“Cash Money Records takin’ over for the ’99 and the 2000” are words every millennial knows. The reaction is darn near Pavlovian at this point. You know it’s about to go down. When Juvenile pulls up at the NPR offices to perform his long-awaited Tiny Desk Concert, the reaction is such that he performs the song not just once, but twice. As soon as he finishes, the audience clamors for more, bringing the whole band back for an encore that spills over into the crowd.
The New Orleans legend performs for nearly 30 minutes with not just keys, drums, bass, and guitar, but brings along a full-fledged second line and strings to flesh out his set, which features backup from in-house Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh (of course)”R and runs through classics like “Bling Bling,” “Ha,” “Set It Off,” “Slow Motion,” “Rodeo,” “Nolia Clap,” “I Need A Hot Girl,” “Project Chick,” and OF COURSE “Back That Azz Up.” If this don’t make you move, check your pulse.
This Tiny Desk was one of the more anticipated ones in a while, thanks to an immaculate roll out by Juvie the Great, who has certainly grasped his stature as a rap elder statesman and keeps a sense of humor about it. More artists should promote their Tiny Desk Concerts like this — it’s an honor to perform but it should also be fun for everyone. This one certainly is.
Watch Juvenile’s NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert above.