For a lot of people today is their first day back at work after a long 4th of July weekend. That’s rough business. You need all the help you can get just to get through the day. Thankfully, NPR has your back.
NPR dropped the latest installment of their Tiny Desk series featuring Chance the Rapper Wednesday morning, as if they knew that what America needed was some introspective, thoughtful, smooth as butter hip hop stylings from Chance to get us through the day. Backed by a keyboardist, a drummer, a dude named Nico on trumpet and four back-up singers, the performance captures a side of Chance that is almost too perfect. He’s sincere, respectful and seems truly honored to be taking part in the NPR video series, which features artists performing sets from behind the desk of the show’s host, Bob Boilen.
If you’ve never watched a Tiny Desk set before, then I would check out Anderson. Paak’s performance after Chance’s. The two work well together and it’s also a showcase of two of hip hop’s most promising young talents.
One of the set’s highlights was a poem Chance wrote on the way over to NPR from his Washington D.C. hotel. As the set’s opening tune “Juke Jam,” off of Chance’s breakthrough release Coloring Book, was still fading out, Chance introduced the poem, entitled “The Other Side,” asking people to forgive him, as he hadn’t written a poem in some time.
“I still have all the keys that are of no use to me,” he began. “They used to, though. On the other side was a mansion on a hill, complete with L.A. pools and fireplaces and a rim made specifically for people that lie about being six feet to dunk on.”
A line or two later Chance was interrupted by the office’s page system. Someone needed to get to the mailroom. Hopefully not this guy. Either way, Chance laughed off the interruption and started the poem again, promising humor at one point so people need not worry.
The set’s closer was a cover of “They Won’t Go When I Go” by Stevie Wonder.
Watch the entire performance below.