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Royce 5'9": Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Flanked by an ensemble picked by music director, producer and longtime friend Denaun Porter, formidable lyricist Royce 5'9" welcomes us to Heaven, his private studio near Detroit, for an impassioned Tiny Desk (home) concert. Donned in a white jumpsuit, an amped-up Royce points with enthusiasm toward vocalist Ashley Sorrell (his mentee and an emerging talent out of The D), who launches the set with "God Speed" from Royce's 2018 album, Book Of Ryan.

Since his early years entrenched in emcee bootcamp alongside Detroit comrade Eminem, Royce — a one-man army strapped with a battalion of bars — has battled emcees ferociously (and playfully). Lately, Royce's personal growth — as a man, a father and a husband — has been palpable in his music, all while sharpening that proverbial verbal steel. The Grammy-nominated rapper aligned this Tiny Desk with National Recovery Month to celebrate his eighth year of sobriety. And in one touching moment between live renditions of "Dead President Heads" and the DJ Premier-produced classic "Boom," Royce expresses his support for comedian Tony Baker, whose son was killed in August near Los Angeles. Royce's lyrics and his band's live instrumentation during this Tiny Desk combine for a reinvigorating adrenaline rush that pushes the artform forward.


  • "God Speed"
  • "Anything/Everything"
  • "Dead President Heads"
  • "Boom"

  • Royce 5'9": vocals
  • Ashley Sorrell: vocals
  • Jeremy "Jermz on Drumz" Turrentine: drums
  • Edward "EJ" Croft Jr.: bass
  • Darell "Red" Campbell Jr.: keys
  • Emanuel "Uncle EJ" Johnson: keys
  • Gwen "Gwenation" Barnes: vocals
  • Jamiliah Minter: vocals

  • Video: Brendan McCafferty, Franklyn Grant, Philip Lenok
  • Audio: I.V. Duncan
  • Music Director: Denaun Porter

  • Producer: Abby O'Neill
  • Video Producer: Kara Frame
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Maia Stern, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Abby O'Neill