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Tiny Desk brings Kirk Franklin to their (Home) Concert for Black History Month

NPR Music's Tiny Desk series are celebrating Black History Month in style by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. This week they present you Gospel Legend, choir director, gospel musician, singer, songwriter, and author.

Kirk Franklin, set up with his band and choir in a corner of Uncle Jessie's Kitchen, makes a declaration.

"I know you're at home right now, in your draws, listening to some Jesus music. It's ok. Jesus loves you in your draws!"

The Arlington, Texas studio, named after a long time close friend, features a large photo of the iconic "I AM A MAN" protest signs from the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike on the wall. The jubilant energy that Franklin and company emit, juxtaposed with a visual reminder of the strife that Black people have endured is illustrative of the importance of gospel music in the Black community. For nearly 30 years, Franklin has been widely regarded for revolutionizing gospel. He incorporated secular music, particularly hip-hop, while preserving the message and integrity of traditional gospel. Here, he and his powerhouse choir pace through a decades-long, sixteen Grammy award winning discography of faith, praise and encouragement while cracking plenty of jokes.

SET LIST: Love Theory | Silver and Gold | Melodies From Heaven I Smile

It is so refreshing to hear feel good gospel music in these hard times. One thing is for sure, the gospel is forever and is guaranteed to encourage and lift you. From the music arrangements to the harmonies to the unconventional set, this is going to make you smile (no pun intended) We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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