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Hannibal Buress

Thundercat, one of Kendrick Lamar's secret weapons on 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' emerges in time for Grammys

Thundercat, one of Kendrick Lamar's secret weapons on 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' emerges in time for Grammys

Those paying attention to the sound of contemporary Los Angeles as imagined by Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," nominated for an album of the year Grammy, might have noted a mysterious musician named Thundercat lurking in the background.

In late 2014 and 2015, he seemed to be everywhere. There he was, his head and torso covered with a long fur hat, playing bass during Lamar's performance as the last musical guest on "The Colbert Report." At the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Thundercat backed saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington during an album-length performance of his aptly titled three-disc jazz album, "The Epic." In August, the...

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