The Isley Brothers: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

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.”

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Mara Hruby
Wednesday, Dec 7 @ Yoshi's, Oakland



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