Almost exactly a year ago, Mac Miller had just released Swimming, which would turn to be his final album. In promoting it, Mac sat down at NPR’s Washington, DC headquarters to take part in the Tiny Desk Concerts video series. Mac, backed by a band that included guitarist Justus West and star bassist Thundercat, played one of the all-time great Tiny Desk Concerts, doing loose and expansive takes on his own newest songs. It would be one of Mac’s final performances. A month later, he died of a drug overdose. He was 26.
Last week, Mac’s friend and collaborator Ty Dolla $ign, getting ready to release his own new album, played his own Tiny Desk Concert. Like Mac Miller before him, Ty played the show with Thundercat and Justus West backing him up. But NPR reports that Ty didn’t even know the one-year anniversary of Mac’s Tiny Desk Concert was coming up. When NPR’s Bobby Carter mentioned it, Ty briefly conferred with his bandmates and then came up with a spur-of-the-moment version of “Cinderella,” his 2016 Mac Miller collaboration.
In its original form, “Cinderella,” which appeared on Mac Miller’s 2016 album The Divine Feminine, was a sprawling and meditative eight-minute song. In their Tiny Desk version of the song, Ty and his bandmates turn it into a bluesy reverie, giving themselves room to solo and improvise. It’s a lovely tribute and a real display of musicianship. Watch it below. And while you’re at it, watch Mac’s Tiny Desk Concert from last year.
The rest of Ty Dolla $ign’s Tiny Desk Concert is still forthcoming.