Westside Boogie Brings A Team Of Tiny Superheroes To His Tiny Desk Concert

After a relatively quiet few years, emotive Compton rapper Westside Boogie made his return with the therapeutic album More Black Superheroes this June. A criminally overlooked project, More Black Superheroes finds Boogie once again ruminating on his own toxic tendencies while advocating for a more positive future.

To that end, he brought his own squad of superheroes to the NPR offices for his Tiny Desk Concert. Backed by costumed children for the finale performance of “Silent Ride,” Boogie makes a nod to the themes (and cover) of his new album. The MCU this isn’t, but then again, maybe that’s the point. The powered heroes in Marvel’s movies might be able to lift buses, but he’s on a mission to lift spirits and set some positive examples for a community that could frankly always use a few more.

During the performance, Boogie delivers soulful renditions of signature tracks from the album like “Stuck” and “Nonchalant,” employing “Float” vocalist Mamii to provide an angelic counterpoint to his sinful rhymes.

Boogie has done a lot of growing up since bursting onto the scene in 2015 with “Oh My.” He attributed at least a little bit of that growth to mentor Eminem, who advised him to slow down on reading his press. “He talked to me about not taking everything personal from blogs, ’cause it’s hard for me because my music is so genuine to me,” he said in a July interview. “So not seeing good responses sometimes frustrates me ’cause I know how much I put into it, but I think that’s every artist. Plus, coming from a neighborhood where we can’t let nobody punk us [and] gotta stand up for ourselves, when somebody come for me crazy on the internet, it’s always hard to not reply.”

Watch Westside Boogie’s Tiny Desk Concert above.