For his Tiny Desk set with NPR, Mac Miller brought on a special guest to lay down the groove: Thundercat. The bassist, a frequent collaborator of the rapper’s, starred in the performance of “What’s the Use?,” off the latter’s latest album Swimming.
Thundercat, real name Stephen Bruner, appears on the album cut, too. But where the original oozed boogie sleaze, courtesy of producer Dâm-Funk, the live version took a jazzier, more laid-back—yet just as funky—route. And watching Bruner own the pocket on his oversized bass guitar was the highlight of the set (sorry, Mac).
Besides “What’s the Use?,” Mac Miller played two other tracks from Swimming, “Small Worlds” and the somber “2009.” Watch it here, or skip to around the 5:30 mark for the Thundercat-assisted performance: