The drum. The world's first-known musical instrument. It mimics the heartbeat. It's a call to war. And it spreads love with an ubiquitous sound that permeates throughout genres and cultures. Only the most committed have made it a craft.
Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, for one, is the drummer and a frontman of the legendary hip hop band the Roots. He got his start on stage as early as 7 years old as a drummer, and became a musical director as young as 13. He's since banged out with and produced tracks for Bilal, Common, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Jay Z, Jill Scott and more, and has parlayed his music into film appearances, a Nike shoe (the Questo), and an endorsement deal for the Breakbeats drum kit by Ludwig.
As we celebrate Black Music Month, read on for more percussionists who have left their drum-patterned mark... before the music dies. —Michael Harris (@IceBlueVA)