Questlove Announces Children’s Book Debut ‘Rhythm of Time’

Questlove shares his love of time travel and hip-hop with a young audience.

The multi-hyphenate — born Ahmir Thompson, originally known as the drummer for the legendary hip-hop group The Roots — has released his first children’s book, a middle-of-the-road novel titled. Tim’s Rhythme, to be published in April 2023. Co-authored by New York Times Best-selling and award-winning author SA Cosby, published by GP Putnam’s Sons, the opening series, illustrated by Penguin Young Readers.

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The book follows best friends Kasia and Rahim, two black teenagers who try to navigate time travel, family and friendship in the writer/filmmaker’s hometown of Philadelphia.

Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE about his upcoming release, Questlove, 51, explains that what started as a pandemonium project has grown to include things he loves.

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“During 2020, I had a lot of time on my hands to sort out bucket lists that I wouldn’t have had time to do.

Teaming up with Cosby to write the book, a friend he wanted to work with, was “an easy decision.”

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from Penguin Random House

“I want to work with SA Cosby, who’s had a great year. We have a lot in common, so I feel like he can be a guiding light and help me,” she said, adding that Cosby is “the big guy there.” of the room” when it comes to the technical details of the book. “Because one thing I wasn’t really confident about, even though I was a nerd, I didn’t know the technicalities of time travel.”

The action in the book also sees Rahim and Kasia’s parents involved in the action. It was important to Questlove to speak to parents and children through these characters.

“For a lot of kids of color, when you’re growing up in the city, it’s almost impossible not to be in constant fight or flight,” he said, referring to his own experience of having to “learn the rules survival” grew up. in Philadelphia in the 1980s.

Questlove notes that as a result of these upbringings, “parents can be very difficult, just in the name of survival, to protect”.

“When you live on security, you live 24 hours basically, like, ‘Okay, I’ve done this 24 hours now. The next night? And as a result, it doesn’t leave much room for of the ideals that we see in the media about raising children. I want to have some kind of innovation,” he said.

In the book, Rahim and his father turn to the younger brother’s love for his favorite hip-hop group, a situation that Questlove remembers from his childhood.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

“Even though I grew up in a musical household, there was a time when my dad and I would constantly argue about the music I was into when I was a teenager, when I started listening to Public Enemy and LL and old school hip-hop. ,” he shared. “It was like, ‘ah, you’re a good guy when you listen to John Coltrane.'”

Questlove hopes that through Rahim and his dad’s relationship, he can “plant seeds for parents” as well as readers.

“Because when you’re writing a children’s book, it’s not just the kids in the room. There’s adults in the room, too,” Questlove added. “I really wanted it to give an example of a relationship, of finding similarities between the two, just like the parents in the book know that they are very similar to their children.”

in the The Rhythm of TimeQuestlove hopes to incorporate some of the familiar themes they bring to their music, filmmaking and other creative endeavors.

Kevin Mazur/Getty

“One is the importance of creativity. I feel that creativity is the portal, the release and the magical world that kids – especially kids like me – don’t really have the luxury of experiencing, ” he pointed out.

“I also want to instill confidence in people to reimagine what we’ve been taught and change it,” he continued. “Failure doesn’t mean, ‘It’s over and you can move on to something else.’ I see failure as a way to learn a lesson. ”

“I didn’t intend to preach to children, but for me this is a creative way to show people where my life is and also plant seeds in their lives,” he added.

The Rhythm of Time will be on the bookshelves on April 18, 2023.


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