Kendrick Lamar contributes characteristically virtuosic rapping to Thundercat‘s mournful new ballad “Walk on By.” The song appears on Thundercat’s album Drunk, released Friday. The song reunites the two musicians after Thundercat played bass on a number of songs on Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly album.
“Walk on By” has a melancholic groove thanks to Thundercat’s pleading chorus: “At the end of it all/ No one wants to drink alone/ Baby that’s how it goes/ Don’t walk away from me.” A sharp drum machine holds down the beat.
The tone changes halfway with intricate rapping from Lamar. The MC ducks and weaves through his verse, stopping suddenly and then gushing syllables a moment later; he refuses to establish a steady flow. “Nine times out of ten, young niggas are nine or ten/ When the line becomes thin: be a killer or fireman,” he raps.
Thundercat’s Drunk also features Flying Lotus, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. The bassist is currently touring the United States.