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Tank: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Music is celebrating Black Music Month with an array of brand new Tiny Desk concerts. Together, these artists represent the past, present and future of Black music. This month of carefully curated shows is a celebration of Black artists expressing themselves in ways we've never seen before, and of the Tiny Desk's unique way of showcasing that talent.

It's practically a sin to not have Durrell "Tank" Babbs on your spiciest playlist — he's penned some of the steamiest records in R&B. If you've been following our Black Music Month takeover, it's likely you spotted Tank accompanying Babyface, the love maestro himself, on background vocals.

In his own concert, the veteran crooner and R&B scholar performed a 14-song medley of passionate love songs and bedroom bops from across his 23 years-long career in music, and turned the Tiny Desk into "the big, nasty Desk."

This doesn't happen without warning: "Some of these songs make you wanna make up. Some of these songs make you wanna breakup. And some of these songs make you want to participate in various sexual activities," Tank declared before traversing his catalog.

Backed by the phenomenal Florida-based MVP Band, along with a trio of famed background vocalists — singer-songwriter-actor Luke James, singer Brooke Valentine and songwriter/producer Lonny Bereal — we got a taste of the songs that not only established Tank as a pillar in R&B, but hits he wrote and produced for other notable artists such as Jamie Foxx, Omarion, Marques Houston and LeToya Luckett.

Full of buttery smooth runs and yearning melodies (along with the occasional, witty HR joke), Tank's Tiny Desk concert is a stellar display of how powerful the allure of R&B can be, and perhaps a masterclass for any youngin' learning how to woo.

SET LIST

  1. "Slowly"
  2. "Coldest"
  3. "Do What It Do"
  4. "O"
  5. "Naked"
  6. "Regret"
  7. "When We"
  8. "Dirty"
  9. "Can't Let It Show"
  10. "Slow"
  11. "See Through Love"
  12. "Maybe I Deserve"
  13. "I Deserve"
  14. "Please Don't Go"

MUSICIANS

  • Tank: vocals
  • Lonny Bereal: vocals
  • Brooke Valentine: vocals
  • Luke James: vocals
  • La'Chaz Holloway: guitar
  • Alex Hill: keys
  • Jevon Hill: keys, vocals
  • Arthur Jones: bass
  • Jimmy Hill: drums

TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Director: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Engineer: Neil Tevault 
  • Creative Director: Bob Boilen
  • Editor: Maia Stern
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Sofia Seidel, Kara Frame
  • Audio Assistant: Hannah Gluvna
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Photographer: Elizabeth Gillis
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Josh Rogosin, Hazel Cills
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ashley Pointer