Talent tends to run in the family when it comes to athletes and musicians, but damn, the Bruner family is stacked. Kintaro, aka Jameel Bruner, is the former keyboard player for The Internet and also happens to be the youngest brother of Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat) and Ronald Bruner Jr., a world-class drummer. Family bands haven’t been a thing since the Jonas Brothers, but I’d be totally cool with these guys bringing the trend back.
Earlier this week (June 20), Jameel unleashed a new 5-track EP, entitled Universal, to kick off his solo career as Kintaro. A diverse, if not scattered mix of “trap, R&B, hip-hop, grime, soul, and many other worlds,” Universal is a promising introduction to an artist that’s been honing his craft with The Internet and collaborations with his older brothers.
One track from the project manages to stand completely apart from the rest, however. “Mk” features Anderson .Paak and—if .Paak’s intro to the song is to be taken at face value—the other two Bruner brothers, and it’s a doozy.
Seriously, holy shit. You need to hear this right now.
First off, .Paak’s introduction is fucking fantastic. The moments when .Paak plays master of ceremonies—like on NxWorries’ “H.A.N.”—are some of my favorites from .Paak’s discography, and hint at a sense of humor that I believe has yet to be fully utilized. Before we can fully appreciate .Paak’s hilarious nonchalance, however, .Paak yells out, “Oh shit that nigga got a pistol!” and three gunshots kick off a beat that sounds like Tyler, The Creator decided to try his hand at G-funk. Seriously, this track has some funk.
Anderson lets the beat breathe for a minute before diving into a magnetic half-rapped, half-sung verse that serves as a perfect reminder for anyone that might’ve forgotten how masterful he is on the mic regardless of which direction he chooses to take things. The beat then gives way to a synth interlude, allowing .Paak to drop a smooth quasi-hook before that intoxicating bass returns and Kintaro takes the helm on vocals.
As a rapper, Kintaro sounds like a mix of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, and dances all over the beat, recounting past loves with the ease of a veteran emcee, with Anderson taking back over for another synth breakdown that sets up the second bass drop like a perfectly tossed alley-oop.
With the addition of Anderson .Paak on “Mk,” Kintaro has guaranteed that his solo debut won’t be flying under the radar, as this snarling summer jam will surely draw attention to the rest of the project.