Thundercat (musician)

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Thundercat (musician) 2015.jpg
Thundercat performing at the Hoxton in Toronto on September 27, 2015.
Background information
Birth name Stephen Bruner
Born (1984-10-19) October 19, 1984 (age 32)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • record producer
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
Years active 2000–present
Labels Brainfeeder
Associated acts
Notable instruments
  • Ibanez Thundercat Signature 6-String Bass
  • MTD Custom Shop 6-String Bass
  • Ibanez Artcore Bass

Stephen Bruner (born October 19, 1984),[2] better known by his stage name Thundercat, is an American multi-genre bass guitarist, producer and singer from Los Angeles, California. He has released three solo albums and is most noted for his work with producer Flying Lotus and crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. Thundercat appeared on Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly.[3] In 2016, Thundercat won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for his work on the track "These Walls" from To Pimp a Butterfly.

Music career[edit]

Born into a family of musicians, Bruner began playing the bass at an early age: by 15 he had a minor hit in Germany as a member of the boy band No Curfew. A year later he joined his brother Ronald Jr. as a member of the Los Angeles punk band Suicidal Tendencies, replacing former bass player Josh Paul.

Along with his band duties Bruner is also a session musician, acclaimed for his work on Erykah Badu's New Amerykah (2008) and Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma (2010). He released his first solo album in 2011, The Golden Age of Apocalypse, which featured production from Flying Lotus, and was influenced by 1970s fusion artists such as Stanley Clarke and George Duke. The next two years saw a return to the recording studio with fellow Brainfeeder artist Flying Lotus, with contributions to the Lotus's Until the Quiet Comes (2012) and You're Dead! (2014), and the release of Thundercat's second album Apocalypse (2013).[4]

Bruner has been described as being a major contributor to and "at the creative epicenter" of Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly.[5]

In 2016, Bruner revealed to XXL that he is working on a new album with Flying Lotus as a main contributor. In May of that year, Bruner appeared live with Red Hot Chili Peppers to play additional bass on their song "Go Robot" at iHeartRadio's release party for the band's 2016 album The Getaway. In August 2016, Bruner appeared live with Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald in Chicago.

In 2017, Thundercat appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to promote his album Drunk with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins.[6]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions

US Heat
The Golden Age of Apocalypse
  • Released: August 29, 2011
  • Label: Brainfeeder
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
9 18
  • Released: July 9, 2013
  • Label: Brainfeeder
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
194 2 11
  • Released: February 24, 2017[11]
  • Label: Brainfeeder
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
50 6
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.


With Kendrick Lamar[edit]

With Kamasi Washington[edit]

With Flying Lotus[edit]

With Kirk Knight[edit]

With Taylor McFerrin[edit]

With Erykah Badu[edit]

With Kimbra[edit]

With Childish Gambino[edit]

With Sa-Ra Creative Partners[edit]

With Mac Miller[edit]

With Vic Mensa[edit]

With Suicidal Tendencies[edit]

With Keziah Jones[edit]

With Bilal[edit]

With Young Jazz Giants[edit]

  • Young Jazz Giants (2004)

With Terrace Martin[edit]

With Ty Dolla Sign[edit]


  1. ^ Weiss, Jeff (April 2, 2015). "Meet Thundercat, the Jazz-Fusion Genius Behind Kendrick Lamar's 'Butterfly'". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Birth of Stephen Bruner". California Birth Index, 1905 - 1995. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Rising: Thundercat | Features". Pitchfork. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  4. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Apocalypse - Thundercat : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  5. ^ Weiss, Jeff. "Meet Thundercat, the Jazz-Fusion Genius Behind Kendrick Lamar's 'Butterfly'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  6. ^ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2017-06-06), Thundercat ft. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins: Show You the Way, retrieved 2017-06-06 
  7. ^ "Thundercat - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Thundercat - Top Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Thundercat - Heatseeker Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Thundercat - R&B Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ Mertens, Max (January 25, 2017). "Thundercat Announces Third Album 'Drunk' Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Flying Lotus, and More". Vice. Retrieved February 22, 2017.