Dre and Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith. The music of To Pimp a Butterfly incorporates a variety of styles from traditional African-American music , including jazz , funk , soul , spoken word , and avant-garde. Lyrically, it features political commentary and personal themes concerning African-American culture , racial inequality , depression , and institutional discrimination. This thematic direction was inspired by Lamar's tour of historic sites during his visit to South Africa, such as Nelson Mandela 's jail cell on Robben Island. To Pimp a Butterfly sold , copies in the US in its first week of release, earning a chart debut at number one on the US Billboard , while also becoming Lamar's first number-one album in the UK. Five singles were released in promotion of the album, including the top 40 hit " I ". Lamar also supported the album with the Kunta's Groove Sessions Tour from late to early To Pimp a Butterfly received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its musical scope and the social relevance of Lamar's lyrics.
Funk-soul-jazz bass virtuoso Thundercat is responsible for the celestial architecture beneath Kendrick Lamar's new LP. They all know Thundercat at the ramen spot. I first saw him about seven years ago playing bass for Erykah Badu, wearing intergalactic shoulder pads and an eagle-feathered Cheyenne Indian war bonnet. Before he was old enough to vote, he joined his brother, the similarly prodigious drummer Ronald Bruner Jr. When the riots hit, Thundercat remembers going with his dad atop their apartment and watching a crowd torch a nearby gas station. Thundercat fit right in, playing video games, cracking jokes and sculpting bass lines in endless jams.
In between Good Kid, M. As he toured the country — visiting historic sites such as Nelson Mandela's jail cell on Robben Island — his worldview broadened, and so did his music. Lamar wanted to make music that reflected the sounds of his upbringing in Compton, Calif. Eventually To Pimp A Butterfly took form, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, soul, spoken word, and hip-hop.
Stephen Lee Bruner born October 19, ,  better known by his stage name Thundercat , is an American musician, record producer, singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, California. First coming to prominence as a member of crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies , he has since released four solo studio albums and is noted for his work with producer Flying Lotus and his appearance on Kendrick Lamar 's critically acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly. 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.