NPR enlisted Common for the latest episode of Tiny Desk Concert, their intimate video series filmed at a desk, but took things up a level by filming the set at the White House's library. Grammy-winning musicians Robert Glasper and Derrick Hodge were on hand to assist Common with the performance along with R&B singer Bilal who joined in for two songs.
For his 20-minute set, Common performed his classic, "I Used To Love H.E.R." and debuted three new songs for the audience including, "Letter To The Free," "The Day The Women Took Over," and "Little Chicago Boy."
"The gift of a lifetime as a musician/mc is to perform with Robert Glasper, Karriem Riggins, Bilal Oliver, Derrick Hodge, Keyon Harrold and Elenia," Common captioned a clip of the performance on Instagram. "Thank you @nprmusic, @whitehouse team and Thanks to The MOST HIGH, GOD!"
The performance was part of the White House's inaugural South by South Lawn day-long festival that took cues from SXSW to include a lineup of music, technology, art, and more.
The prolific artist has been busy gearing up for the release of his eleventh studio album and recently dropped the video for project's title track featuring Stevie Wonder. Complex recently sat down with Common to talk about his new album that features the likes of John Legend, Anderson .Paak, The Internet, and Jay Electronica. "I was inspired by people enjoying art," Common told Complex in the studio. "People seem like they're appreciating, they're open to different types of art and that just opened a lane for me."
Watch Common's incredible Tiny Desk Concert for NPR above and revisit our conversation right here. Stay on the look out for his new album, Black America Again, to arrive this November.
- Premiere: Common Shares Powerful Message in "Black America Again" Video f/ Stevie Wonder
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