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Tyler, The Creator's Tiny Desk performance was a first for many reasons. It was the Los Angeles rapper's first time performing at our offices, but moreover, it was the Tiny Desk's first nighttime performance, a special request from Tyler and his team in order to professionally light the "stage" themselves. Members of Tyler's lighting crew came to the office a day before to set it up, eventually bathing him and his band in shades of fuchsia, orange and blue — one for each song — during the early evening show.
Flower Boy, Tyler's latest album, is much like this Tiny Desk performance; a surprising departure from the expected. Four albums in, he has matured as a producer, rapper and human being. Often equated to hip-hop's class clown, the 26-year-old peels back his own mask of immaturity to reveal a young adult grappling with anxiety, fear and uncertainty of self.
After he was done, Tyler did something of a modified mic-drop, throwing his tambourine in celebration of what he and his band had accomplished. Always one to stay casually connected with his fans, Tyler made time — nearly an hour after the performance was done --- to pose for photos, sign merch and crack jokes with (and on) everyone around him.
"See You Again"
Tyler Okonma (vocals, keys), Jaret Landon (MD/Keys) Dré Pinckney (Bass), Dalton Hodo (Drums), Kaye Fox (background vocals), Kiandra Richardson (background vocals)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Lighting: Max McDougall; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Beck Harlan, Alyse Young; Production Assistants: Paul Wichmann, Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR
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