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Chance the Rapper is on an incredible roll. In the first half of 2017 alone, he notched his first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (“I’m the One”), was awarded Humanitarian of the Year at the BET Awards (no less than Michelle Obama called him an “outstanding role model and an inspiration to all of us who care about our next generation,”) and announced a $2 million initiative to help young people in Chicago. But those are his highlights. For any NPR employee who happened to be in the room when Chance recorded his very first Tiny Desk Concert last month, well, that’s a life highlight.
The latest installment of the adorable, lo-fi live music series was released on Wednesday, and it features Chance performing “Juke Jam” from Coloring Book as well as a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go.” He also, according to NPR, “wanted to try a different approach for his Tiny Desk performance, so he decided to do something he said he hadn’t done in a long time. He wrote a poem. More specifically, he wrote a poem in the short time it took him to ride from his hotel in Washington, D.C. to the NPR Music offices.
Called ‘The Other Side,’ Chance debuted it in the middle of his remarkable set, reading from his notes written out in black marker on sheets of typing paper.”
Watch the performance, including a mid-poem interruption that Chance handles with humor and grace, above.