Mac Miller: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

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Watch Mac Miller play "Small Worlds", "What's the Use? (Feat. Thundercat)" and "2009" at the Tiny Desk.
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Aug. 6, 2018 | Bobby Carter -- There was a shift in Mac Miller's boisterous demeanor as he started the third of his three-song Tiny Desk set. It's the first time he's performed tracks from his new album, Swimming, in front of an audience. On "2009," he rubbed his chin with clinched eyes, looking like a young man who's beginning to crack the code. Backed by a piano loop and a string quartet, he reflected on his journey's peaks and valleys thus far.
I ain't asking why no more
I know I'll take it if it's mine
I don't stay inside the lines
It ain't 2009 no more
Yeah, I know what's behind that door
With nearly a decade under his belt at 26 years old, these words ring like an artist twice his age.
We were introduced to Mac Miller via 2011's XXL Freshman Class, which featured a special crop of MCs such as Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill and YG, all of whom are now considered in the upper echelon of hip-hop. After his big splash, he's been able to find a groove and consistently release quality rap records, ultimately keeping his name in the conversation with the other young greats. His 2011 album, Blue Slide Park, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first independently distributed debut album to do so since 1995's Dogg Food by Tha Dogg Pound. These consecutive triumphs amassed plenty of fame, fortune and insurmountable obstacles, causing a stumble here and there. Throughout the years, however, Mac has brushed himself off and put it in the music.
For this performance, Mac Miller invited frequent collaborator Thundercat, who graced the Tiny Desk last year and will join Mac on tour this fall. Thundercat put on a dazzling shaker routine and played the deep centerpiece bass line on "What's The Use?" These Swimming iterations don't veer far away from the recorded versions, but here, his lyrics seem easier to interpret under live instrumentation.
Set List
"Small Worlds"
"What's the Use? (Feat. Thundercat)"
Mac Miller (Vocals), Thundercat (Bass), Justus West (Guitar), Klynik (Keys), Joe Cleveland (Bass), Kendall Lewis (Drums), Robin Fay-Massie (Violin), YaShauna Swan (2nd Violin), Lelia Walker (Viola), Melanie Hsu (Cello)
Producers: Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Beck Harlan, Khun Minn Ohn; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

NPR Music
  • NPR Music

    NPR Music

    Ամիս առաջ

    Tiny Desk fans: If you’re into hip-hop, then you know that it’s inherently protest music. Listen to our new podcast, Louder Than A Riot, to hear about the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. Through the stories of Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, we’ll reveal how rhyme and punishment in America have always gone hand-in-hand. Check us out at:

    • Rebel Underground Network

      Rebel Underground Network

      12 ժամ առաջ

      Hey can we get a Jack Harlow and Felly Tiny Desk? Those would be amazing!

    • Rider Sullivan

      Rider Sullivan

      Օր առաջ

      @Dominick Owens looking back and pinning this on one of their most popular tiny desks is for sure a marketing strategy, whether they need it or not. And there’s no doubt they’re not the first to profit off of Mac Miller

    • Femi Oye

      Femi Oye

      2 օր առաջ

      Thank God Mac left this for us 😭

    • Keith Todd

      Keith Todd

      3 օր առաջ

      @nprmusic. Anthony green would be awesome!

    • Dylan 23

      Dylan 23

      5 օր առաջ

      Shouldnt have ads.

  • JeunePilgrim


    25 վայրկյան առաջ

    i just realized that's thundeecat playin the shaker in the corner

  • Mehmet Sirin Balta

    Mehmet Sirin Balta

    28 րոպե առաջ

    black flag

  • Fullsun


    35 րոպե առաջ


  • moose Jeon

    moose Jeon

    2 ժամ առաջ

    music is the beautiful thing.

  • Justice Blackhawk

    Justice Blackhawk

    2 ժամ առաջ

    This whole thing kept me from committing suicide. Rip Mac.

