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Questlove Says Working With Jay-Z on ‘Unplugged’ Album Wasn’t One of His ‘Brighter Moments’



Questlove has angered plenty of hip-hop fans in recent days after blasting the Kendrick Lamar-Drake feud while deeming the genre “dead,” and then proceeding to critique 2Pac’s scathing “Hit ‘Em Up” diss track. And the hot takes keep coming: The Roots drummer appeared on SiriumXM’s One Song podcast last week and while discussing the evolution of rap diss tracks, he took a shot at “Hit ‘Em Up” while dubbing it the “weakest musical

“I would actually respect 2Pac’s ‘Hit ‘Em Up’ if his music tracking was better,” he said. “‘Hit ‘Em Up,’ to me, is disqualified not because of the misogynist… Dude, you’re rhyming over smooth jazz dinner music! Luther Vandross could sing over this!”

He continued: “So when this came out, everybody was like, ‘This is hard as sh–! Yo, he killin’ it!’ And I was like, ‘Dog, he’s smooth jazzed up Dennis Edwards. It doesn’t count.’ … That song, to me, is the weakest musical smack. I can’t get with ‘Hit ‘Em Up.’”

Veteran journalist Elliott Wilson took issue with Quest’s sentiments. “Yo! Questlove we love you, but you gotta stop,” he wrote.

Questlove had a enough of the vitriol and posted a PSA to Instagram on Tuesday (May 14) explaining that he was specifically talking about the interpolation of Dennis Edwards’ “Don’t Look Any Further” on “Hit ‘Em Up” and not taking shots at Pac.

“Let’s be clear on the context I was speaking of aight? lol woke up to a grip of ‘what did Dennis Edwards/Pac do to you?!’ texts I’m speaking of the musical backdrop of that record (“Hit Em Up”),” he contested in his caption. “Still mostly not a fan of dis records mostly because having lived in that period (mid 90s) I never seen any good results from hip hop beef.”

While Quest threw dirt on the Drake-Kendrick beef, fans were quick to remind the Philly native about The Roots aligning with Jay-Z during Jigga’s feud with Nas. Quest played the drums for Jay’s Unplugged live album in 2001 where Hov performed his “Takeover” diss.

Looking back, the 53-year-old admitted that his role on Unplugged wasn’t “one of my brighter moments” and had “second thoughts” about the Jay-Nas feud.

“& yeah you don’t have to remind me of my role on Unplugged——-that wasn’t one of my brighter moments & had I had a redo I prolly woulda had second thoughts of the “Takeover” situation,” he wrote. “I mean I know I’m old y’all but damn I’m not tryna be #Poundcake/Respectable Politics Smurf over here yelling “Get Off My Lawn!!!” every 14 secs.”

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