Rising Maryland rapper Cordae provided the world From a Bird’s Eye View in his debut NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert that dropped on Friday morning (Jan. 14). The 24-year-old MC — who also released View, his 14-track sophomore collection the same day — opened the loose, jazzy seven-song set with the album track “C Carter,” a chronicle of his pre-fame fantasies about a better life.
“I used to dream about a Dodge Charger/ Suicide doors, sittin’ on 24’s/ I was tryna find a job, but s–t, why bother?/ Being broke can make you try harder/ Sittin’ in the house watchin’ Coach Carter/ Plottin’ on this f—in’ Cartier, hey/ Plus a n—a tryna go farther,” he serenely rapped, surrounded by a five-piece jazz combo and four backup singers.
Hopping up from his stool, the rapper — who seamlessly integrates R&B falsetto crooning into the mix — smoothly transitioned into another new track, the slinky “Want From Me,” before slowing things down to tell the backstory of “RNP,” which appeared on his 2019 debut, The Lost Boy. He explained that back before anyone knew who he was, he called his dad in 2018 to vent about his frustrations with the music industry, which, if he’s being honest, elicited a not super compassionate response from Pops.
With a simple count-off, he then dipped into the finger-snapping tale of champagne dreams and foot rubs, before playfully wondering if anyone has ever stood up to do a Tiny Desk show before. The mellow vibes crept back in for a slow roll through the Lost Boy medley of “Thousand Words/Thanksgiving,” with Cordae razzing his saxophone player for wearing a boldly striped sweater as a set-up to the gritty rhyme “Sinister.”
The set ended with the emotion-packed View tracks “Momma’s Hood” — about one of his best friends from high school who was killed last summer as a result of gun violence — and the Boi-1da-produced “Chronicles,” about the uncertainty of the path he’s traveling. The Bird’s Eye album features a number of A-list collaborators, including Lil Wayne, Roddy Ricch, Stevie Wonder, Freddie Gibbs, Nas, Gunna, H.E.R., Lil Durk and Eminem. The collection was inspired by a life-changing trip to Africa, the loss of that close friend and the rapper’s personal evolution, a story he captured for the multi-part YouTube vlog The Road To From A Bird’s Eye View.
Check out Cordae’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert below: