Perhaps one of the most prolific creators of today is Amir K. Thompson, who is better known as Questlove to the millions of people who see him lead The Roots every weeknight on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. For most performers, The Tonight Show gig would be the capstone achievement in a career. Not so here. The Tonight Show gig is really only one of a handful of Questlove’s simultaneous creative pursuits that seemingly defy human capacity. How does he do all those projects, and do them all at such a high level?
The mind reels when you consider that in addition to co-leading The Roots with Tariq Trotter, Questlove: 1) teaches at New York University; 2) has published multiple books, and several of those of those books (including Creative Quest) have landed on the New York Times Best Seller List, which I’d argue is still the gold standard of legitimacy (or at least commercial viability - more on that later); 3) gigs extensively as a DJ and 4) runs The Roots Picnic, an annual summer music festival in Philadelphia that is hugely popular. This list is non-exhaustive, and omits the radio show, the podcast and quite a few other things, but you get the picture.