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Watch: Chance the Rapper is poetry in motion for NPR Tiny Desk debut

Peter Blackstock
pblackstock@statesman.com

“Forgive me, I haven’t written a poem in a long time.”

That’s how Chance the Rapper introduced “The Other Side” to an intimate Tiny Desk Concert audience at NPR’s offices, part of a new episode that the public radio network just posted to its website today. The hip-hop star, who wowed audiences at Circuit of the Americas in May during Jmblya and will return in October for both weekends of the Austin City Limits Festival, wanted to make his Tiny Desk appearance special, he said.

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The poem, interrupted briefly but humorously by an office announcement, followed a version of “Juke Jam” from last year’s chart-topping mixtape “Coloring Book.” A rendition of Stevie Wonder’s 1974 tune “They Won’t Go When I Go” concluded the 13-minute session.

Austin’s annual South by Southwest festival was noted in a brief article accompanying the video. NPR’s Robin Hilton mentioned having first seen Chance at SXSW 2013, when “he was a 19-year old upstart rapping and singing for a handful of people at a tiny club in Austin, Texas.”

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