Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson had an unpleasant run in with a “Karen” that he said left him “triggered.”
“Walked in my brand new house & not even 60 secs later….got Karen’d #NotTodaySatan,” he tweeted on Sunday.
A founding member of The Roots, Questlove has worked hard to achieve his accomplishments, so to have someone cast doubt on the legitimacy of that success due to racial bias was a particularly unpleasant experience.
Nonetheless, the musician shared his experience on Twitter, where he explained the situation that arose while he was in the process of moving into his new house.
“I been living out of Kippling bags, room service, bus bunks, airplane lounges, studios, my 30rock HQs, and crash apartments waiting for 28 years to get my 1st REAL ‘imma grow old here’ crib. so this has been an exciting time for this chapter in my life,” he said.
Questlove said it was the perfect time to settle down. He was “the happiest I’ve ever been,” and was “figuring out where do I wanna ‘grow old’” in the year-long process of searching for the house, which was made longer because of Covid-19.
He described how he was filled with excitement and anticipation upon arriving at the new home, and soon he was thinking how he finally made it to this moment, and of all the ways he would make the house uniquely his.
“Walked into my new crib and just sat there thinking about my journey: I went from CAPA to a record deal to living in Europe to making cool records & trying new avenues and now im looking at this house wondering what kind of game nights ill host,” he recalled.
“How loud Grace will lemme blast music before she 😡s. Or can the basement house all my records….just the general things 1st timers think abo—” before he was abruptly yanked out of his daydream.
“”Scuse me do you live here?” *POP* (me: can I help you? this man & his 2 dogs damn near walking in my crib) ‘You own this house?’”
Questlove had encountered an alarmed white neighbor, flanked by two dogs, who immediately interrogated him as to whether he was the owner of his own house. Questlove expanded on why exactly the confrontation left him so disturbed.
“I can’t explain this part. The world just stops. I’ve been pulled over by cops on the way to 30 rock, I’ve been pulled over by ICE leaving Roots gigs in Cali, I’ve been held in rooms by DEA in airports—I just shared on about the humiliation Jurnee and I went through grammy week,” he wrote.
“And most of the time I never share that stuff because—I guess the tiny violin in my head just dismisses it—-but man there is NO feeling like this type of violation. And I’m certain this guy thought he was doing his due diligence. But that s—t is triggering AF man. TRIGGERING.”
He admitted, “It was fake passive aggressive politeness/nosey neighbor/audacity/aloofness— s—t ruined my day so much I came back to my old apartment just to let a week go by to let this anger go.” “I don’t even know why I’m posting this. I’m just tired of this s—t. I am man. Just tired.”
At the end of his message, Questlove made clear the reason for his consternation, in case anyone was confused by the emotional rant. “A neighbor took it upon himself to come inside my house to see if I owned it. Showed him out and shut the door in his face.”
Questlove has ruminated on issues of race before, and how it affects his place in the world, such as in a 2013 piece for New York Magazine. He talked about how even his physical attributes caused him to navigate the world differently because of how people view him.
“My friends know that I hate parking lots and elevators, not because they are places that danger could occur, but it’s a prime place in which someone of my physical size can be seen as a dangerous element. I wait and wait in cars until I feel it’s safe for me to make people feel safe. I know most of y’all are eye-rolling, but if you spent a good three months in these size fourteens, you’d understand why I take that position.”