BLACK VOICES

Questlove Was Only 16 When He Was Held At Gunpoint By Police

"I felt robbed of a lot that night."

You can always count on Questlove to keep it real. 

 The Roots drummer -- who is now also the executive music producer for the "Roots" revival, a TV series that originally aired in 1977 and gave a historic portrayal of slavery in America --  has always been vocal on social media about important issues, particularly those facing the black community. But in his latest post, things got personal.

On Wednesday night, Questlove posted a picture on Instagram with a heartbreaking story of how he and his friends were once pulled over by police after seeing a U2 documentary -- and how things quickly escalated.

"Most people's Rites Of Passage are marked happy occasions like graduation or birth or things you do when in love," the Philadelphia native wrote. "Mine was being held at gunpoint at 16."

It was a haunting night for Questlove. He admitted that, after that evening, "U2 never sounded the same again."

Though Questlove and his friends felt this fear decades ago, this emotion still resonates with so many today. So far in 2015, on-duty police officers have killed 547 people in the United States, according to The Guardian, reporting that black people are twice as likely to become victims.

"I hated the guilt of just being me," he wrote. "Nothing more degrading in life than the helplessness you feel when you get pulled over."

Read Questlove's entire post below:

U2's music haunts me. Always did.I was 16 yrs old coming from a friday afternoon church youth group event. At 8 me & 2 pals went to see their '88 Rattle & Hum doc. We were sold: it was a half hour to midnight & we had just enough time to run to #TowerRecords & cop their discography. I got the War/Unforgettable Fire/Joshua Tree & Rattle & Hum tapes. Grabbed "Unforgettable" & popped it in the player. I worked in a record shop so I already knew some of these songs. Instantly a fan. A great night of hanging w friends, food, movies & music #FunTimes.....& then....it happened....I became an adult: we got pulled over. Most people's Rites Of Passage are marked happy occasions like graduation or birth or things you do when in love. Mine was being held at gunpoint at 16. I don't even know what happened: we were on Washington Ave & then this flashlight blinded us & voice on a PA said "put your hands in the air" dog I almost had an instant colonic. When you get pulled over in a hostile manner you are NOT in your right mind: like giving a speech, or being a nervous contestant on the Price Is Right. Why?! ---the only thing I remember was #TheEdge's trademark delay plug in. I was so scared to turn the tape down (member when Chapelle said black people turn radio off when getting pulled over cause noone wants to get their ass beat to a soundtrack?)---they were itching for us to try something. I hated the guilt of just being me. Nothing more degrading in life than the helplessness you feel when you get pulled over. I questioned everything in my head that night: why did we go out? Did we steal this car? Maybe if we had Keith Sweat or Prince playin they woulda believed us. Sat there 30 mins frozen. emasculated. As they left we STAYED THERE Like 10 mins. Still traumatized. U2 never sounded the same again. Every song= Put your hands in the air now!! Echoing. I felt robbed of alot that night. But the ability to NOT associate that sound w that experience was hard to get over. I Never shared this cause I thought it was silly. But in light of what's (always been) goin on, I felt it was time. Just wanna thank the guys for inviting us 2nite & for giving me a new beginning experiencing @U2.

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

 

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