Smif-N-Wessun: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Music 170 116 subscribers

Sept. 17, 2018 | Abby O'Neill -- Brooklyn-bred hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wessun – consisting of partners in rhyme, Steele and Tek – illuminated the Tiny Desk with their signature, 80-proof poetry: straight, no chaser. Their music, inspired by their gritty and pre-gentrified Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville neighborhoods, offers the vocabulary of veterans who survived the grimy streets. These original members of the Duck Down Records group Boot Camp Click represent quintessential '90s true-school hip-hop from the bedrock, when Timberland boots were standard issue. Backing Steele and Tek for the first time is D.C.'s own Black Alley band. Smif-N-Wessun set things off with their classic debut single "Bucktown," an ode to their native Brooklyn, which uses their love for lyrical clapbacks as an allegory for overcoming the violence-ridden reality of their wonder years. Their undeniable Gemini chemistry - clearly the byproduct of a 20-plus year friendship - is on full display. Throughout the performance, the two emcees dance, share easy banter and express their spiritual connection to the music they've created over the years. Things climax when the two perform "Stand Strong," another favorite from their debut album Dah Shinin'. Anchored by the mantra, "I never ran / never will," the tune receives a refreshing update, courtesy of Black Alley. Driven by the live interpolation of their Beatminerz-produced tracks, the music decries the struggles of late-stage capitalism and the plight of the disenfranchised. It's a revelation of love, life, and brotherhood in an era when the antiheroes were really just the ones cunning enough to avoid becoming victims. That survivor's drive is personified when Steele lets his guard down during the performance and gifts the audience a little boogie, while referring to the "holy ghost" that has come over him. The set concludes with an exclusive premier of their new single, "One Time," from their forthcoming album, The All, produced by 9th Wonder & The Soul Council. Set List "Bucktown" "Stand Strong" "One Time" Credits Producers: Abby O'Neill, Bronson Arcuri, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Beck Harlan, CJ Riculan, Khun Minn Ohn; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Eslah Attar

100 Comments

  • Damn. Usually when an artist follows classic bangers with, “This is our new joint” you’re like “yeah, play more classics. thnx” That new joint slaps too tho!

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  • I was 15 when this was bumping in my headphones!

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  • Yo...their music aged like fine wine. Dopeness

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  • breaks my heart seein em in those tight ass clothes....

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  • I wanna see nine and the underground too

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  • Thank you NPR

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  • Awww man!! Get Black Moon on here Get Outkast on here Get Das Efx on here Get MOP on here Get Diplomats on here Get AZ on here Get Fugees on here Get vintage Busta Rhymes to snap on here aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww I could go on!

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  • Wears a Malcolm X t-shirt...raps about guns and drugs...Devolution of the black race continues

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  • this is extremely good

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  • I want to hear them with dj muggs

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  • Dope, thanks NPR!

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  • OGC!!!!! 🙌

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  • Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! So happy to see this! Smiff n Wessun. Just too cool! Duck Down for life!!!

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  • Boot Camp Click was NECESSARY when I was in college. Damn this brought me back. REAL emcees.

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  • Dat was nice. Golden age hip-hop Forever! Its like food for spirit.

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  • I was like, let me tryn watchin this Maaan!!This has to be on my PLAYLIST, thanks n massive love to NPR n to these GUYS HERE

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  • What u No Bout dat BuCk ToWn

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  • BUCKTOWN!!! My ALL TIME FAV!!! I SALUTE EM

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  • SOULS OF MISCHIEF PLEASEE NPR

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  • This ! is dope

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  • Not a orgasim, but a [ Eargasim ]. My ears feel like i just had a threesome wit 2 beautiful Spanish mommies.... im going 2 sleep now....😴

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  • Raekwon The Chef PLEASE!!!!!

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  • Dope! I got blessed to see them perform at The A3C Hip Hop Festival last year!🎧💉👂🎼🎶🔥💣🔥💣🔥🎤🎤🎤🎤🎤🔥💣🔥💣🔥🎤🎤🎤🎤🎤👀

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  • Real HIP HOP is in the Building!!!! 💪💪

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  • That fucking stand strong 💪🏾 is fucking flames 🔥. And I never ran never will.

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  • Pure gold!

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  • oh shit! this is a pleasant surprise.

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  • Respect ✊

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  • Einfach NUR GEIL

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  • Why they let him sing at the end? LMAO. He was having his fun.