  • Official Samson

    Official Samson

    2 ժամ առաջ

    can’t be the only that comes back for 2009 🥺

  • Official Samson

    Official Samson

    2 ժամ առաջ

    can’t be the only that comes back for 2009 🥺

  • Muhammad Hidayatullah Nazmi

    Muhammad Hidayatullah Nazmi

    3 ժամ առաջ

    2020 is about to end but here I am again

  • Kenny Culler

    Kenny Culler

    3 ժամ առաջ

    2009 hits so differently without Mac. World lost the greatest artist ever

  • Tom Erickson

    Tom Erickson

    3 ժամ առաջ

    if only someone would look at me the way the guitar player looks at thundercat during the entrance solo on whats the use...

  • im dying is it blissful

    im dying is it blissful

    5 ժամ առաջ

    You can really tell Mac was feelin it when Thundercat was doing the "I just wanna fly" part. RIP to a real one

  • Spencer Lomeli

    Spencer Lomeli

    6 ժամ առաջ

    Depression is a hard thing but this makes it better God bless your soul mac! Music is a beautiful thing

  • Silverback


    6 ժամ առաջ

    mmmm that bass........

  • Xaviere Murray-Puhara

    Xaviere Murray-Puhara

    8 ժամ առաջ


  • Jakey Pluckerbomb

    Jakey Pluckerbomb

    10 ժամ առաջ

    oh my god why does it hurt so bad

  • Izzy Smith

    Izzy Smith

    11 ժամ առաջ

    The world sure is small brother, rest easy Mac 🌐

  • P Win

    P Win

    12 ժամ առաջ

    keep coming back :( miss mac

  • benjamin


    12 ժամ առաջ

    3:35 best part 😞💔 miss you Mac

  • Bernabe Araya Chavez

    Bernabe Araya Chavez

    13 ժամ առաջ

    A pesar de la calidez musical.. Que es increíble....! Lamentable el audio en la última canción... Creo que en todo momento el bombo no se escucha y el bajo (que es de suma importancia en estos géneros musicales, dejo mucho que desear) , en comparación al la segunda canción (bajista invitado) destacó el 80% del audio, aunque no suene el bombo! Saludos y espero respuesta...! Saludos mac miller... Donde quiera que estés....!

  • Heidi Fitzmaurice

    Heidi Fitzmaurice

    14 ժամ առաջ

    The drummer’s face though 😍

  • mike kpow

    mike kpow

    15 ժամ առաջ

    And I'm back. I love this so much and the happiness that is in the room, just folks playing amazing music and having a good time. I appreciate Mac's interactions with Thundercat more and more each time I watch, it provides a much needed smile.

  • datanoster


    16 ժամ առաջ

    synth player = motion hero

  • datanoster


    16 ժամ առաջ

    I want every piece of this vibe in my daily life 4 ever

  • Michael Angel

    Michael Angel

    17 ժամ առաջ

    This relaxes me on my drive home on stressful work days...ill be back in a few weeks. Don't trip.

  • Uluthando Silivile

    Uluthando Silivile

    18 ժամ առաջ

    Whole december made!❤

  • seth driessen

    seth driessen

    18 ժամ առաջ

    is there somebody that can press this on vinyl?



    18 ժամ առաջ

    Well done

  • mystro S

    mystro S

    18 ժամ առաջ

    Thunder a beast!!!

  • Pato Cariqueo

    Pato Cariqueo

    18 ժամ առաջ


  • Ronni P

    Ronni P

    18 ժամ առաջ

    fave part 7:46

  • Kaz


    20 ժամ առաջ

    7:56 when Mac gets choked up over how filthy that thundercat lick was gets me every time man 😂

  • Joe momma

    Joe momma

    20 ժամ առաջ

    You put an ad in 2009

  • Shivansh Singh

    Shivansh Singh

    22 ժամ առաջ


  • Jamey Strauss

    Jamey Strauss

    23 ժամ առաջ

    why do i have to hear about google nest hub in the middle of a good cry



    23 ժամ առաջ

    pt 12234345235455624 listening to this during