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Juvenile Makes Highly Anticipated, Viral NPR Tiny Desk Debut

Juvenile first floated the idea of a Tiny Desk performance in April.

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Juvenile - Photo: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images
Juvenile - Photo: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Back in April, Juvenile responded to a Tweet asking him to perform on NPR’s Tiny Desk. His cry-laugh emoji-laden response seemingly made his answer clear: “Wtf is a tiny desk and no,” he wrote. The Tweet went viral and led Juvie to do some research. Now, the superstar MC has stopped by the famed Desk to offer up one of the most wildly anticipated performances in the series’ history. Check out the performance below.

Last time we heard from Juvenile was in 2022, when he linked up with Grammy Award-nominated hip-hop legend and Cash Money Records Co-Founder and Co-C.E.O. Birdman. The duo, re-formed as, J.A.G. shared a single entitled “Ali.” The track was celebrated with an accompanying cinematic music video.

Juvenile: Tiny Desk Concert

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The production on the cut fuses cinematic piano to steady 808s. Right out of the gate, Juvenile delivers the chantable and quotable chorus with his signature swagger and soul, “My heart ain’t got no feelings, my career ain’t got no ceilings, I’m the greatest since Muhammad Ali.” Birdman stunts on a slick counter verse with the force of a knockout uppercut. Together, they lock into their classic chemistry, and it remains as powerful as ever.

Before that track, Birdman and Juvenile last linked up on their 2019 collaborative album, J.A.G. The latter generated over 20 million total streams and views across platforms and incited unanimous critical applause. Pitchfork christened it “a shockingly strong late-career reunion record,” and Billboard summed it up best as “a beginning of a new chapter” and praised Juvenile, saying, “He sounds revitalized.”

The first solo star to emerge from Cash Money Records, Juvenile remains one of the most renowned rappers in New Orleans hip-hop history. His roots in the city’s rap lineage run deep. In the early 90s, when Juve was just a teen, he was a fixture in the local bounce music scene, rapping on the DJ Jimi-produced regional hit song, “Bounce For the Juvenile.” Shortly after spitting over bounce’s percussive polyrhythms, he joined his fellow Hot Boys – Lil Wayne, B.G., and Turk – to put a gangster twist on bounce music for the regionally successful Get It How U Live!!! (1997). After the group’s debut, Juvenile became a star.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alicia

    July 3, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Birdman was not there, it was Mannie Fresh. You may want to update the story.

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