Questlove talks ‘Summer of Soul’ Oscar win and The Slap on ‘Fallon’
Questlove deservedly won Best Documentary Feature for Summer of Soul at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday night. It was a wonderful moment that unfortunately came right before the only thing anyone has been talking about (and are still talking about): Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.
In the press room immediately after his win, he declined to talk about the incident, but Stereogum points out that, now back in NYC at his day job with The Roots on The Tonight Show, he sat down to chat with Jimmy Fallon about the Oscars...and The Slap. Questlove said he wasn't even really aware of what had just happened when he went up to accept his Oscar, admitting that it is "weird to say."
"They tell you ahead of time, 'This is your category!' That moment, you’re either going to be full of anxiety or, for me, I’ve been meditating for the last two years," Questlove told Fallon. "I do trans… actually, Seinfeld taught me about that, TM. A minute, when the commercial break was happening, I was just in my 'mmmmm.' So when I opened my eyes, I didn’t realize — like, 'why is everyone so quiet?' I literally was not present for that whole entire moment. And as I’m walking to the stage, I’m kinda putting two and two together, and I realized that that was a real moment maybe three seconds before I spoke words. But in my mind, they’re just doing a sketch or whatever, and I’m like, 'OK, Ahmir. Thank your mom, your dad.' So I was not present at all. I was just in a blank state."
Questlove also talked about Summer of Soul, DJing Jay-Z and Beyonce's Gold Party immediately after the Oscars, and more. Watch below.