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Denzel Curry: Tiny Desk Concert

This year, NPR Music is celebrating Black Music Month with an array of brand new Tiny Desk concerts — both from home and from behind our beloved Desk. 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.

After taking a sip of his tea towards the end of his six-song set, Denzel Curry turns to his band and exclaims: "We lowkey breezed through this b****! That's great for two rehearsals!"

From the moment Curry and his people stepped foot into NPR headquarters to record their Tiny Desk concert, the vibes were right. With a 10-piece configuration — consisting of drums, bass, keys, guitar, horns and percussion — the rapper put on a flawless and inspired live performance of songs off his latest LP as well as some of his biggest hits, all freshly arranged for the Tiny Desk.

Over the course of a decade, Curry has released a number of albums and EPs, becoming one of the most versatile emcees in hip-hop today. His sixth studio album, Melt My Eyez See Your Future, marked a new artistic beginning for him: infusing neo-soul, jazz and traditional hip-hop influences into the album, with less "rah" and more mature introspection. Throughout this concert, you get a little bit of both.

Curry and the Cold-Blooded Soul Band open their set with "Melt Session #1," a feel-good neo-soul groove where Curry's introspective lyrics flow beautifully, taking center stage. Then kicking it up a notch, Curry performs "Walkin" and "Troubles" with an assist from DJ POSHtronaut, employing some serious bounce complimented by catchy horn lines. In the second half of his set, Curry takes us back with "DIET_." Evoking instant head-bops as bass and drums smoothly lock in, Curry charms our audience with his improvised rhymes and exuberant personality.

As Curry and the band closed out the concert going absolutely bonkers with "RICKY," I could feel how light the room had gotten as everyone in the audience fed off Curry's infectious energy fueled by distorted guitar and bass and punchy horns. "You know I killed that s***. You know I murked that s***!" Yes, Denzel Curry. Yes you did.


  • "Melt Session #1"
  • "Walkin"
  • "Troubles"
  • "DIET_"
  • "RICKY"

  • Denzel Curry: vocals
  • DJ POSHtronaut: vocals
  • Marcus Paul: trumpet
  • Brandyn Phillips: trumpet
  • Tim McKay: saxophone/flute
  • Alex Csillag: trombone
  • Brian Gazo: percussion
  • Brian Patterson: drums
  • Jay Winfield: keys
  • Jack Siegel: guitar
  • David McKinzie: bass

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Audio Recording & Mix Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Director: Joshua Bryant
  • Editor: Kara Frame
  • Series Creator: Bob Boilen
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Michael Zamora, Pierre Kattar, Alanté Serene
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Jill Britton, Maia Stern
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Ashley Pointer
    [Copyright 2024 NPR]

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