"'Off the Wall' actually used to scare me," says Grammy-winning pianist and record producer Robert Glasper. He's talking about the title track off of Michael Jackson's monumental record, which starts with eerie, building vocals and a sinister laugh. "I used to literally take the needle and skip it to, like, more in the middle of the song, 'cause I was so scared of the beginning." Glasper had plenty of personal anecdotes and insights into all the records he found on his recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood.
Hailing from Houston, TX, Robert Glasper started his musical career performing at the East Wind Baptist Church, where his mother was music director. While attending the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, Glasper met neo-soul singer Bilal Oliver and the two began collaborating on a series of musical projects that would lead them to work with J Dilla, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Meshell Ndegeocello, Talib Kweli, Jay-Z, Common, Slum Village, and Maxwell. Glasper released his first album, Mood, in 2004. A record for Blue Note, Canvas, followed a year later. Glasper's 2009 LP Double-Booked netted a Grammy for Bilal, who appeared on the track "All Matter."