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How NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts became a pop culture phenomenon

NEW YORK (AP) — As DJ Mannie Fresh’s trademark “ladies and gentlemen” catchphrase ricocheted throughout the office, a giddy Juvenile, draped in white with his signature bandana, playfully swayed back and forth to the beat of his musicians. It wasn’t surprising that the native of New Orleans — a city known for brass bands and live music — felt at home for his Tiny Desk Concert. What is remarkable? Just weeks prior, the legendary rapper had been unaware of the popular, stripped-down, live music series.

An April social media suggestion that he perform for the National Public Radio series — amplified by his “Wtf is a tiny desk” reply – sent social media into a frenzy. Details were ironed out within days, resulting in one of 2023’s most notable live performances just two months later.“I don’t know if there’s a Tiny Desk award or something like that — maybe I would be the one to get it,” laughed Juvenile, referencing the excitement around his performance that’s drawn nearly 7 million views. “I’ve been getting so much love,” said the 48-year-old “Back That Azz Up” artist.

Source: How NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts became a pop culture phenomenon | AP News