Noname: Tiny Desk Concert
Out of the thousand and some Tiny Desk concerts to date, it's seldom an artist returns to the Desk. But when they do, there are a couple requirements: come in a new iteration or present something completely different. In this case, the Chicago-bred, MC-activist Noname does both when she performs some revolutionary raps from her third album, Sundial, and premieres an unreleased single from hip-hop trio Ghetto Sage, made up of her and frequent collaborators, Smino and Saba.
A lot has changed since Fatimah Warner dropped her classic debut, Telefone, in 2016 and made her first appearance behind the Tiny Desk in 2017. She released a stunning follow-up, Room 25, and she even briefly paused her music career to delve deep into her work as an activist. However, holding a mirror up to herself, her community and the music industry is a signature that persists across her career, and even more so on her album Sundial.
Complemented by her dynamic six-piece band, she performs a few selects from this album including the gospel-infused "hold me down," which Noname describes perfectly as "a petty love letter to my community." Then she gets into "boomboom" featuring the vocalist Ayoni, who delivers a raw and powerful performance. She then invites Smino and Saba up to perform the unreleased "kush and love songs," delivering clever and conscious bars on top of a swing groove. Concluding the show in true Noname fashion with "balloons," she asks the audience: "Where better to do my most controversial song than NPR? Real journalism."
- "hold me down"
- "boomboom" (feat. Ayoni)
- "Don't Forget about me"
- "kush and love songs" (as Ghetto Sage)
- Noname: vocals
- Smino: vocals
- Saba: vocals
- Ayoni: vocals
- Greg Paul: drums
- Brooke Skye: bass
- Cisco Swank: keys, vocals
- David Otis: sax, effects
- Kamilah: vocals, loop station
- Claudia Abena: vocals
TINY DESK TEAM
- Producer: Ashley Pointer
- Director/Editor: Kara Frame
- Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
- Series Producer: Bobby Carter
- Videographers: Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Joshua Bryant, Alanté Serene
- Audio Assistant: Josephine Nyuoni
- Photographer: Michael Zamora
- Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills
- Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
- VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
- Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
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