Tyler, the Creator's Smooth Tiny Desk Concert Is the Epitome of His Vision

'Flower Boy' material + a live jazz-soul band is magical.

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12 December 2017, 9:18am

Tyler, the Creator's live performances have historically been punked-out affairs filled with moshing, screaming, and stage dives, which is all fine and dandy. However, a few overtly jazzy one-offs over the years with BadBadNotGood and the Roots have shown his aspirations to basically start a neo-soul band, and he's finally gotten that wish in his instalment of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts.

Performing material off Flower Boy (our #5 album of the year!), the three-song set is smooth and loose, with Tyler accompanied by backing vocalists, a keyboardist, a drummer, and a bassist playing upright (this is how you know it's jazz). "Boredom" gives way to Tyler leading the band in taking individual turns, while the frontman also takes his own noodly synth solo on an extended version of "Glitter." The pure joy here is contagious throughout, and this kind of improvisatory, instrument-focused set is likely what Tyler's been wanting to do this entire time. Also, check that lighting! Watch the entire Tiny Desk performance above.

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