Stephen Lee Bruner, better known as Thundercat, introduced his fourth studio album It Is What It Is to the world. Being a great musician and producer, his project came to be everything that the Los Angeles musician fans could hope for.
In these difficult days of staying at home, listening to music is a real mental relaxer to be able to stay one hundred. That is what Thundercat thought, and that is exactly how his record reached our ears. That is why we want to share the essential points for which you must leave everything you are doing and play It Is What It Is , this new album of fifteen songs that promise to send you to a place of great relaxation.
1. Because he is one of the best musicians and producers of the moment
Stephen is without a doubt one of the best musicians today. His alternative R&B with hints of funk, soul and acid jazz are a real trip to places where everything feels good. Since 2011 Thundercat has proven to be someone who breaks the barriers of conventional sound. That easy-to-digest sound for the ears. But once you get carried away by his idea of what music is, a world like no other awaits you.
Stephen has not only captivated the world for his solo productions, but also for his genius reflected in all his collaborations throughout his career. To this day, Thundercat has managed to collaborate with some of the world’s greatest artists. Names like Soul Queen Erykah Badu and contemporary jazz genius Kamasi Washington sneak in there.. In his long list also appears Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mac Miller, Flying Lotus, Travis Scott, Kali Uchis and many more.
With now four discs on his shoulders, Thundercat has become a true benchmark for this decade’s R&B / funk. And besides being a great influencer within his scene, He is also considered “the creative epicenter” of Kendrick Lamar’s most influential 21st century hip-hop album To Pimp A Butterfly, where he won a Grammy for his collaboration on the song “These Walls” before releasing Drunk in 2017, his third studio album.
In 2018 Thundercat and Flying Lotus, a tireless contributor to ‘It Is What It Is’, composed an original score for an episode of the Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning television series “Atlanta” (created and written by Donald Glover).
2. For their incredible collaborations
We already talked about the collaborations that Thundercat has made throughout his career. Many of them having Stephen participating in other people’s projects. However for It Is What It Is, it was time for these big names to accompany him in one of his personal projects. His fourth studio album is accompanied by a lot of collaborations that enrich the already very emblematic sound that Thundercat composes.
For example, in “Black Qualls”, the song that has the funkiest overtones of the entire album, is a song made by names that can head a festival: Childish Gambino, Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington. It Is What It Is is an album made by friends for friends. That’s how it is and that’s how it feels. Over there in the third song of the disc we can see the even obvious collaboration of Louis Cole in the song “I Love Louis Cole”.
Ty Dolla $ ign and Lil B also do their part in the Mac Miller-inspired single “Fair Chance”. A slower and colder song. Just like the feeling of losing a great friend like Miller was to Thundercat. As if these collaborations were little, throughout the album the music producer Flying lotus stays active playing for Stephen. Occasionally, and to give touches of genius in the jazz moments of his project, as in “Innerstellar Love”, Kamasi Washington is responsible for transporting your mind to another place.
3. Due to its combination of genres
Since its inception, something that has identified Thundercat is the evolution and dynamism that its productions have. While their music is found in fairly conventional genres like funk, jazz, and R&B, the combination of them in their sound is something never before heard.
“Black Qualls” is a great example to dive into its funk. The first few seconds take us back to the 80s, but it is progressively diluted in R&B to create something quite unusual. Its huge success “Dragonball Durag” is another example of what Thundercat is capable of. At times it is pop, at times it gives away spasms of winds that approach jazz and all this involves it in R&B tempos. A true genius. Thundercat will always have something to impress you.
4. Because it reminds us of Mac Miller
This new album features a series of special guests as we’ve connected it, but the collaboration with Ty Dolla $ ign and Lil B on “Fair Chance” serves as a tribute to Thundercat’s dear friend and collaborator Mac Miller. This song is probably the most sober of the entire album and with good reason.
“This song is about Mac … when he passed away it shook the ground for the artist community”Thundercat said of the song. “Ty is a strong guy and when he heard the song he knew exactly what it should be,” added Thundercat. “I was there when you recorded it. We talked about what it was, and he did what he felt was right, and I love what he did. ”
5. Because it is one of the best albums of the year
This year has seen several gems emerge so far. There we have Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man, with whom he returned finer than ever. Circles by Mac Miller himself, which is a true gem achieved thanks to the collaboration of Jon Brion. And we can’t stop mentioning Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush as a great album of the year. But without being left behind, It Is What It Is came to raise his hand and stand right next to the greats.
It Is What It Is, although it is not an easy album to digest nor for lovers of the genres it dominates, it is one that gradually catches your senses. Little by little you find the gifts that come from listening not only to an album by a great musician but also by a great producer. An album by someone who knows exactly where and how he wants things.