Thundercat didn’t miss the chance to salute his close friend Mac Miller on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he riffed off the rapper’s Swimming album cut “What’s The Use.” Thundercat also played the song “Black Qualls” from his highly-anticipated, forthcoming album It Is What It Is. The song was first released back in January.
Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington also performed “Black Qualls” on the show, which was co-produced by Thundercat and Flying Lotus. Though Childish Gambino wasn’t present, he is expected to be on the album version.
During a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Thundercat discussed the meaning behind his album title, and the way it's linked to the late Miller.
“I never missed the chance to tell the guy I loved him, and I'm thankful I did,” Thundercat said. “As he was going to bed, I said, ‘I love you,’ and he said it back the next day, to wake up to, and like, it scarred the hell out of me. And not to make this such a dark moment like that, but from that moment it's like I was changed forever, even if I didn't want to, it just changed me, and that's just one example of the thing of it is what it is.”
Ahead of the project’s April 3 drop, Flying Lotus released the single and video for “Dragonball Durag,” which was co-produced by himself, Kamasi Washington, Dennis Hamm, and Flying Lotus. Prior to that, in October 2018, Thundercat released the album single “King of the Hill,” which was co-produced by himself, Flying Lotus, and BADBADNOTGOOD.
Watch Thundercat's electric performance of “Black Qualls” above.