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  • De La Soul Please

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  • These hippies aint ready for this

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  • I was 21 in '95. Smh It goes faster every year.smh

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  • The sound to the ears and souls of this will remain with me long after my memory goes bad.

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  • Thank you thank you NPR for bringing sniff n Wessun you yall need to do Black Moon 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

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  • BUCK TOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNN

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  • Can you get blackalicious ✌️this is freakin’ awesome cheers ✌️

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  • true legends

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  • This was an honor to be amongst these great artist. Thank you NPR. Thank You Abby!

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  • Next up hiero crewwww

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  • This put tear's in my eyes because to see two black men at this point in there career sound so smooth it's like they never left. All praise to the almighty and Rip Sean P. ! Hold your head Rock O The FUCKING Monster!!!!!

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  • Wowww niceeeee!!!

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  • This is so dope

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  • Whosever idea it was to bring Masta Ace, O.C., and now Smif-N-Wessun to the show: You're doing a great job. Thank you.

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  • 80s_dopehouse from IG brought me here......Epic

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  • OMG this makes my soul smile!

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  • Nostalgic, 90's taking me back!

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  • I get the chills watchin this!

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  • stratosphérique ! Thank you from France :)

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  • Underground legends never woulda thought to see them on here beautiful vibez 💯🔥🤘🏽♨️

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  • The band behind them is a go-go band from Washington DC called black Ally

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  • NPR Please release your recordings onto Spotify!!

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  • peanut butter & jelly. perfect duo.

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  • Not that good, it needs more

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  • GREAT !

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  • ❤❤🇸🇳🇸🇳🇸🇳🇸🇳

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  • Dope!

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  • Bucktownさいこーお

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  • midsssssss

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  • Jazz-hop.

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  • I do not know what you need to do but the thing is YOU NEED TO GET STROMAE TO DO ONE OF THESE

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  • I walk around town with the pound strapped down That's only because it's mad real in Bucktown 💪🏾

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  • Big respect💪💪👏👏

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  • I wouldn't have expected Smif-n-Wessun to have one of the best Rap Tiny Desk Concerts!

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  • TRUE MC"S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • This is the coolest shit online

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  • pls get Souls of Mischief on here. or the lost boyz

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  • Wait..These dudes still rollin Ganja after all these years. I thought they would have quit by now. Lol! Real Hip-Hop will never die

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  • BCC FOR LIFE.. if it was only longer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • My favorite duo of all time.

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  • Tiny desk you CRAZY MOTHERFUCKERS!!!! Yoy are truly amazing, thank you.

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  • wonderful.....i am frenchy musician soulfonk et mc des Soldats Du Funk and FAN FAN de smif N wessum all time .....Big big duo and with musicians ( genious = genial aha) paz a todos aqui daddylo l oldtimer du 30 south french !!

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  • This is so refreshing!!!

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  • Gotta love NPR for those great hiphoppers that we've seen there this year!

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  • damn im feelin this funky flow BUT billie eilish

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  • IDOLS!!!

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  • that's some dope shit right there

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  • Wish I could get trigga da gambla and smooth da hustla. And I'll play in fuggin traffic for a whole day!!!! Nice tho thanks

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  • Nice

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  • Real MC'IN, Real Hip Hop! Yes yes yes...

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  • This is the first time i've heard smif N wessun. They killed it! Amazing! Props to them, props to the band and props to NPR/tinydesk for being the dopest platform!

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  • love their enthusiasm with their lyrics, real emcees no bad music came outta boot camp

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  • THxxxx !!!!!!

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  • Chills 🖤

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  • Had this album on audio tape.. Timeless classic pure 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

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  • After watching this, I immediately found the DOPE MC hat online and bought it. NO REGRETS!

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  • Can we get an Outkast concert

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  • Ma people ✌✌

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  • WHAT WHAT! S&W Keep it BUCK!!!! Loving this NPR. 🎤🖤🖤🖤💯%🔥

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  • smif n wessun. that was priceless god bless

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  • Wow, good looks to whoever got Smif-N-Wesun on here, very rare

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  • HOLY EFFIN GOOSEBUMS!

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  • No Wreckonize ??????? this is sad

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  • That was amazing and refreshing. I love Smif n Wesson. Always.

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  • BRING DIGABLE PLANETS 💯

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  • been waiting on this. fiyah

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  • KONKRET !!! w H*** ;) Dope !

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  • First album is a hip-hop classic.

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  • Thing is, if you dont feel with the pianist we'll have a problem lol

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  • bucktown!!!!!

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