Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner rose during the first decade of the new millennium as the go-to bassist for a multitude of forward-looking artists traversing electric jazz, punk, R&B, and hip-hop. His nimble, syncopated, groove-heavy basslines have propelled songs by Sa-Ra, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, and Kendrick Lamar, some of which have also featured his gentle and sweet vocals. Although his session work is extensive and filled with highlights — he was awarded a Grammy as one of the voices in Kendrick Lamar's "These Walls" — Thundercat is just as recognized for his adventurous solo output. Albums such as The Golden Age of Apocalypse (2011), Apocalypse (2013), Drunk (2017), and It Is What It Is (2020) have stretched and bent numerous genres while drawing lyrical inspiration from science fiction, mortality, romantic heartache, and pop culture, especially video games, manga, and anime.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thundercat had the good fortune to be raised in a musical family. His father, Ronald Bruner, Sr., is an accomplished drummer who has performed and recorded with an assortment of acts including Diana Ross, the Temptations, and Helen Baylor, and has led his own sessions. Thundercat's older brother, Ronald Jr., is a drummer whose career is highlighted by Grammy-winning work with Stanley Clarke. The youngest brother, keyboardist Jameel Bruner (aka Kintaro), established himself as a member of the Grammy-nominated Internet. The Bruners have played together in several combinations.