Questlove on His Unheeded Occupy Wall Street Warning

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Nobody will doubt Questlove ever again.
Nobody will doubt Questlove ever again. Photo: Ryan McCune/Photo by Ryan McCune

Three nights ago, Questlove became the "Paul Revere for the Occupy Wall Street movement," as the Times put it, when he tried to warn the protesters of what he correctly suspected was an impending police raid. At the Condé Nast building's Bon Appétit BA Kitchen last night, where he was D.J.ing and introducing his own line of fried chicken, The Roots drummer described to us how it all went down:

I was driving home and I saw a whole slew of cop cars and I never knew we had a precinct down here. And my driver was like, "No, look!" And I said, "Oh, my God! They're putting riot gear on!" I saw guns, riot gear, masks and them holding stuff.  It looked like the Public Enemy concept from Hell. They all looked like S1Ws. My driver said, "I think they're gonna pull a sneak attack because Occupy Wall Street is three blocks away." And I tweeted it to the head of Occupy Wall Street, the guy who owns that account. They were kind of cavalier about it.

Soon enough, though, police were swarming Zuccotti Park, and Questlove, now vindicated, tweeted, "wait. so i was right? is being raided? told yall!" It wasn't just gloating on his part. "I have fifteen friends down there," he told us. "That was my warning sign of 'Don't call me to bail you out,' because I'm the person people call when they need bailing out of something."

As for Questlove's future involvement with Occupy Wall Street, he says his main role will be doing "a lot of retweeting." After all, he points out, he's kind of a busy guy. "They've asked me to do things," he says, "but at the end of the day, I've got like nine jobs and a lot of people depend on me, so it's not like I can just leave."