Thundercat has officially announced his fourth studio album It Is What It Is, out April 3 via Brainfeeder Records. The 15-track project is executive produced by both Bruner and frequent collaborator Flying Lotus, with friends Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole, Zack Fox and FlyLo appearing on the album. It Is What It Is follows his game-changing 2017 record Drunk and continues his rise as a unique voice that transcends genre.
To celebrate the album announcement, Thundercat also shared the LP’s lead single “Black Qualls,” teaming up with Steve Lacy of The Internet and Funk icon Steve Arrington. The three-minute track was born from writing sessions with Lacy, whom the virtuoso bassist describes as “the physical incarnate of the Ohio Players in one person – he genuinely is a funky ass dude.” It serves as another of one of Thundercat’s homages to the lineage of his music as he pays his respects to the musicians who inspired him, similar to “Show You The Way” with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins on Drunk. Bruner discovered Arrington in his late teens and he immediately fell in love with his music. “The tone of the bass, the way his stuff feels and moves, it resonated through my whole body,” he said. Thundercat adds that it references “what it means to be a black American with a young mindset,” adding, “What it feels like to be in this position right now… the weird ins and outs, we’re talking about those feelings… Part of me knew this [track] was where Steve [Arrington] left us.”
Take a look at the full tracklist below and stream Thundercat, Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington’s “Black Qualls” on Spotify and Apple Music. It Is What It Is drops April 3.
Elsewhere in music, King Krule has revealed plans for his upcoming album, Man Alive!
It Is What It Is Track Listing
1. Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26
2. Innerstellar Love
3. I Love Louis Cole (feat. Louis Cole)
4. Black Qualls (feat. Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, & Childish Gambino)
5. Miguel’s Happy Dance
6. How Sway
7. Funny Thing
8. Overseas (feat. Zack Fox)
9. Dragonball Durag
10. How I Feel
11. King Of The Hill
12. Unrequited Love
13. Fair Chance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B)
14. Existential Dread
15. It Is What It Is