Ahmir Questlove's Open Road
Russian Roulette (0:39)
Art and Business (0:59)
Cool with the Truth (0:56)
Personal Motivation (0:46)
Hard Work (0:51)
AHMIR QUESTLOVE THOMPSON
I don't know if anyone who's truly successful feels a sense of completion. I think it's just a constant mission to stay ahead.
- Started drumming at the age of two, got his first drum set when he was eight.
- Would practice three to five hours every day as a kid.
- Heard Grammy-winner Wynton Marsalis say he practiced eight hours a day and knew he had to step it up.
- The Roots started out busking on the streets of Philadelphia, felt lucky if they made twenty dollars in a day.
- After signing their first contract, band moved to Europe to tour, spent nights in two-star hotels.
- Says he works an average of 18-20 hours a day-like a hamster, he's always spinning his wheel.
- Treats each new year like a game of Russian Roulette: take a risk, see if you make it through, take another.
- Stresses the importance of "proper planning"-like a chess player, always be thinking 12 steps ahead.