Juvenile: Tiny Desk Concert
NPR Music is celebrating Black Music Month with an array of brand new Tiny Desk concerts. Together, these artists represent the past, present and future of Black music. This month of carefully curated shows is a celebration of Black artists expressing themselves in ways we've never seen before, and of the Tiny Desk's unique way of showcasing that talent.
"WTF is a Tiny Desk and no!" are the words that led to one of the most publicized journeys any musician has taken to get to NPR headquarters. That was Juvenile's response to Twitter user @theylovemyke's request for him to play a Tiny Desk concert back in April. His response ignited Black Twitter, launching a barrage of tweets and reposts of favorite performances at the Desk, as fans implored the "T.C. soldier" to reconsider. His viral reconsideration led to a few DMs, which led to a few phone calls, and the date was set. Juve, like some rappers in his class, had never heard of our little nook in Washington, D.C., but he soon found out.
The pressure to deliver was palpable in the planning stages but as the band was assembled, my expectations were exceeded. Tiny Desk alumni and New Orleans natives Trombone Shorty and Alvin Ford were brought into the fold. Another Tiny Desk vet from New Orleans, Jon Batiste, flew in from London just to be a part of the set. Juvenile sourced The Amours from right here in D.C. to handle background vocals, along with string players from the Louisiana Philharmonic for the grand finale. The architect of the Juvenile/Cash Money Records sound, DJ Mannie Fresh, became the glue that pieced it all together. The result was one of the most rambunctious experiences at the Desk. The Hot Boy coasted through highlights from a decades-long, groundbreaking career, concluding with a performance of "Back That Azz Up," so exuberant that the audience demanded an encore and the band obliged. A Tiny Desk first.
TINY DESK TEAM
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