Hip-hop has been an integral component in Tiny Desk’s success for quite a while now. Rappers from across the globe have played the Desk and helped to enrich our ever-evolving legacy. With hip-hop in particular, geography plays such a large part in ‘how’ artists express themselves, and none quite so much as Southern emcees. To celebrate the launch of NPR Music’s Southern Rap canon this week, we’re picking five performances from Southern hip-hop artists. Gucci Mane set a benchmark as the first trap representative at the Desk. Big Boi, one half of the duo that sounded the proverbial alarm in 1995, showed us again why he’s a legend. Rapsody proved that she can go bar for bar with anyone from the East, West, or anywhere in between, while Big K.R.I.T.‘s storytelling and emotional cadence set a few tear ducts into overdrive. Megan Thee Stallion made history as the first artist to perform at our 2019 Tiny Desk Fest; she completely tore it down and nothing was the same.
Here are five of our favorite Southern rap Tiny Desk concerts. Each of them have no more in common than the region they share, but all are saying that “something” that Andre 3000 forewarned 25 years ago at the Source awards.
Tiny Desks In This Playlist