Inglewood rapper D Smoke puts his multiple talents on full display during an at-home NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert, rapping, singing, and playing piano throughout a soulful, stripped-down, four-song set featuring selections from his debut album Black Habits. While past hip-hop Tiny Desk Concerts have seen rappers play their beats from sound systems, D Smoke instead plays the instrumental sections, sans drums, on his piano as he raps his way through “No Commas,” “Closer to God,” “Seasons Pass,” and “Black Habits II.”
Smoke, who won the inaugural season of Netflix’s competition show Rhythm + Flow, also speaks to the family background that inspired his debut album, as well as admitting that his performance of “Black Habits II” was his first ever live performance of the song. He also addressed the effects of COVID-19 quarantine on the community around him, closing businesses and affecting his own ability to go out and touch fans in person. However, he remains positive and hopeful, showing the resilience and defiance that made him one of Snoop Dogg’s favorites on Rhythm + Flow, even when he stumbles in some points of his performance. The Tiny Desk demonstrates all of the reasons why D Smoke earned his win and everything that comes after it.
Watch D Smoke’s At-Home Tiny Desk Concert above.