We love NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. The diversity of artists they bring through their uniquely intimate setting is unmatched. However, the current travel and gathering bans have caused a slight change of pace for the series, prompting their feature artists to perform from the safety of their homes. Despite this change of scenery, the series’ most recent guest, Hip-Hop authority, Black Thought, frontman of the funky fresh group, The Roots, made the most of his Tiny Desk (Home) Concert by premiering three new songs.
The first track, “Thought vs. Everybody,” features Black Thought spitting a rapid, seamless flow— reminiscent of the 90’s golden era of hip hop— on top of an abstract piano line, warning against potential consequences of the direction our society is headed.
The second track, “Yellow,” is actually a song from his upcoming off-Broadway musical, Black No More, based on an “Afrofuturist sci-fi racial satire” novel by George S. Schuyler, set during the Harlem Renaissance. This track sports a 1920’s jazz theme as Thought raps as a character who is done with the Black experience and wants everything yellow.
The final track, “Nature of the Beast,” is a genre-blending self-reflection of humanity and features none other than Portugal. The Man.
Even though the setting might be a bit different, the intimate energy of the Tiny Desk series was definitely harnessed well by The Roots frontman. Watch Black Thought premiere “Thought vs. Everybody,” “Yellow,” and “Nature of the Beast” in his Tiny Desk (Home) Concert below. Enjoy!