The young Chicago rapper Joey Purp is a human energy-bomb, an urgent and galvanizing live performer. Last night, he got a chance to show it. Purp released his new album QUARTERTHING last month. And last night, he and Wu-Tang Clan abbot RZA performed the album track “Godbody Pt. 2″ on The Tonight Show.
Purp and RZA performed with Social Experiment member Peter CottonTale on keyboards and a live drummer. (It seems weirdly brave for a rapper to play The Tonight Show with a live drummer and to not have it be ?uestlove.) The staging was pretty weird. RZA and Purp didn’t really interact, and both of them rapped into mic stands, even though Purp is usually a physical and dynamic live performer. But it still worked!
RZA went full RZA on his verse, rhyming “microchips” with “biochips” and “Oprah’s sofa” with “solid gold coaster.” And Purp showed himself to be an intense, virtuosic rapper, capable of projecting real emotion while hitting all of his lines hard. Turns out this guy doesn’t need to bounce around to be compelling. Watch the performance below.
The self-released QUARTERTHING is out now.