Journalist and The Rap Year Book author Shea Serrano posed a question on Twitter, asking what five rappers made you say something like "whoa. who is this??? WHAT is this???" when you first heard them, and among those to reply was Questlove.

"This is hard because music attracts me first before the rhyme," Questlove wrote, "But some rappers caught me first.....that said:" Then he proceeded with his list of five in a thread. Here's what he picked:

Slick Rick

"1. Coming home from summer in la where toddy tee’s 'batterram' was god—-all my pals been listening to “The Show/La Di Da Di” all summer. Nothing like hearing Slick Rick’s voice for the first time when those songs came out."

Beastie Boys

"2. Because we didn’t know their# origin—-Beastie Boys sounded mad cartoony in 84 (Beastie Groove) & perfected that ish by the time 'Hold It Now Hit It' came in 86. Philly played it as an acapella 24/7 it was so wild. Didn’t know that song had drums til a year later on lp."

Cypress Hill

"3. 3 weeks after shooting 'Motownphilly' me & Riq hung w 'Hansoul' summer of 91. He played us brand new Cypress Hill & we were jaw dropped at how dope BReal/Sen sounded as a combo. Instantly hook."


"4. Man...the week 'Protect Ya Neck' broke out was just mind blowing. But when ODB broke though man that was even MORE mind blowing."


"5. Rakim man. Rappers came out the gates sounding like radio jocks (wonder mike/chilly b from newcleus) then Run started SCREAMIG so that became a thing—-Rakim was nothing I ever heard. This monotone dead pan rapper w no animation? CHILLING."

See Questlove's full thread here:

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