Tuesday marks exactly ten years since Tyler The Creator and Hodgy Beats brought their off-kilter group Odd Future to the then-titled TV series Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. At the time, the show had only been on air for two years. So when Questlove, whose group The Roots is the show’s house band, got news that Odd Future was coming to their stage, he was apprehensive. Questlove had heard rumors of Odd Future’s rebellious energy, so he was worried that their performance would lead to the network canceling Fallon’s show.
Reminiscing on the performance in an interview with Complex, Questlove recalled his anxieties ahead of the scheduled set. “My first thought was, ‘Yo, what if they try to pull off some rogue sh*t that’ll make them internet famous?’” he said. “So I thought, like, ‘This is either going to come off nicely or this could be the end. Like, we could get canceled after only being on the air for two years.” The musician also remembers thinking at the time, “This is some real sh*t that’s about to happen, and I don’t know if they know what they’re about to get into.”
But when Questlove actually encountered Tyler on set, the rapper only had one thing on his mind: Justin Bieber. “The weirdest thing was, Tyler instantly disarmed me with—of all things in the world—a conversation about Justin Bieber,” he said. “The Biebs had been on the show recently, so Tyler kept asking me, ‘What’s he like, man? You’ve got to tell me about Biebs, man. What was that motherf*cker like?’ And I thought he was trying to troll me. But 10 minutes into the conversation, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. You really do like Justin Bieber!’”
Fallon wasn’t worried, however. Instead, the host was along for the ride. “I think they were so nervous, because it was their first time, that they left,” Fallon recalled. “Some bands do that. They perform, and then they think they’re kind of in trouble or something. They finish their song, and then they go, ‘All right, let’s get out of here.’ I remember even Kanye was nervous when he performed. He was like, ‘Can I do that one more time?’ I thought there were going to be people right in front of me. I didn’t know it was just going to be cameras.’”
Watch a clip of their raucous performance above.