Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is DJ and producer Questlove’s list. His new book Creative Quest is out now.
Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions: 1983 and 1984, by Duane Tudahl
A book I loved so much, I begged to do the forward when I received the manuscript.
Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America, by Sylviane A. Diouf
This book represents my chapter in American history — my great-great-great-grandfather was on this ship. I’m his dream manifested.
The Hungry Ear, by Kevin Young
I like reading poetry, and I like eating and drinking. This book combines all of that with poetry about food and drink.
They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, by Hanif Abdurraqib
His ode to “Trap Queen” as the new “I Will Always Love You” first caught my attention. I was instantly hooked.
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, by Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton
The chapter on Larry Levan alone transformed me into wanting to be your favorite DJ.
The Potlikker Papers, by John T. Edge
Although his 2004 book on chicken is the usual go-to, it’s his ode to soul food and race that grabbed me.
Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight From the Original Artists, by Brian Coleman
My two favorite things in one setting: liner notes and hip-hop classics!
Silver Screen Fiend, by Patton Oswalt
Similar to my envy of Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” this is the memoir I wish I could’ve written. This film is damn near my personal cinema bible.
Beneath the Underdog, by Charles Mingus
Lots of musicians have written memoirs. I did. This one, by the great jazz bassist and composer, is one of the funniest, smartest, and rawest.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A clear and powerful thinker writing about how we got to where we got, and where we’re going next. The voice of the times I live in.