There was no way that a collaboration between Thundercat, BADBADNOTGOOD and Flying Lotus could ever live up to expectations. But “King of the Hill” comes close, a song released as a single from the upcoming Brainfeeder X compilation of highlights and unreleased tracks by artists on Flying Lotus’s independent label Brainfeeder.
If 21 Savage and MF DOOM were ever to rap on the same track, I would expect the beat to sound like the intro to “King of the Hill”: a tonally menacing mix of eerie bells and cartoonish strings.
When the song does finally kick in, it’s a space funk jam propelled forward by the power of Thundercat’s bass. If you don’t know who Thundercat is, he is maybe the best active funk bassist right now; if you know of a tepid or boring Thundercat bass line, please send it my way, because I just don’t believe it exists.
In “King of the Hill,” sparkling Rhodes piano keys and Thundercat’s soulful layered falsettos glide over a pulsating bedrock of drums and bubbly jazz bass. “The king in his castle / The king of the hill / Wasting his time / Chasing cheap thrills,” he hums, and the resulting melodic ambiance is the best possible blend of all three artists’ individual sounds.
I mean, there really isn’t much more to say about it. Thundercat is good. BADBADNOTGOOD is good. Flying Lotus is good. It’s a good song, OK? Just listen to it.