The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Bobby Carter | March 3, 2021
Jack Harlow’s Tiny Desk (home) concert feels like the arrival of a rap superstar. Tucked in a homey-looking space in Los Angeles surrounded by bookshelves and vintage furniture, the Louisville, Ky., emcee delivers a performance with the confidence of an old pro. His set, however, is the first time he’s relied solely on live instrumentation to bring his songs to life. “It’s been a long time since I had a chance to perform and I’ve never done it like this,” he says.
This is a far stretch from the kid with loose curls and specs frolicing with his hometown friends, but his success should serve as a reminder of the importance of artist development. He’s been able to slow cook for a few years, consistently dropping mixtapes and visuals until he landed a big hit last year in “WHATS POPPIN.” That performance earned him a Grammy nomination ahead of his very impressive debut album, Thats What They All Say.
For this turn at the Tiny Desk, Harlow, his band and some background singers deliver a megamix of highlights from the album. The orchestration underscores his sentimental and introspective side on songs like “Same Guy” and “Funny Seeing You Here,” but it also elevates the melody, which is the true hero here. Over the past few years, the 22-year-old rapper has steadily ticked the boxes for a successful career, and this showing undoubtedly checks the performer section.
“21C / Delta”
“Funny Seeing You Here”
“Creme/ONCE MAY COMES”
Jack Harlow: vocals
O’Neil “Doctor O” Palmer: keys
Rico Nichols: drums
Joe Cleveland – bass
Rob Gueringer: guitar
Erik B: vocals
Chimera Patrice: vocals
Porcha Clay: vocals
Video: Ace Pro, Chadrick Fellers / WastedPotential, Donald Turner, Karis West, Kylie Hazzard
Audio: Nickie Jon Pabón, CJ Blair
Playback: Kenny Woods
Backline: Jonathan Castillo
TINY DESK TEAM
Producer: Bobby Carter
Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Maia Stern
Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
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