NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series offers the rare opportunity to listen to some of our favorite artists perform in an intimate setting, sans the usual bells and whistles. The latest star to stop by Bob Boilen's desk was none other than Chance the Rapper, who recently accepted the BET award for Best New Artist and Humanitarian.
After expressing his surprise that the concerts are "actually in an office," Chance began by performing "Juke Jam," a song from his 2016 mixtape Coloring Book. The rapper also treated listeners to a recitation of a new poem titled, "The Other Side," which he penned en route to the performance.
“I still have all the keys that are of no use to me,” he read. “They used to, though. On the other side was a mansion on a hill, complete with LA pools and fireplaces and a rim made specifically for people that lie about being six feet to dunk on.”
There was a slight interruption thanks to an announcement on the NPR building's loudspeaker, but the rapper rolled with it.
His collaborators Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment, along with backing vocalists Thirdstory, joined Chance to perform the amazing cover. It offers a neo-soul twist on Wonder's hit from the album 1974 Fulfillingness' First Finale. It has previously been covered by George Michael, but we're definitely partial to Chance's version.
Next up, Chance will join Dave Chappelle for the comedian's residency at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Other guests include Lauryn Hill, Yasiin Bey, the Roots, Erykah Badu, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, Childish Gambino, and Ali Wong.
Meanwhile, we're clamoring to hear more soulful covers from Chance the Rapper. As his performance of "They Won't Go When I Go" proves, he can sing just as well as he raps.