Chance the Rapper has taken the stage – well, desk, this week, delivering an emotional performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.
The Colouring Book rapper announced that he was a huge fan of the series, and promptly delved into a short, soulful, low-key set. Avoiding his typically high-energy performances, he shared a stripped-down rendition of Juke Jam (sans Justin Bieber), backed by four vocalists, trumpet, keys and light percussion. It was intimate, cheeky, sensual and sweet.
Chance then did something a little unexpected; he recited a poem he’d written earlier that day, titled The Other Side. Appearing visibly moved by his own words, the recitation offered a rare glimpse of Chance, with neither musical accompaniment nor prideful bounce, and though he joked that there were funny moments in the poem, it was steady and honest, touching on past relationships with women, prescription drugs, and a how-the-other-half-live fantasy.
Finishing the concert with a final swell of emotive gusto, he dedicated his second song to “somebody close to me, that just lost somebody close to them.” Backed by light keys, woozy harmonies and Nico’s iconic trumpet, he covered Stevie Wonder’s gorgeous They Won’t Go When I Go to gorgeous effect.
Check it out below.