluck.

Questlove’s directorial debut, the documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), is also set arrive to in theaters and on Hulu on July 2 following its award-winning film festival run earlier this year. The drummer is already at work on his next film, a documentary about Sly Stone.

Music Is History can be pre-ordered here.

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