Issa Rae Includes Thundercat, Raphael Saadiq, SiR, And Others In Her Favorite NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

Surely, we’ve all gone down the NPR Tiny Desk Concert rabbit hole. There’s something about seeing favorite artists (and new discoveries) in a highly intimate setting that feels special, even if we’re not there and just watching from our screens at home. The series has become a ubiquitous part of pop culture and lately, NPR has been asking celebrities to list out their favorite performances. Today, Insecure star, writer, and creator Issa Rae checked in to share her picks.

She led off her list with Raphael Saadiq, who is not only the composer for the musical score of Insecure, he’s also certifiably one of the best live acts in hip-hop and R&B. “When he linked up with Lucky Daye for “You Should Be Here” was just phenomenal,” Rae said as one of her highlight moments of the performance. She also counts Thundercat as one of her favorite Tiny Desks and in goofy Issa Dee fashion (her character in Insecure) she explains that “The lyrics [to his song FriendZone’] are lowkey kind of dumb. But to hear it sound so melodic was just like a treat for me.”

She goes on to talk about Sampha and how his music was featured in Insecure season 2, and that she “was introduced to Sampha by Solange when she was doing the music for season one, so he has a special place in my heart.” She tips the cap to SiR (“because, you know, Inglewood”), and rounds out her six with Baby Rose and Nick Hakim, who’ve both had songs featured on Insecure.

Read Issa Rae’s full comments on her favorite Tiny Desk Concerts here.