It’s taken a while for me to truly appreciate Thundercat’s artistry the way so many of my peers have been for years, but between his GRAMMY-winning work on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and his 2015 solo release The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam, I’ve found myself clamoring for a new project from the LA multi-talent.
Today (January 25), fans like myself were treated to the official announcement of Thundercat’s next project Drunk, along with “Show You The Way,” a lead single that has already won the award for “most random collaboration of 2017.”
“Show You The Way” finds Thundercat collaborating with none other than adult contemporary superstars Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins—two names I was pretty certain I’d never be typing for a hip-hop article, especially one that isn't about the sample in Warren G and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate.”
The craziest part, though? This single is incredibly dope. While Thundercat is usually known for going the funky, experimental route, he sounds more than at home setting the stage for a rekindling of McDonald and Loggins’ wonder years, a musical era since dubbed “yacht rock.”
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But maybe I shouldn’t be shocked that Thundercat’s soulful experimentalism would so easily blend with the synth-heavy stylings of the guys that essentially wrote the soundtrack to the 80s since Thundercat has always heavily featured the same pop-soul fusion that dominated the airwaves when Loggins and McDonald had their heyday.
It is pretty ironic, though, that Michael McDonald will be appearing on an album produced by sample-heavy producer Flying Lotus after previously brushing off sampling as simply “copy and paste,” even though one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time was crafted by sampling his music.
Who knows, maybe Thundercat and FlyLo have been able to cleanse him of his past fogey transgressions? Either way, hearing him and Kenny "Danger Zone" Loggins jamming out with Thundercat is a moment outside of time, outside of judgment.
I’m going to have this shit on repeat until Drunk arrives on February 24 via Brainfeeder, and nobody can stop me.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Brainfeeder