Tyler, The Creator Thought His NPR Tiny Desk Would Be "Trash"—It's Amazing

“The fact that you saw me finally have the courage to be trash with a band just means a lot.”

During NPR’s first-ever nighttime Tiny Desk Concert, 2017 hip-hop MVP candidate Tyler, The Creator admitted that he was extremely skeptical of performing songs from his GRAMMY-nominated Flower Boy album with a live band.

After performing “Boredom,” “See You Again,” and “Glitter,” all with different light designs, Tyler said, “I’ve always hated rap music with bands.”

“I was always skeptical, especially with some of the drum sounds I use… how do I use a band to my full potential?” Tyler continued. “The chords and the musical aspects of my music, you may think it would work, but sometimes it just doesn’t get the full thought across. So I’ve always been hesitant to even approach it. I found [this band] and they’re really, really talented and we just meshed together.”

I agree.

Unsurprisingly, Tyler’s live performance gave the already lush Flower Boy even more body. His on-stage charisma added a jubilance and comedic rapport that could not have been communicated on wax, while the Rex Orange County-sung hook on “Boredom” was given a new sense of levity by the band’s two vocalists, Kiandra Shanece Richardson and Kimberly Jefferson. In the eleventh hour, this was one of the best Tiny Desk Concerts of 2017.

“I’m happy you guys came out,” Tyler said to close out the performance. “Even if you’re in here and you’re like, ‘That shit was trash,’ the fact that you saw me finally have the courage to be trash with a band just means a lot.”

Tyler ended the set by encouraging his band and members of the audience to each share a fun fact about themselves, which, if you’ve heard Flower Boy, was an amazing, spot-on way to bring the appearance full circle.