Questlove Goes On A Quest For Musical Culture In Cuba (Video)
Questlove performed in Cuba this past month a couple days after President Obama’s meeting with Raul Castro at the Summit of The Americas in Panama. A video, “Quest For Cuba” shows The Roots drummer/producer/DJ exploring the many horizons of Cuban music in the capital city of Havana. The music veteran was there DJ’ing for many fans at the Fabrica De Arte Cubano club in the Vedado section of the city. The video starts off with Quest’ stating that “Hip Hop isn’t just playing Rap music.”
Quest’ explains how Hip Hop takes every genre and puts them together as one nation under a groove. The lens follows Ahmir Thompson scanning the landscape and playing American music in the club scene. In a historical context, Cubans were once banned from hearing any kind of music before the country’s revolution from former Cuban President Fidel Castro rule. Aside from spinning records, Questlove makes good use of his time in Havana, engaging in cultural research by digging up some classic Cuban vinyl. After beat-boxing with a native who also shared his experience of the show that Quest was DJ’ing, he went to the legendary EGREM Studios. This was where the best Cuban musicians all over the country recorded when a revitalization of music happened after Castro’s rule was dissolved. Questlove states in the video that he is hoping to make a visit back to Cuba very soon, in hopes that he and The Roots may play a show for the people there.