Questlove Apologizes For Offending Japanese Community With Instagram Post

(AllHipHop News) In this episode of Social Media Ruined The Intelligent Star, The Roots’ drummer Questlove sent out a series of Instagram posts from his trip in Japan that offended many in the Japanese community.

Cited by popular gossip blog Oh No They Didn’t! (ONTD), Questlove deleted one Instagram photo of a Japanese department store employee with the caption making fun of her vocal tonality:


In his apology originally posted on Okayplayer yesterday (December 26th), ?uestlove explains that he was merely comparing the Japanese woman’s vocal tones “to that of a (church) deacon speaking in tongues.” However, there were multiple instances of Questlove stereotypically replacing the l’s with r’s when describing a few Japanese people and places he encountered. He also posted this Vine of a sleeping Japanese man with the caption “McSnoleArot”:

While ?uestlove does not specifically address the aformentioned Vine post, he does realize the hypocrisy in his offensive comments that he did not want to offend:

given that black culture consistently finds itself at the butt end of so many offensive “outsider” jokes, I should be way, way more sensitive

Check out Questlove’s full apology below:

ok. addressing the elephant in the room on christmas

unfortunately, i’ve offended my asian brothers & sisters with an IG post which i made during my recent tour of japan. in that post, i likened a japanese department storeemployee’s vocal intonation to that of a (church) deacon speaking in tongues. clearly, i didn’t intend to offend anyone (asian or otherwise), clearly, i *thought* that comparison was funny-cute

… and clearly i thought wrong.

in hindsight, it’s easy to see how my post was yet another example of the ugly, american flipping yet another ugly/racially/culturally insensitive script. so, let me make this abundantly clear….


And no, it wasn’t Duck Dynasty/Phil Robertson mean spirited-xenophobic dumb (but the last time i checked, sleep was still the cousin of death)

—look. i’m a human being and dumber yet, i’m a public figure. if you’re lucky enough to be either of the aforementioned, then not only should one stay clear of saying or writing hurtful things, one should actively work against feeling comfortable, thinking hurtful thoughts. given that black culture consistently finds itself at the butt end of so many offensive “outsider” jokes, I should be way, way more sensitive (after all, who’s zooming who). I for one, should never allow my cultural bias to take precedence over my “examined life” (clunkers be damned). i know the whole kinder and gentler thing reeks of a self serving political correctness, but eff it, it’s “all me”.

so, here i am once again, publicly coming to terms with some more of my stupid “say, say, say” ish. allow me to ask for forgiveness and understanding from anyone that i’ve offended. I will be better in 2014 (i promise)

-thank you.


  • hoeyuno

    ?uest can say whatever he wants to. peace to the symphony known as ?uestlove!!

  • Kevin Anthony

    Aren’t we all guilty of saying and or doing something offensive at some point in time? “food for thought” now playing on soundcloud .com Kevin Anthony-21

    • Papi Peligro

      Just don’t put it on the internet. I mean duck dynasty you expect that. ?uest Love nope.

      • Kevin Anthony

        I feel u Rodney, the point I was trying to make is that we all make mistakes from time to time, in public, in private, an Even on the internet.

      • Papi Peligro

        I feel you 100%. I want to run for office just so I can get all the media in the room to ask why I said this and that. I can introduce brand new tea bag boxer. They can just suck ball sweat right through the draws and into their morning coffee.

      • MrNoName2K

        my nigga you wild as hell lol

      • Kevin Anthony

        I feel u Rodney, the point I was trying to make is that we all make mistakes, in public, in private, an even on the internet.

      • Arrie Mental Woodard

        Why would you not expect that from Questlove? he is a human right? just because he is a dope drummer doenst mean shit. he can be an asshole just like eeryone else.

    • atle fjeldstad

      Hey mayne.. I don`t know if your music is good or not.. But why are you trying to promote yourself with an address that does`t work?

  • MrNoName2K

    Damn..that was dirty though. Mofos gonna learn about posting everything that comes to they minds on the internets..

    • Arrie Mental Woodard

      especially the sars mask. i mean cmon son, how dumb was that ish?

  • Black Jay

    Stamping out racism should be a top priority for everyone…. But on that same note, is “political correctness” going a little crazy? I mean it seems like someone is apologizing every day.

    I know people will say “Look at what Quest said and did'”. And I consign those sentiments. He will probably lose his job because of that. And he should. His stuff wasn’t just a slip of the tongue.

    But damn! People need to stop pretending that racism doesn’t exist any more. Racism is in every human being on earth. Sometimes we’re all pretty much guilty of speaking while forgetting to turn that inside voice off.

    • Da Ledgendary

      I don’t agree with people losing their job over saying something people don’t like. That goes for Paula Dean, Don Imus, or anybody else that said some controversial sh*t. I don’t like or agree with a lot of stuff people say, but last time I checked, this was a free speech society. If some old white dude says some racist sh*t about black people, that’s his opinion and has no affect on my day to day life. Everyone has the right to say what the hell they want and express whatever opinion and it is not fair to take someone’s livelihood because we don’t like what they said.

    • Arrie Mental Woodard

      losing what job? Jimmy? nah he isnt losing that job because if you remove him then you remove the entire Roots crew and its not happening.

  • Jason Mazur

    Damn man, no one can even joke anymore……Like people don’t make fun of Americans……get a grip and stop being so emotional.

  • musicbusiness advisors

    Everybody is TOO PC, can’t tell a JOKE, without offending blacks, whites, gays, asians, females, etc…… Everybody is TOO QUICK to pull a ‘race’ card or ‘gender bias’…… Oh the good ole days……………

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  • a lot of people pretend to be offended these days especially on the internet…mfkers just wanna cause some type of drama especially these bloggers

    • Arrie Mental Woodard

      nah fam, asian people take their heritage and culture serious….

  • digitallife

    This is the most chill person associated with hip-hop, ain’t no thing.

  • Sean Taylor

    That nigga look like he’s stanky!!

  • ZUBU

    Right or wrong its gonna cost him some paper, no more tours of Japan and possibly other Asian nations.

    • MildManneredReporter

      man gtfoh with that

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  • SDS_Overfiend

    Nigga knew better,,, Bottom line.

  • lola lovely la’shaun

    I apologize for reading this!!!!man this world and the stupid stuff people do.

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