Anderson .Paak, joined by the Free Nationals, performed an NPR Tiny Desk concert back in 2016, and to this day, it remains the most popular performance in the series’ history (the YouTube video has over 48 million views as of this post). Since then, Free Nationals have become a more independent unit outside of .Paak, as they released their self-titled debut album last year. On March 4, before social distancing and quarantining became a part of everyday life, the group returned to the NPR offices for a new Tiny Desk performance, which has now been shared.
The band’s album was heavy on guests, and that didn’t change here. Most notably, .Paak popped up halfway through the set to play drums and sing on “Gidget.” He also reflected on what Tiny Desk has meant for his career, saying, “It’s good to be back, you know what I’m saying? So much stuff has happened since the last time we got back, lot of tours, lot of albums… bigger things. We spent a bunch of money, like hundreds of thousands of dollars on videos, big-budget videos, just to have our biggest video be in front of a tiny desk in an office. Thank you NPR, we appreciate that, for letting the music speak for itself.”
Meanwhile, the performance also featured India Shawn and Chronixx, so watch the full set above.