Tiny Desk Live performance : NPR

The Bay Space rapper Symba is a succesful storyteller, however he’s finest recognized for his bars. “Can I rap for y’all?” he asks after performing “Cannot Win For Nothing.” “‘Trigger that wasn’t actually me rapping; that was me guiding y’all by means of a foul day. Let me spit some lyrics.” Truthful sufficient. He did tear by means of a L.A. Leakers freestyle, throughout a go to to Energy 106 in 2020, turning many heads and even incomes Dr. Dre‘s hard-won approval. However in his Tiny Desk live performance, he demonstrates a eager skill to complement his charged, freestyler’s power, balancing high-octane wordplay with crisp scene-setting. Donning a Reese Cooper varsity jacket, a white tee, ripped denims and diverse jewellery, and backed by a band sporting black, Symba introduced a fair larger intimacy to his songs of willpower.

The live performance opens with a number of standout singles: He units the tone by swaggering by means of “Do not Condone,” gleefully brandishing his King James cosign, earlier than diving into the solemn misadventures of “Cannot Win For Nothing.” His small, six-person ensemble brings heat and shade out of his beats, notably on the Dre-produced “By no means Finish Up Broke,” which breaks down right into a lush alternate association match for the Blue Observe jazz membership.

After warming up, Symba works by means of a number of gripping cuts from his current challenge with DJ Drama, Outcomes Take Time. As he closes out his set with stirring renditions of the legacy-pondering “GOAT” and the status-affirming “By no means Change,” we bear witness to the reality of the album’s title. When he raps, “I took the lengthy route, not the improper route,” it looks like a prophecy fulfilled, proof that expertise is at all times bolstered by work ethic.


  • “Do not Condone”
  • “Cannot Win For Nothing”
  • “By no means Finish Up Broke”
  • “Sacrifices”
  • “GOAT”
  • “By no means Change”


  • Symba: vocals
  • Simon Martinez: guitar
  • Irvin Washington: keys, band chief
  • Raymond Nesmith: bass
  • Julian Coleman: vocals
  • Ebony Joi: vocals


  • Producer: Abby O’Neill
  • Director: Kara Body
  • Audio Engineer: Andie Huether
  • Audio Combine: Josh Rogosin
  • Artistic Director: Bob Boilen
  • Editor: Maia Stern
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Body, Michael Zamora
  • Audio Assistant: Hannah Copeland
  • Manufacturing Assistant: Jill Britton 
  • Tiny Desk Group: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann