Like most black men and women of a certain age, I’m obsessed with Stevie Wonder—which means spreading the gospel of Stevland Hardaway Morris at every given opportunity and catching the Holy Ghost at the countless “Wonder-Full” tribute parties that DJ Spinna throws throughout the country.
For those who have yet to experience the unspeakable joy known as Wonder-Full, imagine a magical place where DJs spin nothing but Stevie Wonder b-sides, live performances, blends, and timeless classics, while people actually dance instead of staring at their cell phones all night.
If it sounds too good to be true, thanks to a global pandemic, right now it actually is. But thanks to the wonders—no pun intended—of technology, Questlove of The Roots sought to recapture some of that magic this weekend during his latest live-streamed DJ set.
Aptly titled “Stevland Saturday,” Okayplayer reports that the set featured “six hours of covers, classics, live takes, and rarities.” It also followed “Six Degrees to Native Tongues,” a similar tribute celebrating the legendary Native Tongues collective that included A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, De La Soul, and other rap luminaries.
Those lucky enough to tune in on Saturday were treated to overlooked gems like “Front Line,” from 1982’s Original Musiquarium I; “Mi Querido Amor,” the Spanish-language version of his timeless serenade, “My Cherie Amour;” and Syreeta Wright’s funk-ridden take of Stevie’s “I Love Every Little Thing About You,” from her debut album, Syreeta.
Oh, and Stevie himself interrupted the festivities to call in—just like he’s been known to pop up at Wonder-Full.
“Wow, I can’t breathe right now,” an astonished Questlove says in a clip uploaded to Twitter.
“Get your breath, get your breath,” Stevie tells him. “Give me a call later.”
“I can call you?!” Questlove utters in disbelief. “Yes, I shall call you.”
And of course, the Philly native’s reaction is all of us.
Outside of encouraging social distancing and providing us all with some much-needed entertainment, The Roots’ bandleader has also been using his DJ sets to raise money for Food Hub NYC, a New York City-based organization that’s providing meals and resources for families impacted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
If you missed the inaugural “Stevland Saturday” this weekend, I got you. You can watch Questlove’s epic set in its entirety below.