This week’s Tiny Desk performance features a four-song live set from the iconic Isley Brothers.
The Isley Brothers reclaimed the source material for some of hip-hop’s most beloved cuts in their long-overdue Tiny Desk performance.
Led by founding member, Ron Isley, and late-addition-turned-anchoring-guitarist-and-songwriter, Ernie Isley, the group ran through four classics, each with its own afterlife as the backbone of a rap anthem. The set commences with the 1983 r&b gem, “Between The Sheets,” which was notably repurposed by the late Chucky Thompson for The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.” For their follow-up, The Isleys slipped into “Footsteps in The Dark,” a song with multiple elements in a number of grailed rap and r&b cuts, including Ice Cube‘s “Today Was a Good Day,” J Dilla‘s “Won’t Do,” and Thundercat‘s “Them Changes.”
The Isley’s settle into the back-half of the performance with “For The Love of You,” a sweetly sung backdrop for Tupac and Thug Life’s “Bury Me a G.” And to close out the sequence, the group salutes Kendrick Lamar (not without showing their age, though,) with a performance of “That Lady,” which found its way into the TDE rapper’s 2014 single, “I.”
The set arrives on the heels of the group’s showdown with fellow funk and soul luminaries, Earth, Wind & Fire, for the first real throwback in the still short history of Verzuz. But even if you missed that broadcast, there will be plenty of other opportunities to see the group live and direct over the months ahead with nine tour dates scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.
Watch The Isley Brothers showcase their most sampled work in a scorching live performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk below and catch them on the road this summer and fall. Grab your stubs via Ticketmaster today.