Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the co-founder of and drummer for the hip-hop band The Roots, has been a musician since he was a teen. In Mo' Meta Blues, he explains how his musician father groomed him for a life in show business from an early age.
The pop-dance-electronic group's founder tells Terry Gross why he stopped complaining about other bands and decided to start making his own music instead. LCD Soundsystem's latest album is called This Is Happening.
One of the founding members of the kung-fu-meets-hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan, The RZA also has written film scores, including those for Kill Bill and Ghost Dog, and a book called The Wu Tang Manual. (This interview originally aired March 7, 2005.)
Formed in 1985, three-man jazz-rap group De La Soul has been dubbed "the hippies of hip-hop." Their debut album Three Feet High and Rising was a critical success, and the band continues to make upbeat music that focuses on the use of samples, jazz vamps and wordplay. (This interview originally aired Oct. 5, 2000.)
DJ Kool Herc is known as the father of the DJ breakbeat, part of the foundation of modern hip-hop. He also wrote the introduction to the recent history of hip-hop, Can't Stop Won't Stop. Kool Herc kicks off Fresh Air's Hip-Hop Week. (This interview originally aired March 30, 2005.)
At the dawn of hip hop, Grandmaster Flash recorded hits like "The Message" and "White Lines (Don't Do it)" with the Furious Five. He also is credited with creating the "Quick Mix Theory" — blending one music break with another.
DJ Kool Herc is the father of the breakbeat, the deejay practice of isolating and repeating "breaks," the most danceable portions of songs; breakbeats make up the foundation of modern hip-hop. Herc has written the introduction to the new book Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation (St.Martins, 2005) by Jeff Chang.