When he’s not performing with the Roots either on tour or on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Questlove can usually be found calling on his encyclopaedic music knowledge in interviews or on the internet, so it makes sense that he’ll reportedly be teaching a course called Classic Albums at NYU’s Clive Davis Institue for Recorded Music this spring.
Billboard says he’ll share the course with Harry Weinger, Universal Music Enterprises VP of A&R, and that the two will dissect what makes a classic album.
The idea was apparently at least a little inspired by an NPR intern’s review of Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back. Austin Cooper and the site’s other interns were asked to review classic albums they’d never heard, and after he called Chuck D’s flow a “caricature” and said he’d rather be listening to Drake, Questlove responded and said it was Cooper’s job to find out why a record is a classic.
Associate professor Jason King, who heads up the Tisch School of the Arts history and criticism department, says Quest is a natural fit.
“He’s one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician,” said King. “We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths.”
It’s far from a final list, but prospective students can expect Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, Led Zeppelin’s IV, Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys and Prince’s Dirty Mind to be on the list of albums looked at throughout the semester.