I have absolutely no idea when Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, the legendary afro’d drummer of The Roots, finds time to sleep. Aside from his regular gig with The Roots as Jimmy Fallon’s house band, Mr Thompson is part of countless musical collaborations, he’s a sought after producer, constantly tweets to his millions of followers (2,692,534 to be precise) and recently published his memoir, Mo’ Meta Blues. The World According to Questlove. He is also the co-founder of today’s source for musical discovery, okayplayer.com
Founded by Questlove and author Angela Nissel back in 1987, okayplayer was a music collective that eventually evolved into the online community, okayplayer.com in 1999 . I remember first visiting the site in the early 2000s, when I would follow talented artists like, Blackalicious, J-Dilla, Talib Kweli, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def and of course The Roots, who make this site their home.
Since those days it’s grown into an incredibly rich source of great new music, film, interviews and opinions. It’s described by Rolling Stone Magazine as a ‘tastemaker ‘ and describes itself as ‘the original progressive urban music site and maintains its position as the premier digital destination for music connoisseurs worldwide. Okayplayer delivers the full spectrum of groundbreaking music to your fingertips (and earphones) everyday’.
What’s great about the site is the sheer volume of it’s output, it’s great design and easy navigation. It’s updated daily and you can search through new videos, movies and opinions and under the audio section, you can download some pretty amazing mixtapes. The okayplyer.com home site also links to it’s sister sites, okayafrica, okayfuture, LargeUp and The Revivalist.
As a South African, I’m particularly intrigued by okayafrica which focuses on, as they put it, ‘Africa’s New Wave’. The site let’s you check out all the latest developments in African music, culture, fashion, art and political expression.
okayfuture is one of the best sources for new electronica and progressive music. With the same basic site structure as okayplayer, it’s also pretty easy to navigate. I’ve made some fantastic discoveries on this site. One of them is Toro Y Moi. I love this guy’s music.
If you love Caribbean music, you can gorge yourself on a steady diet of great tunes on LargeUp. The navigation is not as slick as the other sites but every Monday you get to hear a brand new mixtape.
The Revivalist is for all you jazz cats out there. ‘The Revivalist is the leading online journal for the burgeoning jazz community. By illuminating the renewal of retro and classic music with that of new emerging genres, The Revivalist is the center of a cultural resurgence of live music. We are music innovators, musicians, and music lovers documenting and foretelling the stories of authentic and original music and how they have influenced today’s popular music.’
And that folks is your number two source for great music. To take a trip down this rabbit hole visit okayplayer.com