Samurai Sits, Stares in Thundercat's Surreal, Sad 'Them Changes' Video - Rolling Stone
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Samurai Sits, Stares in Thundercat’s Surreal, Sad ‘Them Changes’ Video

Unmasked, armless warrior forced to watch infomercials for swords he can’t use

A sliced-up samurai is relegated to a life of watching TV and recalling his glory days in the bizarre, charming and oddly heartbreaking new clip for Thundercat‘s “Them Changes.”

Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, the clip opens on two samurai locked in a fierce battle in a garage to the tune of Thundercat’s plaintive grooves and somber vocals. After the blue swordsman is gutted, though, the clip takes a surreal turn: The unmasked, armless warrior now sits in front of a TV, watching an infomercial for a sword he can’t use and staring longingly at a remote he can’t reach. Though he’s cared for by a wife and daughter, it’s impossible not to feel for the useless samurai as he shares an empathetic glance with a caged gerbil nearby.

“Thundercat’s take on heartbreak is so atypical that I figured the video for the song should be anything but a classic relationship-gone-wrong story,” Estrada said in a statement. “Stories like athletes’ careers ending after injuries or artists losing their site/hearing/ability to perform; these concepts are truly heartbreaking.”

“Them Changes” anchors Thundercat’s new mini-album, The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam, his first collection of solo material in two years. The LP boasts contributions from longtime collaborator Flying Lotus as well as Herbie Hancock, who plays keyboards on “Lone Wolf & Cub”; Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly also contributed saxophone, strings and production, respectively.

Despite the gap since 2013’s Apocalypse, Thundercat has remained busy, working on to two of 2015’s most lauded releases: Washington’s jazz opus, The Epic, and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.

Thundercat has a handful of festival dates slated for August, followed by a headlining North American tour, which begins September 17th at The Casbah in San Diego.

In This Article: Thundercat


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