NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. has become the hottest live music venue in the city thanks to their Tiny Desk Concert series. Performing on Tiny Desk is something that many artists have on their musical bucket list, but only a chosen few hundred have had the honor over the years. In recent memory, a number of SoulBounce faves and artists we dig have graced the literal tiny desk space with their presence and clocked in some amazing performances. Among them is The CrossRhodes – comprised of singer Raheem DeVaughn and rapper/spoken word artist Wes Felton – who represented the DMV well and made quite a statement with their Tiny Desk showing.
Decked out in black suits and backed by their equally suited and booted band, The CrossRhodes immediately caught our attention with their visual presentation. After a brief introduction from poet Raquel Ra Brown, Rah and Wes launched into “Footprints on the Moon,” the title cut from their 2017 album. The pair provided much food for thought with their impactful lyrics before the song turned into a swinging jam session. The fellas smoothly segued into “How You Gon’ Fall,” which became more of an interlude than a full song during this live set. Up next was the catchy tune “Praying Prayers,” that allowed both Wes and Raheem to shine as well as supporting vocalists J Hill and Micah Robinson who added their soulful harmonies to the mix. Raquel stepped back up to the mic to spit her poetic intro to the song “America.” From there, DeVaughn took over to sing the real about the current socio-political climate and being Black in this country before Felton amplified the sentiments with his verse. On the song’s outro, Raheem blended in the last line from the National Anthem. The powerful performance ended with DeVaughn and Felton both raising a single fist in the air and taking a knee alongside Brown, Hill and Robinson. Now that’s how you end a show.
This might very well be the most woke Tiny Desk Concert we’ve ever seen. Wrap up Black History Month 2018 with The CrossRhodes’ sounds of blackness from their very necessary visit to NPR.