Label: Brainfeeder
Released: February 24

Let’s start here: Thundercat has back-to-back tracks on Drunk featuring soft-rock OGs Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald—ON THE SAME SONG—and Kendrick Lamar. That should give you a sense of what the bassist and vocalist is working with, of the sheer range he has to be able to cut tracks with Footloose Kenny and Kung-Fu Kenny at the same damn time. Thundercat produces consistently smooth music, solidly based in jazz and funk but with a yacht-rock sheen, synth stings and nerdy as fuck lyrics (he namedrops both Dragonball Z and Mortal Kombat)—shit that the next generation’s Dr. Dre will want to sample the hell out of. Just 33, the artist also known as Stephen Bruner became the bassist of Cali punk-metal legends Suicidal Tendencies at 16, before work with Flying Lotus led him to become a major collaborator on Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. On Drunk, his third solo LP, it’s clear he’s found his groove. We’re in it too. —Russ Bengtson