Watch: Chance the Rapper Wrote a Poem For NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert

There are few good reasons to stampede down a stairwell. There’s the usual reasons like fires, the end of the workday, and free food, but that’s not what caused a commotion at NPR last month. Employees raced down the stairs when watercooler talk turned into pandemonium for a surprise Tiny Desk Concert by none other than Chance the Rapper.


The soft spoken Chance joined the iconic office concert series with his usual bluesy flair, but came with a surprise. Besides performing “Juke Jam” from his album Coloring Book, he also wrote a poem called “The Other Side” on the cab ride over to the office. On his first try reciting his poem, he came face-to-face with one of the downsides of office life—an office loudspeaker interrupted him with a building-wide page for someone to call the mailroom.

“I still have all the keys that are of no use to me,” he began. “They used to, though. On the other side was a mansion on a hill, complete with L.A. pools and fireplaces and a rim made specifically for people that lie about being six feet to dunk on.”

After restarting the poem post-mailroom announcement, he closed out his set with a moving rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go” that he dedicated to somebody close to me who just lost somebody close to them.” We can only hope that in the panic to get to the concert, the staff grabbed a few tissues.

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