NPR closed the year out strong with its Tiny Desk series which featured stellar acoustic performances we didn’t know we needed from artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib. Now at the top of the new year, the series returns with Wale.
It’s a perfect fit between D.C. artist and NPR’s lounge-like atmosphere as he delivers his poetic, smooth flow over acoustic beats supplied by his touring band, Tre And The Ppl formerly known as UCB. It’s honestly still puzzling why this didn’t happen a long time ago. During the roughly 30-minute Tiny Desk Fest set, Wale shared some advice he got from a good friend and fellow MC J.Cole about getting over pre-show jitters NPR shared.
“I was talking to J. Cole about me doing this,’ Wale said as we rode the elevator up to the Tiny Desk. “He told me to just do my thing, but I wish I had more time to work this set out.”
Those in attendance were treated live renditions of his first big hit “Lotus Flower Bomb,” “LoveHate Thing,” “CC White,” UCB’s “Sexy Lady,” as well as standout records from his latest album “Sue Me” and “On Chill.”
Wale clearly has a knack for rocking crowds and keeping them engaged with the songs he is performing. NPR hasn’t missed yet, and Wale’s showing belongs up there in the pantheons the likes of Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Lizzo, LeiKeili47, and Lucky Daye.
You can watch the full performance below.
Photo: Mindy Small / Getty