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Watch Chance The Rapper Deliver A New Poem, Cover Stevie Wonder For NPR's Tiny Desk Series

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 5, 2017 6:50PM

Chance the Rapper / NPR

Remember last month when video emerged of a gaggle of NPR staffers rushing down the stairs and clamoring down the halls because they had just apparently heard that Chance the Rapper was in the house to deliver a surprise Tiny Desk Concert? Well, the concert was just posted on Wednesday morning, and we finally had an opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out, it was fuss-worthy.

True to Tiny Desk's stripped-down aesthetic, Chance performed with just drums, organ, horn, and a small group of backup singers, including members of the Chicago-based Social Experiment. That kind of minimalism tends to leave a lot of artists exposed, but the context serves Chance well, especially his, um, under-sung singing voice.

Watch the Chatham native (but not mayoral candidate) perform the Coloring Book standout "Juke Jam" and a lovely cover of Stevie Wonder's "They Won't Go When I Go," plus a brand-new poem—which not even a pesky NPR intercom page from the mailroom (for real) can derail.