Drummer of the legendary hip hop group The Roots, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, is set to direct his follow-up documentary to his Sundance sensation, Summer of Soul. The new film will be about Sly Stone, the founding member of the funk band, Sly and the Family Stone.
Sly Stone was an influential artist and fashion icon who broke all the rules when he rose to fame in the late 60s and early 70s. With the pressure of mainstream pop success and the responsibility of being seen as a representation of Black America, Stone was forced to manage near-impossible expectations.
“It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA… it’s a black musician’s blueprint,” Questlove said. “To be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me.”
The MRC Non-Fiction doc will be produced by Questlove under his Two One Five Entertainment banner alongside Zarah Zohlman and Shawn Gee. Oscar-winning rapper Common will also executive produce the doc for Stardust Films.
A never-before-seen performance of Stone’s was featured in Questlove’s Summer of Soul, which unearthed footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The festival saw 300,000 people gather for several weekends in Harlem to attend the event which was largely ignored by the media. Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples, 5th dimension and many more prominent Black artists of the time performed at the festival.
Summer of Soul was recently acquired by Hulu, but a release date has yet to be announced. It may be a while before we see Questlove’s follow-up, but based on the praise given to his first doc, his sophomore film may be something to keep an eye out for.