Big Sean Praised After Taking Over NPR’s Tiny Desk & Performing 14 Hits: ‘The Surprise I Didn’t Know I Needed’

Big Sean Praised After Taking Over NPR’s Tiny Desk & Performing 14 Hits: ‘The Surprise I Didn’t Know I Needed’

Big Sean is the latest celebrity to step behind the NPR Tiny Desk.

While there, the Detroit-born rapper reportedly “presented the longest setlist in Tiny Desk history, teasing some of his new music and classic tracks from his nearly two-decade career. 

He started the 25-minute set with his 2010 song “Memories,” the intro to his second album, Hall of Fame. Big Sean also sang his 2015 Grammy-award-winning collaboration with Kanye West and John Legend, “One Man Can Change the World,” released on his third studio album, Dark Sky Paradise. He paused between breaks, noticing several Detroiters who filled the room. He also teased a new song he dedicated to his girlfriend and R&B singer Jhené Aiko and their son, Noah.

In total, Big Sean, born Sean Anderson, performed 14 songs backed by a 13-person band, including a string quartet.

For the occasion, which marked his first Tiny Desk appearance, Big Sean wore a Beastie Boys shirt and a special Detroit Tigers/J Dilla baseball cap that he left on the set as a souvenir, following suit after other artists who left behind a small moment after their performance. 

Moreover, this wasn’t just another appearance for Big Sean. Before closing, the 36-year-old said,

“It’s something my kids can look back on, something my family can look back on to see where I was at in my career.”

He also touched on being a “blog-era mix tape rapper.”

He explained, in part, 

“I had to really build my fanbase organically. There wasn’t no playlist or streaming at the time…to make it out of there. It wasn’t easy… It really made me who I am.”

Big Sean

Fans had mixed reactions about the moment, with one saying he “showed out” and another stating that it was “so dope” as one social media user said it was “the surprise I didn’t know I needed.”

See more reactions below.

Tiny Desk Concerts is a video series of intimate live sets hosted by NPR Music at the “All Songs Considered” desk in their newsroom in Washington, D.C.

The series has become notable for hosting some of the biggest musical acts, including Yo-Yo MaAdeleYoung JeezyUsher, and more. 

What did you think of Big Sean’s Tiny Desk Concert performance? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Authored by: B Gregory