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Big Sean: Tiny Desk Concert

Big Sean performs a Tiny Desk concert March 11, 2024, at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Michael Zamora/NPR
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NPR
Big Sean performs a Tiny Desk concert March 11, 2024, at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Most artists who play the Tiny Desk leave behind a small memento to live on the shelves. Big Sean gave us his special Detroit Tigers/J Dilla baseball cap, an item that speaks to who he is as an artist. Sean doesn't allow too much time to pass without reminding you of his native Detroit, and his most recent freestyle samples an instrumental from the late great J Dilla. Sean pushed our boundaries, presenting one of the longest set lists in Tiny Desk history, but was also extremely gracious and collaborative with our team. This wasn't just another appearance for him. "It's something my kids can look back on, something my family can look back on to see where I was at in my career," he said before closing with the rambunctious "I Don't F*** With You."

Sean Anderson's journey from a high-pitched kid pining for the attention of Ye to one of the most respected lyricists and hitmakers in hip-hop is cleverly packed into this Tiny Desk concert. One of my favorite moments was when he touched on his background as a blog-era emcee. Most of the current kings and queens of hip-hop came up in the same era, and it's hard to fathom what the culture would be without that class. Every word and song of his performance was deliberate: from "Memories" right up to the world premiere of "On Up," a song dedicated to his son, Noah, whom he shares with singer Jhené Aiko, who also gets a bit of shine during his set.

SET LIST

  • "Memories"
  • "Nothing Is Stopping You"
  • "Blessings"
  • "Play No Games"
  • "Light"
  • "My Last"
  • "Marvin & Chardonnay"
  • "All Me"
  • "Beware"
  • "I Know"
  • "Bounce Back"
  • "One Man Can Change The World"
  • "On Up"
  • "I Don't F*** With You"


MUSICIANS

  • Big Sean: lead vocals
  • Thaddeus Dixon: keys, musical direction
  • Amaire Johnson: keys
  • Henry McDaniel: drums
  • DJ Mo Beatz: DJ
  • Micah Moffett: bass guitar, key bass
  • Samoht: vocals
  • Ashly Williams: vocals
  • Eryn Allen Kane: vocals
  • George Lovett: vocals
  • Lady Jess: violin
  • Ariel Byrd: violin
  • Jerome Gordon: viola
  • Johnny Walker Jr.: cello


TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Technical Director: Neil Tevault
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Kara Frame, Alanté Serene
  • Audio Engineers: Josephine Nyounai
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Photographer: Michael Zamora
  • Tiny Desk Copy Editor: Hazel Cills
  • Executive Producer: Suraya Mohamed
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins

Copyright 2024 NPR

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Bobby Carter
Bobby Carter is a leader on the Tiny Desk Concerts team for NPR Music. He's brought an ever growing roster of big names and emerging artists through NPR's HQ to squeeze behind the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and record standout performances, including Usher, Mac Miller, Noname, Anderson.Paak and H.E.R.